The Taylor Swift experience


Pu Ying Huang

Taylor Swift performs at the Frank Erwin Center as part of her Red Tour on Saturday night. 

Sarah-Grace Sweeney

There were a few things I knew going into the Taylor Swift concert at the Frank Erwin Center last night. I knew I was going to be surrounded by mostly preteens, there was going to be glitter and a lot of red. I didn’t know, however, that I was supposed to paint my body red, wrap my self in Christmas lights or recreate my own version of outfits she wore on stage.

My neighbor was about a foot and a half shorter than me, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the transcendent experience that is a Swift production. It’s easy to picture the curly headed blonde teenager on a stool with her guitar, but her newly straight hair and blunt bangs seem to make a much more sleek and sexy Swift. The black and red wardrobe and sets also contributed to a more mature feel. And when her silhouette appeared and the first sounds echoed through the arena, we were all in agreement: we would never be the same after this concert.

She opened with “State of Grace” and followed with “Holy Ground,” so the audience was thoroughly energized for the two hours ahead. Swift took moments throughout the show to smile into the crowd and soak in her screaming fans. She was also fresh off the Billboard Music Awards where she took home eight trophies, including Artist of the Year, so that could’ve been partially responsible for the sparkle in her eye. Then there was the strange and very sexed up version of “You Belong With Me,” where Swift and her back up singers stood in a row performing 1960s girl group arm choreography.

The next stand out number was “22.” I fear Swift has created a generation of young girls who are very much looking forward to an age that is mostly tinged with financial worries and getting your first job. But, “I Knew You Were Trouble,” immediately followed by “All Too Well” was perhaps the best part of the night. The first during which Swift’s dress was torn off to reveal a little black number underneath. Swift got about as sexy as you’ll ever see her get. “All Too Well” was deeply dramatic. Chandeliers hung from the top of the stage and it reminded me of Lady Gaga at her piano singing “Speechless” during the Monster Ball in 2011. I’m pretty sure there was fire and blood involved in Gaga’s performance, though.

Swift took time between songs to share some of her feelings and give young fans advice on life and love. When she looked out into the crowd and said surely we must have all felt the same love and heartbreak that she writes so poetically about, the screams in reply were deafening. All I could think was that at 8 years old, I certainly didn’t know heartbreak.

She closed the night with “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” The knowledge that she gets to end every night with the revenge of singing her triple platinum break up song, thousands of fans echoing in her ears and heart-shaped confetti falling from the ceiling is enough to make any girl, boy, man or woman want to be Taylor Swift. 

See slideshow of Taylor Swift w/ Ed Sheeran here!