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Fearless Tour

2009-2010

The “Fearless Tour” was Taylor’s debut headlining tour, in support of her sophomore album, Fearless (2008). Also referred to as the “Fearless Tour 2009” and the “Fearless Tour 2010”, it was launched on April 23, 2009, with a sold-out show in Evansville, Indiana and concluded on July 10, 2010, in Cavendish, Canada. Kellie Pickler, Gloriana, and Justin Bieber were supporting acts.
Taylor’s debut concert tour was an ambitious success from the get-go, taking her around the globe. The show included multiple costume changes, as well as the kind of theatrical stage sets that would go on to become one of her trademarks. The setlist, appropriately, drew heavily from Fearless and Taylor’s 2006 self-titled effort, with hits such as “Tim McGraw,” “Teardrops On My Guitar,” “Fifteen,” and “Love Story” appearing regularly. Taylor also meticulously arranged the set to have three distinct sections, including an acoustic segment, which became a staple on future concert tours.
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Pre-Tour Activity

Taylor opened for Rascal Flatts and other huge country acts when she toured in support of her self-titled debut album, Taylor Swift, from 2006 to 2008. By the time she released her sophomore album, Fearless, in November of 2008, she had already rocketed to headliner status on the strength of hits including “Tim McGraw,” “Teardrops On My Guitar,” “Our Song,” “Picture to Burn” and “Should’ve Said No.”

Prior to launching her “Fearless Tour”, Taylor warmed up by playing two shows in Texas (including a sold-out gig at the “Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo” in front of nearly 71’000 fans) and one in Florida. She also played several dates in the UK and Australia, including two shows at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London.

Background and Development

The tour kicked off in Evansville, Indiana, on April 23, 2009 at Roberts Stadium. In honor of the kickoff of the sold-out tour, Taylor was presented the key to the city of Evansville and the City Council President declared Wednesday, April 23, 2009 “Taylor Swift Day”. It was clear that kicking off the extensive tour meant a great deal to Taylor. In a press release announcing the tour, she said:

«Headlining my own tour is a dream come true. This way I can play more music every night than I ever have before. Having written my own songs, they are all stories in my head, and my goal for this tour is to bring those stories to life. My favorite thing when I go to a concert is having lots of changing things to look at, so I've been working really hard to make this show as multi-dimensional as possible.»

Taylor Swift
As a result, the release went on to note, Taylor played five different guitars, as well as the piano and had multiple costume changes each night; the latter included a marching band/majorette outfit (replete with a massive hat) and multiple sparkly dresses. If that wasn’t impressive enough, the “Fearless Tour” shows also featured a theatrical presentation of graphics, sets and visual elements designed by Taylor herself and a fairy-tale castle illuminated by more than a million lumens of light.
Taylor Swift on the "Fearless Tour" (2009)
Taylor Swift on the "Fearless Tour" (2009)

The Show

Before the show started, video montage of Taylor and some of her friends (including Faith Hill and Lucas Till) started playing, where they each shared their own definition of being fearless. Then the show opened with the stage decorated as a school hallway. A curtain lifted and Taylor appeared at the top of the stage to the sound of thousands of screaming fans. Performing in a marching band uniform, she began singing her hit “You Belong With Me“. During the climax of the song, dancers removed her outfit to reveal a sparkling, silver dress. “Our Song” and “Tell Me Why” were performed next, before Taylor gave a speech about her high school crush Drew and his girlfriend. The backdrops of the stage turned into a library where she performed her breakthrough hit “Teardrops On My Guitar” and continued with “Fearless“, before leaving the stage for a costume change.

The “Fearless Tour” included 15 months and 110 performances on three continents and the show ran for more than 90 minutes. If Taylor was ever ready to retire the show, you wouldn’t have guessed it from how hard she worked to put across the songs. When she wasn’t acting out the songs with skits, she could really burrow into them. One of the most exciting segments began with Taylor in a red dress and “an interviewer” on red armchairs. After being insulted by a question, Taylor threw one of the armchairs across the stage, threw a fit and then proceeded to sing “Forever & Always“.

Taylor performed songs in varying locations in the stadium throughout the night. At one point, the lights were dimmed, and while the crowd was waiting for the next song, there were videos playing, mock interviews and skits. Then, screams of delight erupted in a upper level seating area. Spotlights soon revealed Taylor standing amongst her fans; there to perform “Hey Stephen” for them up close and personal. In the middle of the song she walked through the crowd, hugging and thanking everyone for attending along the way, and walked up to a B-stage. For “Tim McGraw” and “Fifteen,” a tender paean to adolescent heartache, she performed with just an acoustic guitar. The effect was magical: It was as simple and direct as the song’s heroine. The act ended with Taylor returning to the main stage, singing “White Horse“. During the song, Taylor usually looked like she might start crying. With her mouth agape and her eyes misty, she stood stock-still to survey the sight and sound of thousands of fans roaring her name every night night. She earned the adulation. For someone who had already picked up every award a 20-year-old performer could imagine, Taylor remained in awe of her fame.

The third act began with Taylor and her dancers in Renaissance attire during a performance of “Love Story”, one of the highlights of the night. She then changed into a white “wedding” gown for the final chorus of the hit song. After another quick change (this time into a purple mini-dress), she went straight into “The Way I Loved You“. At a piano, which was at the top of the stage she performed a dramatic rendition of “You’re Not Sorry“, with elements of Justin Timberlake’s “What Goes Around…Comes Around”, as her dancers, in black, performed acrobats on the bottom stage surrounded by stage fog. “Picture to Burn” and “Change” were the inofficial closers to the show, the former with fire on the backdrops, as Taylor exited for a final costume change.

During the encore, Taylor appeared on top of the stage again, in a black gown, performing “I’m Only Me When I’m With You” with her supporting acts Gloriana and Kellie Pickler; during shows in 2010, she sang “Today Was A Fairytale” alone. She then gave a speech about an ex who cheated on her and sang the final song of the night, “Should’ve Said No“. During the performance, fake rain comes from the roof of the stage and Taylor closed the show completely soaked, waving to the crows as the curtains were drawn.

Taylor Swift on the "Fearless Tour" (2010)
Taylor Swift on the "Fearless Tour" (2010)

T-Party

At every stop on the “Fearless Tour”, six workers took five hours to transform a cinder-block holding room into an exotic tented emporium to greet fans, called the “T-Party”: a central column was decorated with snapshots of Taylor and her friends, and swaths of purple, yellow, green, and red silk were draped from the top, Maypole style, forming a billowy ceiling. Virtually everything in the T-Party room was picked out by Taylor herself.

On the “Fearless Tour”, a tradition for Taylor’s shows started: Her mother Andrea Swift or an assistant scouted the arena and selected the most enthusiastic fans. She gave each lucky fan a wristband and invited them backstage later. The idea behind the T-Party dates to Taylor’s early years, when she was opening for other country stars — Rascal Flatts, Brad Paisley, George Strait. “She would wait until the headliner got back to his bus, was having his nightcap, and was going to bed,” Andrea Swift told The New Yorker. “And that’s when we would hit the concourse level for her to sign autographs.” She said that Taylor was unimpressed with the way meet and greets usually worked. “She was, like, ‘You know, if I was ever a headliner I would want to pick out people in the audience that were just so crazy and fanatical—they’d be the ones that got to come back.’ She didn’t want you to V.I.P. your way in or bribe someone or sob-story your way in. It’s just basically the fans who it would really mean the world to just sit down and have fun and talk to her.”

Boxscore

Shows on the first leg of the “Fearless Tour” sold out in minutes. Taylor said her fans’ response to her tour had been like she “won the lottery of dreams coming true,” according to The Associated Press. As the “Fearless Tour” soldiered on, Taylor’s popularity continued to grow. Fearless was certified quadruple platinum on Sept. 10, 2009, on the strength of the crossover success of “You Belong With Me” and “Love Story.” The tour’s ticket prices also helped: In the press release, Taylor added, “I want to be sure that everyone has the opportunity to come see my show, so we have affordable tickets available for every date we do this year,” which equated to a ticket price that started at $20 (plus fees) in many places.

«I always expected to have to do a lot of stressing out about selling tickets. And then I went on my first headlining tour, and everything just sold out. I've never expected that kind of success. I've never just felt entitled to my shows selling out or things like this happening to me, but the fact that they've happened to me has been wonderful.»

Taylor Swift
According to Billboard Boxscore statistics, the “Fearless Tour” grossed $63,705,590 and drew 1,138,977 fans — meaning Taylor had plenty of momentum behind her when her third album, Speak Now, arrived in October of 2010.

Journey to Fearless

Taylor Swift: Journey to Fearless is a music concert series starring Taylor. It aired as a three-night television special on Discovery Family, starting on October 22, 2010, and captured the success of the “Fearless Tour“. The documentary offers both on-stage performances and behind-the-scenes content. Not every song Taylor performed on the “Fearless Tour” is shown in the movie, however the most popular songs are included. By essentially exposing the concert as a story with phases, the episodes keep casual watchers interested while the behind-the-scenes content introduces Taylor and her life story. She provides narration, exclusive home movies and personal photos that chronicle her path from childhood dreams to becoming a superstar performer.
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General Information
Associated Album
Start DateApril 23, 2009
End Date
Locations
Asia
Europe
North America
Oceania
Legs4
No. of Shows118
Attendance1.2 million
Box Office
$66.5 million
Opening Acts
Kellie Pickler
Gloriana
Justin Bieber
TAYLOR SWIFT CONCERT CHRONOLOGY
Tour Opening Act (2006-2009)Fearless Tour (2009-2010)Speak Now World Tour (2011-2012)
Setlist
Tour Poster
Tour Opening Montage
T-Party
Fearless Era

Fearless Era

Fearless (2008)

Fearless
(Taylor's Version)

Fearless Songs

Journey to Fearless