Taylor’s debut concert tour was an ambitious success from the get-go, taking her around the globe. The “Fearless Tour” wound through the United States, Canada and England through November of 2009, then picked back up in Australia in February of 2010, before concluding with another North American leg from March to May of 2010. Taylor also opened several shows for Keith Urban (and one for Kenny Chesney) and performed at select festivals during the run.
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.
The show ran more than 90 minutes. The setlist, appropriately, drew heavily from Fearless and Taylor’s 2006 self-titled effort, Taylor Swift, 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.
OPENING ACTS AND SPECIAL GUESTS
Opening acts on the 2009 North American leg of the “Fearless Tour” included Gloriana and Kellie Pickler. Believe it or not, then-burgeoning pop star and now-enemy Justin Bieber opened some dates in the UK. As she would come to do on many future tours, Taylor brought her openers onstage during her own set; each night, she collaborated with Gloriana and Kellie Pickler on a performance of “I’m Only Me When I’m With You.”
But even higher-profile guests teamed up with Taylor at various times, including appearances from John Mayer (May 22, 2009), Faith Hill (September 12, 2009) and Katy Perry (April 15, 2010).
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.
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.
WRITING THE NEXT ALBUM WHILE ON TOUR
In an interview with US teen magazine Twist, Taylor stated that she was writing songs for her next album while touring, saying that she was “addicted to recording”‘. While touring, she released the single “American Girl“, which was recorded on Verizon’s “Mobile Recording Studio Bus”. It is a cover of the original song by Tom Petty and was available via Rhapsody, iTunes or the Verizon Wireless Download Store.
|Start Date||April 23, 2009|
|No. of Shows||118|