Speak Now World Tour
The second outing for Taylor brought her to even more far-flung parts of the world — and nearly doubled the box office revenue of the “Fearless Tour”. Special guests were diverse and unpredictable — Taylor opted to surprise fans with duets with the likes of Jason Mraz, Nicki Minaj, Justin Bieber, Usher, T.I. and many others.
Another brilliant move was the use of acoustic cover versions that paid tribute to a local artist in certain cities. This was to include elements of spontaneity in what might have been a rehearsed, pre-programmed show, with Taylor saying this: “You’ll have a lot of people who will come to more than one show, and I want them to get a different experience every time.“ And the moments that resulted are almost too many to mention, from a moving performance of “Fire and Rain” with James Taylor at Madison Square Garden to rousing covers of Switchfoot, Fall Out Boy and many others.
At the conclusion of 2011, the tour was placed fourth on Pollstar’s annual “Top 25 Worldwide Tours”, earning $104.2 million with 100 shows. This made it the highest-grossing female and solo tour of 2011.
While promoting “Speak Now”, Taylor mentioned her excitement for her upcoming tour. She stated that the tour was going to be “big” and “extensive”.
“I’m so excited to go back out on tour again in 2011! The ‘Fearless Tour’ was so much fun and even more unforgettable than I ever imagined, and I can’t wait to get back out and play my new music from ‘Speak Now’! The fans have been so amazing and I’m thrilled to play in new cities around the world and meet even more of my fans in 2011!” — Taylor Swift
On November 23, 2010, various media outlets announced the second tour by Taylor. It follows her successful “Fearless Tour” which played for over 100 dates in over five countries. The tour marked her first tour to perform in stadiums. Before the tour commenced, Taylor performed “The Allure of Taylor Swift” aboard the MS Allure of the Seas at the Allure of the Seas Aquatheater, as a part of Royal Caribbean Cruises in January 2011. Taylor used Tom Petty’s “American Girl” as her entrance song.
During the North American and Australasian tour legs, Taylor wrote different song lyrics, and occasionally quotes from famous speeches and movies, on her left arm for each performance. She has said that the lyrics should be viewed as a nightly “mood ring” and The New Yorker has cited the practice as an example of Taylor’s “keen understanding of what fuels fan obsession in the first place: a desire for intimacy between singer and listener”.
ACOUSTIC COVER VERSIONS
Taylor performed many acoustic cover versions during her North American tour. In each city, she paid tribute to a homegrown artist. She has said the cover versions allowed her to be “spontaneous” in an otherwise well-rehearsed show: “You’ll have a lot of people who will come to more than one show, and I want them to get a different experience every time.”
SPEAK NOW…HELP NOW
Taylor invited a select set of fans to her final dress rehearsal of the “Speak Now World Tour” on May 21, 2011, as her way to raise money for the victims of the tornadoes that have ravaged the south that year. The Nashville concert, dubbed “Speak Now…Help Now,” raised over $750,000, and 100 percent of ticket sales were donated directly to the tornado victims via the “Speak Now … Help Now Fund” established through the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.
It also gave Swifties a chance to see her new stage set up in advance of the tour launch. It was a gift that kept on giving to both fans and victims of the tornadoes. Fans not in Tennessee were able to view some of the show via a stream, too. Taylor spoke about how she came up with the plan to allow fans to view the rehearsal, saying that a dry run was what gave her the bright idea in the first place:
“One of my dancers lives in Alabama and showed photos of a backyard cyclone and I thought, ‘If there was any way I could help with damage done and families who lost homes, I had to think of one.’ Here we are at a rehearsal, in an arena, with empty seats. What if we fill those seats? And give the proceeds to the victims of the tornadoes?” — Taylor Swift
During the course of the two-hour show’s theatrical presentation, Taylor showed off her array of talents and played acoustic guitar, electric guitar, ukulele, banjo and piano. It was an out and out success, as fans started lining up for the “Speak Now…Help Now” special event at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena around 6AM on Friday, more than 36 hours before doors opened for the capacity crowd of 13,700 in attendance.
|Start Date||February 9, 2011|
|No. of Shows||110|
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