Speak Now World Tour
Table of Contents
Background and Development
Sparks flew as Taylor opened her show with “Sparks Fly.” Dressed in a glittery gold dress, she emerged from the middle of her runway in a cloud of smoke with gold fireworks bursting behind her above the stage, as fans were screaming her name. White floodlights and purple spotlights bathed the stage and the audience while aerialists spun on stage, holding even more pyrotechnics.
The opening act left jaws hanging as fans quickly realized the show was going to be much more than your typical country concert. Taylor was silent after her first number, clearly soaking in the excitement of her audience, before she started singing “Mine.”
Taylor had said she drew on her love of Broadway when crafting her “Speak Now World Tour,” and there was evidence of that throughout — from “The Story of Us” delivered on a grand gold filigree staircase with a cadre of theater-worthy dancers to a snowy white winter scene for “Back to December.” During “Mean,” the dancers provided silly scenarios for the lyrics. The talent showcase continued between songs. To give Taylor time for some of her nine costume changes, members of her eight-piece band — and other performers such as a stage-sweeping, tap-dancing mime — entertained the crowd. As she launched into her first hit, the solidly country “Our Song,” her musicians sat behind her on a homey bandstand, and the fiddle roared. The song “Speak Now,” was played out with a wedding on stage, telling the tale of a wedding being interrupted when the preacher asks for any objections.
Taylor’s costume changes elaborated the Broadway look from glamorous gowns, ruffled, vintage costumes and glitzy short dresses. Throughout the concert she put on a one of a kind performance, including fireworks during “Dear John”, playing the piano as snow-like glitter fell from the ceiling for “Back to December” and walking through the crowd before she sat down to play several songs under an iridescent tree. There, she performed “Fearless” and “Last Kiss” with a ukulele and an acoustic guitar, while sitting underneath the purple and white, revolving lighted tree on a B-stage.
Taylor ended the show with her hit song “Love Story,” in which she soared above the audience on a “Romeo and Juliet” style balcony structure.
Acoustic Surprise Covers
At every stop on the tour, six workers take five hours to transform a cinder-block holding room into an exotic tented emporium to greet fans, called the “T-Party”: a central column is decorated with snapshots of Taylor and her friends, and swaths of purple, yellow, green, and red silk are draped from the top, Maypole style, forming a billowy ceiling. Virtually everything in the T-Party room was picked out by Taylor herself.
As is tradition for Taylor’s shows, 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 in 2011. “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.”
Speak Now...Help Now
Music Video and Tour DVD
|Start Date||February 9, 2011|
|No. of Shows||111|
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