A lot of country music fans were not sorry when Taylor Swift announced she was going pop with her “1989” album, which was released last fall. I’ll admit, Swifty is not one of my favorite artists.
So when I came upon free tickets to see the 25-year-old in Columbus on her world tour, I wasn’t that thrilled. Taylor was the first country crush of my K99.1 FM morning show partner, Frye Guy, so he was excited about it.
And the end result? Her show last Thursday at Nationwide Arena was one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to.
Here are five things I didn’t know about Taylor Swift.
1. Her fans are super devoted. Sure, the average age is around 15, but I’ve never seen so many Taylor look-alikes, Taylor posters, homemade Taylor T-shirts, Taylor fans singing karaoke, countless live radio and TV broadcasts and glitter in my life. The reason why? Taylor is known to hand pick a couple dozen fans from each show to “hang out” with her after the concert in “Loft 89.”
2. Every person who attends her show feels like they have a one-on-one experience with her. Each and every fan receives a PixMob LED wristband with integrated RFID chip that reacts to the music and her singing. Some folks may be green, others red, blue or white and be on a 1-2 count, while others are 3-4. So no matter if you are in the “nosebleed” section, you are still very much part of the show. The 1989 stage features a super long “catwalk” runway that lifts up and rotates throughout the crowd.
If you are lucky enough to meet her, you’ll find that she is not a “hihowareyousmilenext” artist. She has a conversation with you, makes constant eye contact and always finds something about each person to compliment. Every. Single. Time.
3. She sings live. Her mom, Andrea, who is also her manager, was adamant that her daughter does not lip sync but sings each and every note to every song.
4. The 1989 Tour by the numbers: When it’s all said and done, T-S will hit nine countries and 53 cities. There are 12 male dancers and four female backup singers, who all undergo as many costume changes as Taylor. She makes 12 changes, each within two-minute time spans as she performs 18 songs over two hours. The Taylor set-up team uses close to two dozen semi-trucks to haul all the equipment, lighting, costumes, etc. It takes over six hours to set everything up and just two hours to tear it down.
5. Taylor is super tall. She’s already 5-foot-10 but consistently wears 5-inch heels. You do the math.
Those were just a few things I learned about Taylor Swift. I’m not necessarily a fan girl now, but I have a whole new appreciation for someone who truly, really does care about the people who made her who she is.
Nancy Wilson is a morning radio personality for K99.1-FM.