Singer-Songwriter – Blogger – Guitarist – Content Creator – INTJ
It was a very Swift week, starting with a little detour north to Dallas for the State Fair (!) and the museum-like Taylor Swift Experience. Join me and my new hat.
Last night I got to fulfill one of my Big Bucket List Items (TM) and see Taylor Swift do her awesome music thing live in person from a few rows back at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin.
It was amazing.
From the opening bassy rumbles that shot through the crowd of 80,000 people like an earthquake, to Taylor rising up from center stage, to every song being a complete joy because I’d think, “YES I LOVE THIS SONG!” It’s not often that I get to really embrace my pop music self outside of my 4 walls and sing and dance and get lost in a spectacle, but all of that was supplied by Taylor on Saturday night.
I went with Concert Buddy Extraordinaire, Melinda Ann. She knows how to roll, and we both share a need to be close to the action which is always good. If you go to a show with someone who isn’t cool with being crushed by a horde of people, you definitely won’t be near the action. We got all up in there.
Taylor had a cold, and in the Most Realest Thing I have ever seen an international pop star do on stage…she had her background vocalists bring her tissues from time to time and she’d just blow her nose right there. Sometimes you just gotta get the snot out so you can sing. I’d also like to note that I feel like my luck is also that if I had one gig all year long (this was her only 2016 show), I’d probably get a cold too. Not insurmountable, but a bit of Murphy’s Law at work.
‘Cause when you’re fifteen and somebody tells you they love you
You’re gonna believe them
And when you’re fifteen feeling like there’s nothing to figure out but
count to ten, take it in
This is life before you know who you’re gonna be
…these girls were just sobbing and singing along, grabbing each other for their favorite lines, and I am POSITIVE feeling like no one in the world understands them like Taylor Swift understands them right now.
This is interesting for a couple of reasons…say what some people will about T-Swift and pop music and 18-year-olds writing songs (STEP UP HATERS I CAN HANDLE YOU), but Taylor really just hits the nail on the head of a true emotion. Theoretically it’s a true emotion that she had herself (though songwriting is not always that way…other people’s emotions are fair game in songwriter land)…but however she did it, it came out as a piece of writing that is able to connect to a massive swath of people, and KEEP connecting to subsequent generations. That is why pop music is short for “popular music.” That song is 10 years old, so 25-year-olds are reminiscing about it, and these 15-year-olds are living it right now. That’s timeless, and that’s important.
In fact, I saw a great quote on the wall at the Taylor Swift Experience at the State Fair (it was a very Swift week, what can I say?):
“Swift is one of pop’s finest songwriters, country’s foremost pragmatist and more in touch with her inner life than most adults.”- The New York Times
I TOTALLY get this when I listen to Taylor, and as a 30-something (I’m about 4 years into my Swift fandom so I started my 30’s with her), I can give you a laundry list of favorite lyrics of hers that hit me somewhere meaningful. She transcends her age with her writing, and while it’s poetic, it’s more the thoughtful dissection of a visceral feeling that I appreciate when I’m listening to a Swift song.
Those girls were appreciating it, too, among 80,000 of us on a race track on the outskirts of Austin last night. It hit them in the gut, and I have no doubt those moments will continue to happen for them with Taylor’s music as they seem to keep happening for me. This is why pop music is important. These teenage fans might be the ones that support your favorite band in 10 years, because Taylor taught them how to really connect with a song. Just don’t be surprised if they’re still singing along to “Fifteen,” too…that formative song bond is a hard one to break. Mary Chapin Carpenter taught me how to let a song crawl into my insides and make its home when I was 15 years old…and I’m glad she opened that space so all these new songs including Taylor’s get to come in, too.
And then we all danced everything bad out of our system and kept all the good…we’ll all be buzzing on this show for a good while to come, I imagine.
In which I am very excited to see Taylor Swift in Austin and just putting that thing out to the universe that is called “The Ask.” 🙂
I am super honored to be included in the Dripping Springs Songwriters Festival as a featured songwriter this year…here’s where I’ll be all weekend. Head on over to downtown Dripping and see all 44 of us play (but not all at once, that’d be hard to process, I think)!
Lots of playing music…on guitar and on disc!
Nostalgia, man…it’s powerful.
So this is exciting. I had a great time teaching a couple of rounds of Lilith Fair Guitar and I thought, “What else am I obsessed with that I can teach to others?” Well, the answer became clear:
I took a while to put this up, probably to prolong the good vibes of travel. I had a blast of a day in London…including a stop at Gordon Ramsay’s Maze Grill, which makes the 3rd Ramsay establishment I have visited. Gotta catch ’em all!
I also entertained my macabre side with a Jack the Ripper tour…I won’t lie, as the tour went on and the night got darker, I got more creeped out. Even in modern, posh, expensive London, you can feel a ghost or 3 around sometimes.
Because…a glut is a good thing? Scroll down and go up for chronological order!
Vlog 34: Isle of Wight
Vlog 33: Edinburgh
Vlog 32: Dublin to Glasgow