Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Taylor Swift: Fearless

High-pitched screaming. Cheering. Arms waving. More screaming. Through my earplugs, I could still hear the excitement. Yes, I am the parent of a Taylor Swift fan. And yes, I, too, am Fearless.

Among thousands of groupies at the recent concert as part of her “Fearless” tour, I was fascinated by Taylor Swift. She lives up to her reputation of being beautiful, energetic and connected. I have never seen a performer work so hard at making sure she exuded a sense of one-on-one connection with each of her fans. She displays a sense of gratitude and humility while sharing her talents as an artist and a person. Taylor Swift may only be nineteen, but is wise beyond her years. There were moments during the concert when I intentionally sat down and looked around. The joy of seeing my daughter experience this concert was palpable. Watching others, however, I understood the appeal of this young artist. The wide range of ages among the Swift fans—girls as young as four years old up to women who must’ve been older than me (oh, the horror)—were all singing along to those familiar lyrics of a female’s life. Dreams of being a princess; finding our own way in this world; recovering after being treated badly by a boyfriend—all common themes and perpetually relatable. It has been a long time, but I could still recall being “Fifteen” at the prompting of Taylor’s lilting rendition of teenage life.

I was also fascinated at the purity of the concert experience. Growing up in the era of rock ‘n roll rebellion, I associated concerts with radical dynamics, not the music. This time, the music itself was a welcome treat, as if I was chatting with my best friend or reading a great book.

As we stumbled along with the rest of the herd to exit the concert, a young girl next to me exclaimed my favorite comment: “This will be the topic of discussion for the rest of my LIFE!” Now that’s quite an impression.

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