August 21, 2013

Re-eee-ed, Re-eee-ed Tour 2013

Yesterday feels like a very strange dream; complete with a little drama, theatricality, good music, the city of Angels, and Taylor Swift. Let me explain how it all went down!

I woke up around 7:30, got ready, talked with my dad for a few minutes, and my mom and I were ready to go by 8:30, which is when we had originally planned to leave. Well, there is a bit of construction going on around our neighborhood, so it took us a little longer to get to the freeway. Then, I was reminded that I forgot something, so we had to turn around and go back. I was not in a good mood...But, I tried to perk up a little. Finally, we were back on the road, so I set the tunes to Taylor, of course, since that's who we were on our way to see. I always like to get pumped up to the artist we're going to see. It just helps me feel festive, that's all.

Shirt//Forever 21, Shorts//Forever 21, Shoes//Target
We made it down to LA in really good timing! The traffic wasn't bad at all, so we ended up in town around 10:30, so that gave us plenty of time. I was trying to think of somewhere different to eat, but just decided with Paty's, since it was close and I know they have good food. I had a chicken wrap that was good, but I was too excited to eat really, so I just sort of ended up picking around and eating the chicken! Too much avocado isn't always a good thing! LOL. We finished lunch and would've had time to do some other things, but not knowing how the system at Taylor's concert worked for the pit, we wanted to make sure we got over there to check it all out.

My mom and I drove into downtown, parked the car, then walked to Staples Center to see if we could pick up our tickets at will call. Well, because the confirmation e-mail never said what time you could do that, we assumed you could just do it whenever. As it turns out, we couldn't pick them up until 4:30, so we had a ton of time to kill and absolutely nothing to do. There's not much else to do around L.A Live, unless you're there for a concert or to eat...So, that sort of narrowed it down. And we had just been to the Grammy museum again a couple months ago. We mainly just wandered around, then I suggested going to FIDM (Fashion Institute). They have a really awesome student scholarship store that has a lot of discounted clothes and jewelry that some of the students have either made or used for projects! I found a lot of great items last time, and thought it'd be something to do! I didn't buy anything, because I wanted to save what money I had for Taylor...that girl always knows how to find a way to empty my wallet!
On the FIDM campus, they usually have an exhibit of costumes from motion pictures that were nominated for the academy awards and it's free (you can donate if you want to on the way out), so my mom and I wondered if they had switched it out with something else. Indeed they had, so we gave that a little looksie... it had costumes from several hit shows like, Nashville, Downton Abbey, Two Broke Girls, Parks and Recreation, Girls, Scandal, and several others that I hadn't really heard of. It's amazing to see how tall or small the actors are who wear them, compared to the idea you have while you watch them on the small screen. There was also a room full of one of the largest collections of 1920s outfits inspired by "Gatsby's women", which was fascinating. So many incredible flapper dresses; the beading and detailing were mesmerizing. I would love to time travel back to that era.
After that, we had killed an hour, with several more to go and no idea what to do next. It was a little warm and I was not in the happiest of moods, which unfortunately seems to be the theme lately, and something I bring on myself. I stress myself out over absolutely nothing most of the time or worry myself to death about the future, causing everyone around me to be miserable. My mom and I had a bit of a...moment...and had to talk some things out.
The fashion around downtown LA as we walked around is definitely something else...Everyone has their own flavor, which is exciting! After that, we walked back to the Staples/Nokia area. I was able to pick up some goodies from the merch table, then we wandered a little more. We were both getting pretty tired of "wandering", so we took a bit of a break, grabbed something to drink and ended up sitting behind Staples near the buses, because we had absolutely nothing else to do, as people gave us strange looks, like what are you waiting around for? No, we weren't even waiting or expecting Taylor to come out, so there was absolutely nothing going on. The sun moved its way over to us, so we decided to walk back to the car and came back to sit by the box office, so we were ready to go when pit was released.
While we were waiting, a younger girl came over to us and handed out cards, explaining she's a singer/songwriter, that if you like Taylor, you'd love her music too. I thought it was such a bold move, which I admired. She asked to take a picture with me for her fan site, and explained that she has a headlining show coming up at The House of Blues on sunset soon, which is a pretty big deal around here! She was really sweet, so I looked her up on Twitter and Instagram; definitely going to check out her music! Ellysa Rose was her name, in case any of you are interested :)

Eventually, 4:30 rolled around and we got in line for the passes. We started talking to a couple moms with daughters about Taylor...What else, right?! And I actually met the sister of a girl who had contacted me on Twitter...Small world! I was explaining how I'd been able to meet Taylor a few times and the story rang a bell with her! HA! Totally random! After we picked up our tickets, we went to the door and waited for an hour, talking with a mom and her 12 year old daughter. We were telling them about some of our trips to Nashville, as well as winning T-Party and pit. They told us all about their "Taylor Trip" to Nashville, hitting all of the places she goes...Needless to say, we got along real well. They were so sweet, and we thought we would be in the pit together...But, we ended up being on opposite sides, realizing we were in the wrong line. We should have been in the front row of the pit, but the guy wouldn't let us go down the same way, even though it didn't matter, so we had to go around to find another entrance that would allow us floor access. Such a crazy thing! We finally ended up in line, pretty far back, but we still made it against the other side, touching the stage, which was all I cared about.  I thought, "She'll use all of the stage at some point, so we'll be fine here." The waiting took forever, because we still had an hour to go before the show even started...But, it wasn't too bad. I think it's great that Taylor always makes every show of hers feel like an experience. Complete with booths, picture taking and lots of videos and music to keep you occupied.

At last, the lights went out and stage lights went up for Casey James! He's really talented, can jam on the guitar, and is a great songwriter. I enjoyed his set, which was only about four songs, and he seemed to have the crowd going..I just think he seems to be better with playing small bars/venues for the style he does, but you just never know. Ed Sheeran was up next and I was really excited to see him live, because everyone has said he's great! I've only listened to a little bit of his music on Spotify, but fell in love with "Lego House," so I was glad that was his last single and also that he played it live. What I loved most about him is that he's so hilarious and witty, and I just think he should make YouTube videos of all of his adventures around the world (if he doesn't already?) because he's so endearing. I can see why him and Taylor get along so well. Not all of his music is my style, but I think he's an incredible artist and knows how to draw an audience in. Can't wait to see what he does after the Red tour!
There was a bit of an intermission, and we had started talking to the security guard standing next to us. He said he would tell them he had two people for Club Red if they were looking for people..I didn't actually think he had any pull, but it was a nice gesture. And finally, "American Woman" started playing over the loud speaker... I knew exactly what that meant. Taylor was heading to the stage.
The lights went out for the last time, and the screams went to another level. I had my hand on the stage,  looking out to the sea of people all screaming for Taylor, waving their glow sticks and signs in the air just hoping that she'd even glimpse their way. It's the most unreal thing I've ever experienced. I can see how she says something like that never gets old. As a little girl, that was all I'd ever dreamed of...Standing on a stage, hearing people shout and sing along with me. Some dreams change, and I realize that might not be where I end up, but living it out from the pit of a Taylor Swift concert is pretty darn close. She represents girls everywhere who dream of that someday or just want to have that little fantasy of it happening to them.

A shadow of Taylor appeared behind the large red curtain, as the band began to play "State of Grace," and the roar of the crowd erupted. I always tell myself I won't cry...and then I do. And I did last night. Several times. I'm just SO SO proud of her. To have literally been there from the beginning, watching her grow into this worldwide phenomenon is just mind boggling. I mean, we all knew she was capable of it She walked down the grand staircase, strutting down the catwalk, and pretty soon, she was off and running. Towards the end of the song, she even gave away the hat she was wearing, placing it on the girl's head, and I just about freaked out! I can't even imagine being that girl. 
Taylor popped out a few more catchy, upbeat songs, like "Holy Ground" and "Red." She even thanked everyone in the audience for being the reason that she broke records as having the most sellouts for a solo artist, beating out Madonna, Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears, with 11 shows. CRAZY! She went into several more songs, and most of the time, I was just thinking how insane it was to have watched her at 17 years old, opening for Brad Paisley, and the only thing she had to sell to a crowd was the blue backdrop with her name on it, her guitar and her songs. Now, she has her own trucks with her face painted on every one of them carrying all kinds of equipment, an entire production team with big screens and graphics, dancers, backup singers, and all kinds of surprises up her sleeve. Just when I think she can't get any better, she does. 
The concert was going incredible! She had just finished up the set at the back of the auditorium and made her way to the main stage for "22"--SO FUN! Everyone was rocking out. And then came another moment I had been waiting for all night...she started talking about the surprise guest, which was Tegan and Sara. I know some people were freaking out about that, I'm just not that familiar with their music, so it wasn't a big deal to me. About that time, my mom leaned over to me and just said, "I don't feel good." I kept asking her if we needed to leave, because I didn't want her to start feeling worse before we left, and she said no. She went rummaging through her purse and said, "I can't find my...I can't find my..." I kept asking her what, because I was going to find it for her if she didn't feel like looking for it. She put her purse down and lay her head down on the stage, I was trying to comfort her as best as I could, but I didn't know what to do. The next thing I know she's falling down on the ground. I didn't know what was happening. Probably the scariest moment ever, not knowing what to do, with a million different thoughts running through my head. I mean, we're in the pit in the middle of a Taylor Swift concert...what do you do?? The security guard next to us stepped in and we tried to get her up, but she couldn't. So, she tried to stay there for a few seconds, until another security came up and said, "We need to get her out of here." Uh, yeah, no kidding! That's what we're trying to do, but she doesn't have the strength yet. So, after one of the nice bystanders helped out and others just stared awkwardly not knowing what was going on and turning their direction back to the concert, we were escorted by several security members up the stairs. I glanced at the stage one last time as we walked out of the pit, and could've sworn Amos was making eye contact, probably wondering what was going on...And then we were out. 
We went up to the lobby area to sit down for a little while, while first aid came to make sure my mom was okay. They asked us several questions, also telling us it wasn't the first passing out stint they've had at a Taylor show, just the first of the night. They got her some water and continued asking for information and what actually happened in there, if she had passed out or fell. She didn't really remember that much at the moment, but I clarified that she went down. It turns out it was just dehydration, we hadn't really drank much or eaten since 10:30 or 11 a.m, and we had been in the sun just about all day...Which is something we aren't totally used to, so that means drinking a lot of water and resting up now to make up for it.
She kept joking with the guy that we should get Club Red...But, of course, that didn't happen! Haha! Trust me, that was not an intentional plan. After mom started feeling a little better and was just trying to take it easy, she said I could go back in to watch the last few songs. All Too Well had already started up when I was out in the lobby, but I was able to make it back inside for the last half. The security guard talked to one of the ushers and she said it was okay if I just stood at the top. To be honest, I actually liked that view much better. It was easier to see all of the dancers and detail on the stage, instead of glancing every which way to keep up from the pit, but was still a lot of fun down there...There's a different energy that you just can't get anywhere else in the venue.  
Taylor closed out the show with "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" with confetti flying through the air. It was pretty magical, I must say. I left a few seconds early to beat the rush and met up with my mom. Luckily, we got out of there pretty quickly and made it out before the crowd hit and our parking lot was just across the street when we took the back exit. We hurried to the car and headed to the freeway. What a night, is all I can say. 

Definitely Taylor's best concert so far, I think. As special as each tour has been for me, I feel like this one was just really fun and heartfelt. She seemed the most natural again, while still making it feel like you're at a real live stage show, complete with costume changes and all. My favorite part of the entire show was "The Lucky One." Taylor always goes into so much detail with everything that she does; making videos, her monologues, her hidden messages in songs. Whatever she does, she makes sure that it is well thought out and planned, and that definitely shows! I will ALWAYS be a fan of hers...I don't care what genre she is. She makes fantastic music and puts on one heck of a show, to think otherwise...You obviously haven't seen her live.

We got out of LA with no problem and made it to Valencia, grabbing In-N-Out, then hitting the road again that would lead us home. We were even starting to chuckle at mom's little tumble LOL...I told her, "We are never ever ever going to another concert together." I was obviously just kidding, but thought it was fitting with the Taylor Swift theme, and then we laughed a little more at all of the stupid things that we'd say or come up with on the way home. We made it home around 12:30, and talked to my dad for a few minutes about the night and the concert, then hit the hay. Going to concerts is quite the exhausting process...Some people don't even understand! HA! 

That's all for now,

Oh, and stay tuned for a vlog of pictures and video of the night's festivities! :)

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