Taylor Swift performed the first of three sold-out shows at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena Thursday night Sept.19), with Saturday’s concert marking the end of the US leg of her Red Tour. Slacker joined the music superstar at a pre-show reception, where she explained the decision to wrap up the trek in the city she has called home for almost a decade.
“This is not only my hometown but is one of the craziest crowds that we play to. So on the last tour, I made a mental note: we need to end the tour in Nashville next time,” she told partygoers. “I see faces here I’ve known for years, and I’m so happy that you still want to come see me play a show. This is the most exciting night of the tour for me.”
The beaming beauty was presented with several plaques at the reception, commemorating her staggering album and single sales. Her latest album, “Red,” has now sold six million copies, and she was also surprised to discover Thursday that she’s up to four million in album sales in the U.K. alone.
Swift is hard at work to keep that momentum going. “Up next, I’m going to make another album,” she told the crowd, adding sarcastically, “I mean, I think I want to keep doing this.
“I really like to take two years to write a record. I’ve been writing for the last year, and this is the year that it goes into overdrive,” she continued. “It’s all I think about and I become obsessive over it … I’m hard to talk to. It’s a weird thing that I need to work on!”
Swift did a lot of talking to the thousands of fans packed in the downtown Nashville arena – telling stories behind the songs and profusely thanking everyone for their support over the years. Her high-energy, explosive set included fan favorites ranging from her very first No. 1 hit, “Our Song,” to her current duet with Red Tour opening act, Ed Sheeran, “Everything Has Changed.” A second duet partner was a huge surprise to the audience – country superstar Luke Bryan, who sang one of his biggest hits, “I Don’t Want This Night to End,” with Taylor.
Proving her concerts are as much of a theatrical event as they are a music show, Swift had no fewer than seven costume changes throughout the night (though we lost count!). She incorporated more choreography into the set than on any previous tour, and played out several songs as if she were creating their music videos right there on stage. For “You Belong With Me,” she and her backup singers wore red cocktail dresses with long red gloves and delivered the tune in ‘50s Motown girl group style — through both their vocals and dance moves. For “I Knew You Were Trouble,” the stage and backup dancers transformed into what looked like a scene from “Phantom of the Opera.” She literally flew while singing “Sparks Fly,” performing from a stage suspended over the audience. And she ended the show by taking fans to the circus – the “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” circus, that is, complete with stilt-walkers, clowns and Swift herself dressed as the ringmaster for the colorful finale.
Up next for the Grammy winner is the Australian leg of her Red Tour, followed by stops in other parts of the world that have not yet been announced – all while feverishly writing for her next album, of course.