MIRANDA BROOKWELL/Youth Correspondent
Last week, I was lucky enough to attend Taylor Swift’s Edmonton performance of her Speak Now World Tour. I went with two friends, and we were lucky enough to have third row floor seats – right up in the action, not missing a moment. As Taylor walked toward the edge of the stage, we were literally four feet from her, shrieking like little girls, all dignity and “cool” factor thrown aside. If there’s a time and a place for that kind of behaviour, it was that evening.
Tynille Clemmer, Emily Mayhew and I enjoyed a truly amazing night full of great music, stage performance, and being showered in confetti, but while reflecting on the night’s events later on, I realized it was about much more than that. I think everyone in Rexall Place left the concert feeling like they knew the real Taylor Swift.
What surprised me about Taylor is her genuinely sweet personality. She was constantly humble, like she still couldn’t believe that 13,000 people were sitting there wanting nothing more than to see her. Even with many television performances and humongous concerts across the globe, she seemed absolutely delighted to be in Edmonton, Alta. Tears came to her eyes as she spoke of how wonderful the crowd was, and how much she enjoyed the opportunity to make a career of her true passion. Somehow, it didn’t sound like something she’d said every night at every concert (even though I’m sure it was). Maybe she actually means it.
The crowd was mainly female, from young toddlers who wore safety earplugs, to women far older than we were. There were even some guys with small crowds of friends, shouting at a much lower octave than their surroundings, and therefore making them quite easily heard. It was definitely the best people watching experience of my life. As fun as it was screaming our heads off and singing at the top of our lungs, I think it’s also important that everyone who was there had the opportunity to see Taylor Swift as a role model. There were two women sitting behind us with their daughters, both around age eight, and the looks on their faces when she walked toward us were priceless. It was like they were watching a dream come true, right before their eyes. Maybe those little girls like to sing. Maybe someday they’ll pick up a guitar and fall in love, and they’ll remember who inspired them. Taylor Swift didn’t fit in at school. Other girls bullied her and look where she is now — normal girl with an extraordinary attitude, living her dreams!
It’s a really special feeling to be pleasantly surprised. And whether that comes from your cranky old neighbour bringing you your latest issue of the Ponoka News, or a celebrity who has the humility to show 13,000 people that she’s still a good girl from a small town, sometimes people surprise us.
Thank you, Taylor Swift, for giving us small town “girls next door” someone to look up to.
“Real life is a funny thing, you know. In real life, saying the right thing at the right moment is beyond crucial. So crucial in fact, that most of us start to hesitate, for fear of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. But lately what I’ve began to fear more than that, is letting the moment pass without saying anything. I think you deserve to look back on your life without this chorus of resounding voices saying, ‘I could’ve, but it’s too late now.’ So there’s a time for silent, and there’s a time for waiting your turn. But if you know how you feel and you so clearly know what you need to say, you’ll know it. I don’t think you should wait. I think you should speak now.”
— Taylor Swift