Swift’s Spectacular RED Tour

Taylor Swift RED Tour

Taylor Swift RED Tour

“It’s going to blow your mind. I dare you not to like this show,” proclaimed Scott Borchetta during last night’s (Sept. 19) VIP reception before Taylor Swift took the stage in Nashville for her RED Tour. Media and industry elite gathered backstage at Bridgestone Arena to toast Swift’s recent successes with six plaque presentations. “She is fearless. She is about striving for greatness,” continued Borchetta.

Joining him to do the honors was David Joseph, Chairman & CEO of Universal Music Group UK. Swift was saluted with awards for four million sales each of the No. 1s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and “I Knew You Were Trouble,” one million downloads of “Begin Again,” and the chart topping status of “The Highway Don’t Care,” her duet with labelmate Tim McGraw. Joseph celebrated Swift’s four million UK sales of her latest album Red, and another plaque honored her six million U.S. sales. Recalling early meetings with the superstar and her team, Joseph said there was never a doubt about her success, “the only question was how big. The story has just begun.”

Mingling at the party were BMLG execs Jimmy Harnen and John Zarling, as well as many others, including Troy Tomlinson, Jody Williams, Pete Fisher, Kyle Young, Sherod Robertson, Bob Doerschuk and representatives from every media outlet in town.


(L-R): Universal Music Group UK/Ireland CEO & Chairman David Joseph, Taylor Swift, Big Machine Label Group President/CEO Scott Borchetta. Photo: by Larry Busacca/TAS/Getty Images for TAS

Nashville is the final stop on the Red North American tour. Swift choose to wrap the run in her hometown because she says it brings out some of her wildest followers. On the first of a three-night stand, she even saluted Nashville by sporting a blinged-out Opry T-shirt. The fan connection is one of the most amazing aspects of her spectacular show. In a huge arena she expertly cultivates an intimate connection with the crowd through open, honest dialog. Her relationship and respect for her fans remains one of Swift’s strongest ties to her country music roots. And just like she grew up listening to Shania Twain and other ‘90s stalwarts, there could be a young girl in the audience who will become the next Taylor Swift.

“I didn’t always have 13,000 people wanting to hang out with me on a Thursday night, that’s, like, a recent development,” the performer admitted as she discussed the importance of treating people kindly and feeling good about yourself before launching into “Mean.”

“I want to thank you for making my music the soundtrack to your crazy emotions,” she shared while explaining that the color red is an analogy for many of her feelings.

The audience was a vibrant sea of red clothing and pulsating lights—creating the biggest party to hit Nashville this year. The theatrical production was mind boggling, venturing from an old Hollywood set for “The Lucky One,” to wind-up toy ballet dancers for “Love Story.” Elaborate sets and wardrobes are Swift’s hallmarks; choreography and her acting prowess add up to unstoppable perfection.

When performing songs from her previous albums, the scene was reminiscent of a fairy tale. For the trip down memory lane she re-imagined some of her biggest hits, including a doo-wop version of “You Belong With Me” backed by Supremes-style girl group. She went old school with just an acoustic guitar to perform “Our Song” on the secondary stage and recalled penning it for her 9th grade talent show at Hendersonville High School. Today songwriting is still the bedrock of her career. She performed the expertly crafted “All Too Well” on a piano which was, of course, painted red.

During “Sparks Fly,” a platform carried her through the air above the audience. Known for welcoming surprise guests, Luke Bryan appeared for a fun duet of his mega-hit “I Don’t Want This Night to End.”

The finale was a trippy Alice In Wonderland scene commanded by a high-flying Swift in a red ringmaster costume. It was a stellar combination of the evening’s best elements: sparkle, glitter and dazzling excitement in a swarm of confetti.


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Category: Artist, Featured, Touring

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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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