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TAYLOR SWIFT
Written By: Gary Crouthamel
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TAYLOR SWIFT
TAYLOR SWIFT
TAYLOR SWIFT
TAYLOR SWIFT
TAYLOR SWIFT
TAYLOR SWIFT
TAYLOR SWIFT
TAYLOR SWIFT
        For my second show at the "Link" in 3 weeks, I made my way across Patterson Ave. and walked across the now sacred ground that used to house the "Spectrum", where I have nothing but fantastic memories now. As I made my way to the Link, all the parking lots had nothing but major Taylor-Gating going on where there were 85 percent moms, daughters, teens and college-age girls everywhere in cowboy hats, boots and daisy dukes as far as I could see. And once again, I'm not talking about Daisy Duke up on Channel Buoy Rd.
        As the lights go out, 51,000 screaming fans (the majority females) wave glow sticks waiting for Taylor Swift to make her entrance. She soon appeared, rising up from the stage that extended out into the audience on the field, wearing a gold-fringed dress and cowboy boots. She’s playing a red guitar opening up her "Speak Now" tour with "Sparks Fly." After soaking in the moment she said, "I actually grew up right down the road in Reading on a farm out there. I remember when I was a kid, my dad would always have the Eagle's game on, of course. And when I watched the games, I wondered what it would be like to be in that place with that many people. And I have to tell you, it’s breathtaking. 51,000 people chose to spend their Saturday night with me, and I couldn't be happier about it!"
        The "Speak Now" tour is a world class production was high-tech, complete with several costume and set changes, pyrotechnics, massive high-definition video screens and a troupe of dancers/actors.The stage's foundation resembled an ornate staircase and balcony, and props were added and taken away throughout the show.  I'll probably hear flack around town for this but I do have to say this show and production blew away the U2 show I just saw three weeks ago at the same stadium. And for only her second time around as a headliner, to see her handle it all with such grace and confidence just blew me away and I applaud her. She next played "Mine", "Story of Us" and on "Our Song" and "Mean" she played on a makeshift porch and "Back to December" with confetti falling from above. Next "Better Than Revenge" and "Speak Now" with a mock wedding set up on stage with pews, priest, bridesmaids and the doomed couple. For "Fearless" she plucked a ukulele and played acoustic on "Last Kiss". Then after “You Belong With Me” the fireworks introduced "Dear John" , "Enchanted" and "Haunted", a ballad about lost love with her dancers pulling another Cirque routine before rounding out the first set with "Long Live" and covers from two Philly-based artists - Pink's "Who Knew" and TLC's "Unpretty" -  whom she said were among her favorites.
        To close out this 130-minute show, she came out and said, "Oh yes, I'm the girl wearing the Eagles jeresy and a ball gown at the same time, the jersey featuring her lucky number 13 which was also written on her right wrist. She encored with "Fifteen" and then stood on her balcony on the stage and ended with the Romeo and Juliet themed "Love Story". The show wrapped up about 11pm, and the timing couldn't have been better as the clouds, which had been threatening for much of the day, finally let loose.
        Swift's "Speak Now" tour features various opening acts and runs through late November. So If you get a chance to see this country-style sensation, go and see her - you won’t be dissatisfied.
– Gary Crouthamel, concert photo/journalist
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