As all of you assuredly know—both because you were, hopefully, born with ears and because you are not as good looking as Jake Gyllenhaal and therefore are not capable of going around and taking pop stars' virginities in between takes of the Source Code—Taylor Swift is the most talented person on the face of the Earth. She can sing. She can sort of, but not really, dance. She once beat Reggie Miller in a game of Pig. She can read. She can write. She is capable of snapping her fingers and ruining music critics’ lives. She can play guitars with teardrops on them without letting the moisture damage the strings whatsoever.
Say what you will about T-Swift, but you cannot deny her talent. You cannot rebuff her societal impact. And you cannot repudiate the fact that, when Taylor Swift is on a stage, even future president Kanye West has to take notice. I took notice of Taylor Swift on Monday night. I took notice of her concert. This is everything that I saw.
A Running Diary of A Taylor Swift Concert
6:42 P.M.-I am in the 497th person in this particular ticket line waiting to get into the Scottrade Center. There is a young Asian couple in front of me taking selfies, not with a cellphone, but with a Canon camera the size of 14 I Phone 6+s stapled together. I am in the background of several of their pictures picking my nose. #ImageIsEverything
6:59 P.M.-Finally get to the metal detector meant to ensure that no one is bringing throwing stars into Taylor Swift’s concert. The young Asian couple in front of me is stopped. Turns out that there is a warning on the ticket stating that there would be no “Gigantic Canon Cameras” allowed into the building. I walk by them wondering whether or not we are in America and where in the hell people can buy cameras nowadays in the first place.
7:06 P.M.-In the elevator heading up to the private suite with several small children who’s parents evidently spent $972,000 to make sure that their offspring could hear the over sexualized tune #WildestDreams surrounded by opulence and a copious amounts of free hot dogs. A little girl smiles at me. I scowl at her. I had to work hard and save for 28-years to be able to afford to pay $0 to sit in a suite that a friend of a friend gave me a free ticket to, and your 8-year-old ass gets handed everything on a silver platter. Goddamn kids these days. Don’t have to earn nothin’ themselves. And they probably don’t know how double negatives work neither.
7:16 P.M.-I am in the suite eating enough chicken wings to feed the majority of rural Romania (but not urban Romania...Bela Karolyi can eat). Do they order Hooters To Go for all the ballers in these suites? Legit. Man the top 1% is living right.
7:31 P.M.-Some dude named Vance Joy is the first opening act of the evening. Do I know who he is? No. Do I find him physically attractive? No. Am I licking the insane amount of chicken wing sauce off of my face in the most sexually suggestive way possible as I watch this floppy headed guy sing songs I have never heard before while also not moving his body in any way, shape or form? F yeah. Musicians’ man. Just something about them.
7:32-8:02 P.M.-I drink 14 Bud Lights and eat another 37 chicken wings. Man, there’s something about chicken wings that I don’t have to pay for that just allows me to eat them for hours without worry or care. Not sure what it is. There’s also something about chicken wings that I do have to pay for that prevents me from eating them to my heart’s desire. I am, on the other hand, quite certain what that is. Poverty.
8:04 P.M.-Taylor Swift’s second opening act, Haim, comes to stage. For those of you who don’t know who Haim is you should, because it is a band of sisters that is equally as gifted when it comes to both music and possessing long hair as the band of brothers the show band of brothers was probably not based off of, aka Hanson. Looking down at Haim and marveling at their perspicacity for musical instruments and simple noise making in general I can only think one thing: thank god for nepotism, which obviously prevented the music label from having open auditions for this band. Cause what if they only chose the youngest sister and a 50-year-old guy who was a murder to be in Haim? Really safe.
8:31 P.M.-Taylor Swift comes to the stage and sings her opening number, Welcome to New York, a phenomenal tune that I refuse to listen to because New York is a city full of big meanies. I take the first of my 41 bathroom breaks.
8:38 P.M.-Taylor continues to rock out. 7-minutes of nothing but hits from the greatest musician in the world. I look down from the box at the thousands of people bobbing their heads below and notice something: I am Taylor Swift’s biggest fan...physically speaking of course. How can I be sure? Because from the box I can only see one other grown man in the audience. And he looks like he would lose to me very badly in a chicken wing eating competition. He also would likely beat me in a "go the longest without having a heart attack" competition so…there’s that.
9:01 P.M.-The coolest thing about a Taylor Swift concert: the wristbands every one in the audience was given as they entered the arena, plain white pieces of plastic that light up in different colors based on the rhythmic beats of the Taylor Swift songs that they’ve been synched too. When Taylor plays one cord they turn blue. When she plays the next the turn red. And, as they say, if you have never seen 15,000 people with flashing red wristbands, then you have never lived. Sorry, everyone born before electricity.
9:03 P.M.-I am so amazed by the wristbands that I turn to a girl seated next to me and say something along the lines of “this is so unreal. Can you believe we have these while people in rural Romania are sleeping on dirt floors?” She turns to me and says, “Oh man, we should get some of these for Romanians too.” And that’s exactly the response I deserve for being a d-bag.
9:14 P.M.-The second coolest thing about a Taylor Swift concert: the stage. Or whatever you want to call this platform that comes complete with a catwalk longer than any surface you will ever see on any US military aircraft carrier that T-Swift is constantly traversing, walking up and down, strolling farther out towards the crowd and then retreating back towards the trap door deep in the heart of the fattest part of the stage that drops her underground and out of view for wardrobe changes that not even Jake Gyllenhaal is allowed to see.
The catwalk portion of the stage is also capable of moving, or rotating, swinging around counterclockwise so that Taylor can face people on all sides of the arena while wearing a black harness around her midsection to ensure that the 0.004 mph speed of the stage’s shift doesn’t cause her to be tossed out into the crowd and have her face clawed off by a group of teenage girls who don’t realize how long it’s been since they’ve cut their nails. This is a sight so awesome that not even my superfluous vocabulary can create a description that does it justice. Instead I will just say this: imagine Taylor Swift standing in the middle of the Roman Coliseum on top of a pile of dead bodies she had just maimed in order to earn her freedom that is irrationally capable of pivoting in a circle as Taylor raises her sword and is cheered by an entire empire. That is exactly what going to a T-Swift concert in a hockey arena and watching her stand on a swiveling stage is like.
9:32 P.M.-I am in a box with about 10 other woman and one other dude. I have used the private bathroom to relieve myself some 28ish times by this point. I’m not sure, but I’m pretty sure, that no one else has used it once.
9:48 P.M.-A video featuring a cadre of famous, or semi-famous, women including Lena Dunham, Selena Gomez, the female Hanson look alikes, and 19 super models that no one has ever heard of has been playing on gigantic video screens on either side of the stage every so often, usually while Taylor has dropped from view to change her outfit or, potentially, do a buttload of heroin. They are talking about a bunch of things I am not paying attention to, like the 19 cats T-Swift owns or the insane amount of baked goods they all eat whenever they are hanging out together high on heroin. Why is this video playing? To show the world that Taylor Swift is only friends with glamorous people of course. #She’llNeverGoOutOfStyle
10:07 P.M.-I get a text from my BFFFFFF D-Boy, the only person in this joint who may or may not be able to sprout a neck beard depending on Little Susie's hormone disorder, that says the following: "I can see your shadow. Stop eating." I text back: "No. I'm gonna make myself vomit out of the suite onto the general admission crowd in order to punish them for being poor. Then I am going to eat more chicken wings."
10:24 P.M.-Taylor begins to play the song Wildest Dreams (see above) which may, or may not, (but definitely is) be a tune that's main thesis concerns a sexual tryst that T-Swift had with one of JFK’s semi-direct descendants. I look down into the crowd and see several 10-year-old girls in glittered covered “Shake It Off” t-shirts jumping out of their seats in pure, unadulterated joy. Am I offended that our nation’s youth is being exposed to such explicit material featuring the great nephew of an assassinated president? Of course not. It’s 2015. Get off your high horse America.
What does offend me, however, is the fact that is creeping up on 10:30 P.M. Central Daylight Time and there are literally thousands of elementary schoolers who are not asleep. When I was their age I had be in bed every school night by 9 P.M., no exceptions, except for Thursday nights where the TV program ER came on at 9 o'clock sharp and my mother realized that tucking me in would force her to miss at least 2.5 seconds of screen time that was displaying George Clooney’s face. Ergo I was allowed to stay up until 10, or the moment when George Clooney’s face was replaced by Mike Bush’s and my mother once again had zero fucks to give about my missing out on anything that was going on in the world around me. The point is that children should only be allowed to stay up because their parents have better things to do than make them go to sleep, not because they have better things to do than to go to sleep themselves. Stupid coddled generation…
10:28 P.M.-Our waiter enters the suite and tells us that there will be no more alcohol served at this evening's concert. I also have yet to see Nelly, T-Swift’s rumored “special guest,” perform Hot in Herre in front of 14,897 teenagers who have no idea where U-City is and have never felt heat because their parents spoil them by being able to afford central air, the world's greatest luxury. At this moment I am fighting a strong urge to throw myself out off the box and onto the the people seated underneath us. No more booze. No chance of Nelly. Nothing else to live for. That’s my motto. For this concert. For life.
10:59 P.M.-Taylor stands on the farthest end of the catwalk belting out the final notes of her jam Shake It Off. An NFL offense worth of backup dancers literally shake it off behind her, randomly kicking their legs in the air and gyrating maniacally from the hips. Glitter rains down from the sky. Taylor removes her sparkling microphone from her lips and puts it down to her side while she turns around, and walks back towards the end of the platform, eventually reaching her trap door and vanishing under the stage as the song play itself out over the arena’s sound system. A faded chant of “encore, encore!” emanates from our box down to the gallows below. Quickly the lights flip on. Quickly the hopes of an encore go poof and soar off into the night.
The Scottrade Center empties rapidly, mothers exiting the aisles and pulling their abruptly tired daughters' hands with all their might as if their child's sleep patterns are now, suddenly, of the upmost importance to them. I stand over the glass divide looking down at the now desolate arena housing the now barren stage at its center. My mind has been blown. My face has been melted. My heart has been uplifted. My neon light emitting wristband has gone blank. I have never seen anything like this in my life.
Taylor Swift may be a dork. Taylor Swift may irrationally fall in love with every semi-famous white dude she’s known for at least 9 minutes. Taylor Swift may have had to pay Kendrick Lamar $14 trillion in order for him to be in the same room as her long enough to film the Bad Blood video. None of that changes this fact: on this night Taylor Swift made 15,000 people stand up and stomp their feet and dance terribly non-rhythmic dances and feel alive.
Taylor Swift unites people. Taylor Swift brings us together. Taylor Swift gives us all something to love.
11:04 P.M.-I sit all alone in the corner of this particular suite of the Scottrade Center eating whatever is left of the chicken wings. Some lady comes in and tells us that we have to leave. I say no. We make love all night. Turns out this is her father’s place. She’s Scottrade…