Taylor Swift > Homecoming

Erin Wronka, Editor-in-chief

Country-pop sensation Taylor Swift has had quite the week. At the CMA Awards on November 9, Swift brought home the ultimate award: Entertainer of the Year. While her success in the music industry is obvious, it was a surprise that Taylor Swift was worthy of such an honor once again, especially as she was up against other male singers evidently taking over country music. With this said, for those lucky people who had the chance to see Taylor Swift at the St. Pete Times Forum on November 12, the initial excitement of winning the award had yet to wear off, as Swift and company put on an incredible show. Taylor Swift admitted to having an “extra spring in her step” since the awards and was pleased to inform the crowd they were being blessed with a more upbeat show than normal because of it. Whether this was true or not, Swift made the fans in the crowd feel like family as soon as the show got started and the atmosphere at the Forum was truly something to behold.

                Swift opened the show with one of her latest singles “Sparks Fly” and most of the song could barely be heard because of the screaming crowd. As soon as the fog on stage cleared and Swift appeared wearing her staple sparkly dress and boots, the excitement was palpable. Of course, sparks were literally flying across the stage and the fairytale setting that surrounded Swift only supported the festive atmosphere.

                As her opener ended, Swift stood by herself on the stage with that famous awestruck expression and took her time scanning the arena. Her simple introduction, “Hi, I’m Taylor” made the crowd go wild for a solid two minutes, in which the singer just stood still, taking it all in. With that intense energy taking over the Forum, the concert proceeded on.

                Though Swift’s concert tour is called Speak Now, based off the name of her latest album, she didn’t just stick to performing her newer songs. In a blast from the past, Swift and her band took their places on what appeared to be an old front porch and performed her hit “Our Song.” This was the only tune Swift sang from her very first CD and the reaction to it was just as powerful as any other song that night.

                The album that really put Taylor Swift in the spotlight was her Fearless CD. Of course, Swift bounced around stage singing her smash hit “You Belong With Me,” from this sophomore album, but what stuck out the most was her acoustic version of the song “Fearless.” It was such a simple version of a usually upbeat rhythm that made it so impressive. All it took was for her to sit down with just her guitar and her voice for the crowd to fall in love even more.

                Taylor Swift managed to perform almost every song from Speak Now, and the scene on stage varied for each one. The slower ballads like “Back to December” and “Last Kiss” were truly emotional performances by Swift and the crowd could feel the sorrow that wrote each song. The tears in Swift’s eyes and expression in her voice were enough to bring some of the crowd to tears themselves. Just when it was getting almost too sad, though, Swift managed to bring the show right back around to an upbeat performance.

                Taylor Swift didn’t disappoint fans with her encore performance. After the curtains reopened, the crowd found Swift sitting by herself with her guitar, and after a quick speech she began her new single “Ours,” that was just released off the bonus edition of Speak Now. The simple, yet adorable tune was enough to make fans love Swift even more and a lot less anxious for her departure. The final song of the show, “Love Story” that shot Swift to fame three years ago had the crowd on their feet as the singer literally floated above the audience.

           Overall, Taylor Swift’s Speak Now tour is anything but disappointing. The tour only has a few shows left and Swift revealed she’s sad to see it come to an end. True fans know, though, that it’s only a matter of time before Swift’s next album is out and better than ever, and will make for an even bigger tour.