Saturday, March 18, 2023


I don’t start shit, but I can tell you how it ends

You may or may not know, but I’ve been quite sad in the past two weeks. So, on Tuesday, when I asked my family whether I should go for Taylor’s show in Phoenix, Arizona (because I’d found a relatively affordable/valuable ticket) it didn’t take long before they actually offered to pay for my flight ticket there, so the entire expense wouldn’t be on me. I purchased both the flight and concert tickets, and two days ago, off I went from Nanaimo.

The show I was going for was on Friday evening (yesterday) but on Thursday, I had a conundrum. All motel and hostel rooms were sold out and I didn’t wanna get a hotel room or AirBnB because the prices were all jacked up for her concert. I was gonna be in Arizona for slightly less than 24 hours, and not going to be spending much of that time in a room, so I didn’t wanna pay for accommodation. I put out a message on reddit about my situation, and a Swiftie married couple responded. They were driving in from Missouri for the concert so they would pick me up, give me a ride to the stadium and let me leave my backpack and other stadium no-no’s in their car in the parking lot.

Before I met them, though, I also had several other offers from other kind Swifties but they were the first. Then, on my flight in from Edmonton to Phoenix, half the flight were also young Swifties, so when we got off, the flight attendant played her song Anti-Hero, and the little ones sang to it. It’s all on my Instagram highlights, but aww, what a way to start my journey right. The couple picked me up and we drove through the Arizona desert, them and I asking each other things about our relationship with Taylor’s music.

Eventually, we had to part because we had tickets for different sections. When I was in the entrance line, I had to pee and I didn’t know anyone there so I left the line to go to the washroom and thought it didn’t matter when I entered the stadium as we all had seated tickets. However, in front of me were a mother and daughter, and the mother had followed me to the bathroom to tell me to take my spot back in the entrance line. That’s the sort of people who love listening to Taylor Swift. It’s mothers bringing their daughters to their first concerts, it’s girls and women and men who have feelings upon feelings and have to cry and laugh about their emotional journeys through songs and lyrics.

Paramore and Gayle opened for her show, and they were brilliant. I’ve always liked Paramore too, but I’d never had the chance to see them live. Taylor blew our minds, though, she hadn’t gone on tour since the Reputation album (which I didn’t go to because there was no Singapore show), and so through the pandemic and to date, she’d released four albums that had never been performed on tour. She performed the bangers from Reputation and made it just as intense as the concert film is on Netflix, then folklore and evermore — the lockdown twin albums, as well as her latest album, Midnights.

She’s always been a workaholic, and her showmanship was stunning. As well as being a writer, she’s a star performer. I was so fucking happy to see my tears ricochet performed live, it’s one of my favorites from folklore but also just one of my absolute favorites from her, ever. Every time I watch the folklore studio session on Disney+, I repeat my tears ricochet, and exile. She also did champagne problems and that’s another banger I love, I think that’s my most listened-to song on Spotify for the past two years. She’s grown up so much, performing in sultry choreography for songs such as Vigilante Shit, and danced the hell out of the entire show. 

I’ve loved her music for so long. I think she’s seen me through so many versions of myself, or like through my development and evolution as a person. Before I had my miscarriage and changed, I already loved her music. When I went to LA and the first time I met Joey, he was sampling a bit of Love Story for me. Through the years, Jeremy learned to play Lover on the guitar and sing it for me, and he listened to Midnights in its entirety with me when it dropped. Adam took me to the Taylor Swift tribute band show at The Queen’s, and that was also super fun. He just allowed me to sing along to all the songs really badly, and he knew full lyrics to like three to five songs by her, it amazed me. 

Taylor Swift really reminds me of how important it is to feel all of your humanness, and use it to better yourself. I love her, and I love the Swiftie community, and I rode a high all weekend. I’m back in Vancouver now, but my 24 hours in Phoenix, Arizona, they are one of the best days I’ve ever spent anywhere. Thank you all so much for being kind. 

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I really enjoyed this entry! Not only because am I a huge Taylor Swift fan but your words really made the experience you described come alive. Also, thank you for sharing part of your personal backstory with us. Sometimes it's in the hardest moments of our lives that we know all too well the joy they can bring.

Take care!