Throwback: The best nights of my life

Taylor Swift – The Red Tour, O2 Arena, London

The 3rd of October, 2013 was a day full of excitement and stress as me and my friends were trying to get tickets for Taylor Swift’s Red Tour in London. We were so relieved and unbelievably happy when we succeeded and started counting down the 122 days to the concert immediately. To do something special and because preparations are fun, we decided to all recreate a Red tour outfit. On the first of February, 2014 we headed to London around 6 in the morning. Usually I wouldn’t be able to get up this early but I was so excited about it and felt like dreams were about to come true. During the whole journey, we were playing Taylor Swift songs to get us even more excited. When we arrived at our stay, we unpacked our luggage and put our tour clothes on because we were going to the O2 Arena to meet other fans there. We came across a lot of Dutch fans who flew over as well which was so fun as we had a little meet-up. We were all so excited for each other even though we had to wait to see Taylor until the next day. What happened next was that two girls advised us to try and get last minute tickets for the show that night. We discussed it and soon decided to just try it because it sounded very attracting. There were still some tickets left on the side of the arena which were quite good so we bought them. That’s when we started laughing and crying because we were so thankful and happy, and couldn’t believe it was happening. As it was already late, we got some food and drinks at the Starbucks for dinner and hurried to the arena. I really liked our seats because you could see everything: the stage, the arena and you could even look backstage. The support act was The Vamps, a British boyband. They were quite good and fun to watch even though I felt like it was more meant for a younger target group. I liked their song Oh Cecilia (Breaking My Heart) because it’s a nice singalong song especially live. At a certain moment during their show I saw a group of people walking backstage and saw a woman, who looked like Taylor’s mom Andrea, from behind. I immediately asked the others on their thoughts and then we started screaming her name. When she heard us, she turned around and waved at us. When she had finished her tour backstage she pointed at the five of us and mimed we had to come down. We started screaming and crying because we knew this would mean something amazing whatever it was. After taking the wrong stairs multiple times, being held back by security and something that felt like an eternity, we finally got downstairs and met Andrea. She guided us around the arena and finally brought us to front row seats! We couldn’t believe it, we were just standing in front of the stage and Taylor would be standing right before our eyes within a few minutes. As proof, we received new tickets saying: ‘artist complimentary’. Soon the lights went out and Taylor’s shadow appeared on a red curtain. She started off with State of Grace and after a few sentences the curtain went down, Taylor appeared and walked towards us. Whenever she was at the front of the stage, she was only 1 to 2 meters away from us!

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After a few songs, she told us: ‘’I love coming to the UK for a lot of reasons, seeing you, and also one of my best friends! I was just wondering how you would feel if I were to tell you, hypothetically, if I were to say that Ed Sheeran is here?” This is when I lost it all because back then I had never seen Ed Sheeran live before and I was a huge fan of him. I don’t think I have ever felt luckier and happier than at that moment. I had fantasized about what it would be like if he would come and perform but I never expected that to happen. They sang Ed’s Lego House together which is a beautiful song and it was so cute seeing them laughing and enjoying performing together. Now every time I hear that song the memories pop up again.

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Taylor did another surprise song every concert so not everyone knew the entire set list on beforehand. This time it was the song Fearless which she introduced with a little talk about when people listen to music and why and that this song is about the best first date she had ever had. She performed Fearless acoustic at the B-stage which slowly went up and turned around during the song.

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The 2-hour show was still too short for us as time flew by but luckily, we got to go another night… The second night at The Red Tour, we had seats right across the stage on the first level which were some nice seats as well because now we had an overview and were close to the B-stage. During the whole concert, we were singing and dancing, and didn’t have to think of taking pictures because we already took some the night before. The surprise act of this night was Sam Smith whom I didn’t know at that time. We were all looking at each other like who’s that? But were very curious to find out. He sang his song Money on My Mind with Taylor and it was so catchy, it had me singing along the choruses pretty fast. I looked Sam Smith up afterwards and even went to his concert in The Netherlands half a year later which was so good!

 

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During Taylor’s song 22 of her album Red, she walked towards the B-stage and she stood so close again. Then she started singing the surprise song of the night which was Fifteen. The song meant a lot to all of us so we all stood there holding and comforting each other. It was a beautiful moment which I will never forget. I also remember Taylor looking at us when the stage had turned our side and for a moment it felt like she sang that song just for us. The show ended with We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together which is a perfect song to close with because it was a party involving confetti and lots of dancing. Seeing the same show twice wasn’t boring at all in this case because her shows are so entertaining and good, and it is never totally the same.

 

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