Rate the Date: Taylor Swift Concert
Shortly after Nazari and I were married, we went to an outdoor Hillsong concert in Maryland - and had an awesome time! Then a few years ago, we saw Steve Moakler at Club Cafe in the Southside - also a great time. But in our seven year span of marriage, that’s it! We’d been to no other concert.
This is likely in large part that we lend toward being more more “song” people, than those devoted to a specific artist. And for me personally, it’s more fun to witness a performance when I’m familiar with a majority of what is being played. So while there were certainly some tempting shows, concerts had never really been our scene.
For both of us, there is one large exception to our lack of artist loyalty, and that is Taylor Swift. We have adored her and her music for YEARS. Our primary source of music is Pandora, and slowly alllll of our stations evolved to feature a lot of, if not mostly, T. Swift herself. And over those years, we only grew to love her more.
SO - when we heard she was going to be back in Pittsburgh, there was not a doubt in my mind that this was a show we HAD to see. Unfortunately, we were already set to be out of town for her show so we had to scour her tour dates and see if any other option would align with our schedule. And that is how we ended up in Cleveland!
Our intention was to make a day of it: Leave early enough to grab some dinner at a nice spot in the city, get there early, etc. However, so is life in the middle of wedding season, we left two hours after our set departure time. Once in Cleveland, we were fortunate to stumble upon free street parking and eagerly trekked to First Energy Stadium. We quickly found ourselves amidst quite a crowd of people standing clumped together attempting to get through security. The next 45 minutes were spent smack dab in the middle of this mob of Swifties as were barely inched forward. Thankfully, the day was BEAUTIFUL, we were excited as could be, and we were accompanied by the beautiful sound of Swift’s opening acts.
Once inside the Stadium, the crowd volume seemed to have multiplied as we snaked our way to some overpriced fried food and a $4.50 plastic cup of water (thank you, Cleveland!). And then, alas, we made it to our seats! As fate would have it, we were seated next to another married couple who had traveled from afar for the occasion. However, the husband of that pair was not neeeearly as into the evening as Naz was (actually, he wasn’t at all a fan. But his wife proclaimed, “this is THE GREATEST night of my life” through an ecstatic smile. He tried to be a good sport and play along).
When Taylor came on stage, we got all of the butterflies and had a blast dancing and singing to our favorite songs all night long. Her performance exceeded any expectations we had. From the light up wrist bands, to the largest stage we have ever seen - the concert was phenomenal. She even played a variety of songs from other albums which was a fun surprise. We were especially impressed by how down to earth she was, and the positive messages she shared. She took the time to thank her band, dancers, and all the staff that made a night like that possible.
Another of our favorite things about Taylor is the vulnerability shared within her songs. She brought that same candor to the stage which only amplified all the feels. We could not have been gifted a more perfect evening to be outdoors, which just added to the magic of the night. I don’t know that we were converted to concert people by any means, or that we will get to another show anytime soon, but we definitely know we only love Taylor more!
Once the show was over, we jogged to our car in attempt to avoid traffic (and hit none!). We stopped at a rest stop en route home for a decaf latte and chocolate chip cookie as we shared both the sweet treat, and the nostalgia of one remarkably fun date night.
Good length of time (even with 4 hours of travel: we were “out” from 430p-1:15a)
Good to Know: (We are amateurs here - so I'm such some concert veterans could provide some much better tips!)
Bag Policies for NFL games apply to concerts - so you cannot bring in much (unless you have an approved clear bag).
Naz: 9 (Would go again in a heartbeat, but would splurge for better seats).
Lis: 7.5 (Not a fan of such large crowds, and she didn't play my favorite song. Probably prefer listening to her album elsewhere, but it was definitely a fun experience!)