News Column

Swift attracts young dreamers

August 12, 2013


Aug. 12--My daughters have been die-hard "Swifties" for years, listening to Taylor Swift's albums, watching her videos, recording her appearances on TV and yes, attending her concerts.

They were among the legions of fans Wednesday night at Swift's sold-out show at the BOK Center. The audience was filled with sequins and feathers, tulle skirts and cowboy boots, glitter paint and red lipstick. It was an occasion to dress up and show off.

Both my girls were pretty well entranced the entire night. Swift does that to people.

She has an amazing attention to detail. The costumes, dancers and stage production really make the evening an extravaganza. She's truly an entertainer.

"She does something that changes it up every time, and it's never the same experience," my teen said of her third Taylor Swift concert.

A prime example was Swift performing her hit "You Belong With Me" doo-wop style with her four backup singers.

My 8-year-old loved the costume changes -- from her hot pants, sheer shirts and sparkly shoes to her ballet gown with bare feet, and everything in between. She ended the night in a ringmaster's outfit as the head of her own elaborate circus act.

I respect the fact that Swift doesn't confine herself to the big stage at the front of the crowd. During the show she makes her way to a smaller stage set up at the back of the arena, thrilling fans at that end of the floor. She performed several songs there, including my favorite "Everything Has Changed," a duet with one of her opening acts, Ed Sheeran.

But it's the connection with her young fans that most impresses me. Unlike other artists who decide they want to be taken seriously and move on to more mature themes, Swift continues to embrace the preteens and teens who embrace her.

"I think she writes about a lot of things that a lot of girls can relate to," my teen says. "Songs about crushes and family and growing up."

I think another reason young girls are attracted to her is the fairy tale element of her life. She determined at a young age what she wanted to do and pursued her dream, resulting in an almost inconceivable level of success. She's beautiful, talented and has grown into a powerful role model.

Now she gets to play guitar and sing all over the world, dressing up as an ingenue or starlet or siren, as the mood strikes. She attends awards shows and dates famous people.

It's powerful stuff. The stuff young dreams are made of.

Colleen Almeida Smith 918-581-8480


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