Taylor Swift’s ‘Red’ Tour: Her Amps Go Up to 22
Best fan sign at last night’s Taylor Swift show in Newark, New Jersey: “I Newark Were Trouble.” Second best: “Don’t Listen to Poehler & Fay [sic], You’re Great in Every Way!” Bonus points to the two girls shaking booty outside the venue, hoping for tickets, waving giant cardboard 2’s (because they’re feelin’ 22) and wearing homemade “Not a Lot Going On at the Moment” T-shirts, dancing around the parking lot to a boombox blasting Red. I hope they got in. Because what a massively excellent show.
Seeing Taylor Swift live in 2013 is seeing a maestro at the top of her or anyone’s game. No other pop auteur can touch her right now for emotional excess or musical reach – her punk is so punk, her disco is so disco. The red sequins on her guitar match the ones on her microphone, her shoes and 80 percent of the crowd. Her set is mostly new songs from Red, the slickest, smartest and just plain best mega-pop statement of our time. She’s a master of every rock-star move, except the one about dialing it down a notch. But who would ever want that? (Besides the whiny exes she keeps writing songs about?) “Hi, I’m Taylor,” she said by way of an introduction. “I write songs about my feelings. I’m told I have a lot of feelings.” You are told this accurately, Taylor.
Back in 2004, Rolling Stone assembled an expert panel of musicians, industry figures and critics to pick the 50 greatest artists of all time. We called these artists “The Immortals.” A year later, our panelists expanded the roster to 100 all-time great artists, which you can read right here. But time stands still for no list, and when we look around us today we see a whole galaxy of other stars who belong in the Immortals conversation. Click through for 14 currently active (or relatively recently defunct) artists who we think will stand the test of time – the kind of acts whose names we wouldn’t be surprised to see on a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ballot at some point down the road when they become eligible. Meet the New Immortals.
If Taylor Swift stopped producing hits right now, at 23, she could tour a killer oldies show for the rest of her life. Her catalog is already jam-packed with acoustic gems (“Fifteen,” “Mean”), country-pop relationship anthems (“Sparks Fly,” “The Story of Us”) and stadium-size epics (“I Knew You Were Trouble,” “State of Grace”). Swift grew up obsessed with the Dixie Chicks on a Christmas tree farm in rural Pennsylvania; she started writing songs at 14 before moving to Tennessee. It didn’t take her long to conquer the Nashville machine – or to break out of it. She’s sold more than 25 million albums, recently dominating the pop charts with her dubstep smackdown “I Knew You Were Trouble” and the bubblegum stomper “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” No matter what she does musically, Swift has chronicled growing up and navigating tricky relationships better than anyone else in the 2000s. “I know general things about love,” she told Rolling Stone last year. “How to treat people well, what you deserve and when to walk away. Other than that, love is a complete mystery – and that’s why I like to write about it.”
Taylor featured in Rolling Stone.
Scans of Taylor Swift’s Rolling Stone article!
RollingStone BTS (Different from AccessHollywood)
In the new issue of Rolling Stone: Taylor Swift gives her most candid interview ever. Over the course of several conversations in New York, Los Angeles and Nashville with writer Brian Hiatt, Swift reveals recurring anxiety dreams (“I have a big fear of things spiraling out of control”); talks about her deliberately incautious approach to romance (“You have to fall in love really fast, without thinking too hard”) and explains why she’s dating an 18-year-old (“I have rules for a lot of areas of my life – love is not going to be one of them”). Here’s an excerpt of the cover story:
This is what it sounds like when Taylor Swift totally loses it: “Oh, my God. OH, MY GOD. OH, MY GOD. OH, MY GOD. OH, MY GOD. OH, MY GOD. OH, MY GOD. OH, MY GOD. OH, MY GOD. OH, MY GOD. OH, MY GOD. OH, MY GOD.”
Her summer tan is turning ashen; her very blue eyes are practically pinwheeling with panic. But she didn’t do anything that bad just now, didn’t start a nuclear war or curse on country radio or upload her new album to BitTorrent: We’re on a bleak industrial road outside a Nashville rehearsal studio one stiflingly hot late-August evening, with Swift behind the wheel of her black Toyota SUV – which she just backed directly into a parked car. She’s never learned how to use her SUV’s built-in GPS, was messing with Yelp and Google Maps on her iPhone instead, realized she was going the wrong way, started to turn around, still clutching the phone, and . . . crunch.
“Oh, my God,” she repeats, pausing for air. She takes another look at the car she hit. “Oh, is that my bass player?”
It totally is. “It’s fine, it’s my bass player!” She couldn’t look more relieved if she had received a death-row pardon. Popping out of the SUV, she apologizes to her bemused employee, a Ben Stiller look-alike named Amos Heller, who had been walking toward his now slightly dented car. “I’m gonna pay for it, I promise! I’m good for it! Oh, my God, Amos, I’m so sorry. I freaked out ‘cause I went the wrong way and he was gonna think I’m a bad driver and then I backed into another car. This is the worst interview he’s ever had, already!”
Rolling Stone Behind The Scenes
Taylor Swift’s no stranger to gossip. These days, her name has been popping up in headlines alongside her rumored beau Conor Kennedy. But the singer wants everyone to know that if you’re writing anything about them, you’re wasting ink, because she’s not reading it.
“I just got to take it day by day,” she tells Rolling Stone about the press she receives, sharing that in the beginning every seemingly negative news item brought her anxiety that she would lose her fans because of it. But, these days, “I feel like my fans have my back and I have theirs.”
And she’s aware that her not-so-secretive crush on the entire Kennedy family seems a bit suspicious in the context of her relationship with the 18-year-old Kennedy member. “You’re telling me,” the magazine’s cover girl explains. “That’s not what’s happening,” she adds when asked if the relationship has anything to do with her fandom for the political family. Though, she does laugh that her cougar status — she’s 22 — may have been influenced by her pal, Selena Gomez, and her relationship with her younger beau, Justin Bieber.
Since Swift started hanging out with Kennedy, there have been several very interesting headlines about their relationship. Those include a report that she sent a private jet to pick up her pal and bring him to Nashville to visit her, as well as another story which revolved around the singer and Conor crashing a Kennedy family wedding (a report her rep denied).
“How did I kidnap him?” she says in response to the private jet report. “You can’t kidnap a grown man! These are serious accusations, now,” she laughed, adding, “It’s an interesting way to spin something into a story. See, this is why I don’t read stuff.”
As for the wedding report, she insists she would have never showed up if she hadn’t been invited. “I have no idea what happened there. I think that story was based on the biggest misunderstanding, ‘cause I would never knowingly show up somewhere that I thought I wasn’t invited to. And I would never want to upstage anybody.”
Swift knows a thing or two about being upstaged. Back in 2009, when she hit the stage in Radio City to accept her Moonman for Best Female Video at the VMAs, Kanye West stepped in to say her competitor Beyoncé
had “one of the best videos of all time.” She keeps a photo of that moment in her Nashville apartment. Years later she reflects on it like so, saying that it made her “realize nothing is gonna go exactly the way you plan it to. Just because you have a good plan, doesn’t mean that’s what’s gonna happen.”
These days, Swift’s plan includes releasing her next album, Red, on October 22. Ahead of its release date, she’s teased several tracks, including her follow-up single to the chart-topping “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” “Begin Again.” She shot a video for it in Paris earlier this month.
“Well, in terms of my album, it kind of signifies the intense, really bold emotions you feel when you’re in kind of mad love,” she told MTV News last month about the album. “And I think that all of the songs on the album are written about those kinds of experiences that I’ve had.”
Weeks after she drops her album, Swift will be in Frankfurt, Germany, on November 11 to perform at the 2012 MTV Europe Music Awards where she is up for five awards.
Taylor Swift graces the cover of Rolling Stone’s latest issue, where she gives a revealing interview on “falling hard” and having no rules when it comes to love, and of course, her highly scrutinized relationship with a Kennedy.
Taylor defends herself against the notion some have that she falls into serious relationships too quickly, arguing that you can’t care about what everybody thinks in order to fall in love.
“The way I look at love is you have to follow it, and fall hard, if you fall hard. You have to forget about what everyone else thinks,” she says. “It has to be an us-against-the-world mentality. You have to make it work by prioritizing it, and by falling in love really fast, without thinking too hard. If I think too hard about a relationship I’ll talk myself out of it. …I have rules for a lot of areas of my life. Love is not going to be one of them.”
But Taylor does reveal herself to have almost overly romantic tendencies when it comes to love.
“I love the ending of a movie where two people end up together. Preferably if there’s rain and an airport or running or a confession of love,” she says.
And then there’s the decor of her Nashville condo.
“It’s a whole Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland structure here. It’s what the inside of my brain looks like, essentially.”
But although she was involved in relatively short relationships with both John Mayer and Jake Gyllenhaal, according to Taylor, her relationships are always fully formed — she doesn’t “hook up.”
“No,” she says definitively. “Where’s the romance? Where’s the magic in that? I’m just not that girl.”
On her latest relationship with 18-year-old Conor Kennedy, Taylor clearly reads the negative press surrounding them, though she tries not to.
“How did I kidnap him?,” she responds, referencing reports that she “kidnapped” him by flying him to Nashville. “You can’t kidnap a grown man! These are serious accusations, now! It’s an interesting way to spin something into a story. See, this is why I don’t read stuff.”
And about crashing a Kennedy wedding, which Kathie Lee Gifford confirmed on the Today show?
“I have no idea what happened there. I think that story was based on the biggest misunderstanding, ‘cause I would never knowingly show up somewhere that I thought I wasn’t invited to,” she explains. “And I would never want to upstage anybody.”