Taylor Swift. Front Row. General Admission. It was the hardest secret to keep, but after Kiddo had such a great time at the Taylor Swift Staples Center show in Los Angeles, I decided to bring her the following weekend down to San Diego for the Petco Park show. Never in my Wildest Dreams (see what I did there?) did I ever think in a million years I’d be at not one, but TWO Taylor Swift concerts in the span of 7 days. (I must really love this kid like crazy.) And never in a billion years did I think I’d be discussing TSwift on my blog. But one night when I couldn’t shake the fact my daughter was quickly becoming a Swifty, I read thru all of her lyrics and a bunch of interviews when it dawned on me. She was singing the same exact words of advice that I will be giving my daughter someday soon in the future when she’s nursing a string of inevitable broken hearts.
She smart, talented, dresses appropriately, empowering and a fierce businesswoman. Whether I like it or not, she’s one of my daughter’s role models. Perhaps this is not a bad thing considering the alternative might be a Kardashian or Miley Cyrus “Wrecking Ball”, not Miley Cyrus “Party in the U.S.A.” However, please let the record reflect that I do love Miley’s covers of “Jolene” and “Androgynous”.
But enough of that. Back to the concert review. I received so many texts and DMs about this show, in fact, more than I’ve ever received regarding any other concert and I decided I’d just address all the questions here since quite a few were the same. I learned this weekend that if you are living in a house with a child (boy or girl,) between the ages of 5 and 15, you most likely have at least one Taylor Swift fan at home. And all you dads out there, own the fact that you are a fan of Tay Tay because dads were not only rocking out big time in San Diego but dressed up in costumes and customized t-shirts and holding light-up signs!
How to get front row tickets?
Front row at stadiums and arenas are often deceiving. The real front row is General Admission nowadays because the actual seats are a few hundred feet away from the stage (unless you are able to score the first seat next to the runway.) General Admission tickets are available online and they are not seats, so be prepared for a workout. If an 8-year-old can do it, so can you! They are usually sold under “VIP Packages”.
How can I meet Taylor Swift / get backstage passes?
I’m not sure of the “official” way, but audience members are often plucked right out of the crowd and invited backstage for a meet and greet with Taylor. Usually, those having the most fun with signs and costumes win. Have fun, because someone is ALWAYS watching.
How did your daughter get the drumsticks and guitar picks from the band?
I always tell my daughter, “Smile, have fun and be kind because good things will happen.” While she was a few feet away smiling, dancing and having fun, I noticed a girl standing alone trying to snap a selfie with the TS signage in the background. So I walked over and told her I’d be happy to help her take the photo if she’d like. At the time, I didn’t she was a personal guest of someone on Taylor’s crew. When he came out to talk to her, he handed Kiddo two guitar picks and then a few minutes later he came out again and brought me two of Matt Billingslea’s drumsticks and said, “Thank you for bringing your kid to concerts.” This was a good man and his kindness will never be forgotten.
Are Taylor Swift Pit tickets worth it?
The short answer is yes, but only if you buy directly from TaylorSwift.com or Ticketmaster. Not through a broker, scalper or outlets like StubHub, Craigslist.org or eBay. Our General Admission tickets not only gave us “real” front row tickets but a few days before the show a huge box overflowing with over $150 of Taylor Swift tour merchandise arrived. The merchandise is sent to those who bought the original ticket, not to those the tickets are sold to. Above is a quick video I shot with my iPhone at the start of the show to give you a better idea of what the view in General Admission is like.
In my opinion, General Admission is the best way to see a show. With tickets being so expensive nowadays, it’s the one ticket worth its weight in gold and don’t have to depend on huge screens and monitors to watch the show like you would at home on a television set or YouTube.
What is included in the VIP Tour Pack?
Everything I told Kiddo she couldn’t buy at the first show so I was stoked! And you receive one complete VIP Tour Pack per ticket: The 1989 World Tour messenger bag, The 1989 World Tour Book (concert program,) magnetic picture frame, Taylor Swift pink and black rubber bracelets, metal key ring, T.S. 1989 sunglasses with case (the same sunglasses she throws in the crowd during Welcome to New York,) a cold cup with straw, tour laminate and lanyard, and limited edition set of lithographs designed by Taylor herself for the VIPs. The only thing we had to grab at the show was a T-shirt!
Can I get concert tour merchandise at the show?
Yes. But the lines are VERY long. Longer than any other concert I have ever seen. I can’t stress the following enough: BUY MERCH AS SOON AS YOU ARRIVE at the venue because they lines can be over an hour wait and they do sell out of sizes.
Is General Admission crowded?
No. It is not packed at all. In fact, there was enough room for Kiddo to twirl and dance with a ton of space. Only 400 General Admission tickets were made available to the public for each of the three GA sections. In fact, there was even one point during the Enchanted performance that Kiddo fell sleep sitting up. No joke. She took a 10-minute catnap and ROCKED OUT to WANGBT and the Shake It Off finale. There is no pushing or shoving in the Taylor Swift pit. Everyone is there to have a good time and careful with the younger kids.
Do I have to get to the concert early?
Some uber-Swifties will line up all day outside the venue, hours before the gates open; however, 1/2 before showtime those of us in GA could walk right up to the stage and barriers. Vance Joy puts on a good show so do your best to try and catch him if you can.
What if I’m short? Will I still be able to see?
Yes. Kiddo is 4’8″ and she saw everything the entire time. The stage is elevated above the crowd so all you have to do is look up. Those wondering, “Is it OK to get my child a General Admission ticket?” You know your child the best. I noticed that when my daughter had access to a seat, she uses it and becomes dependent on it. This time, she either placed a napkin on the ground to sit when her legs got tired or sat (i.e. slept) on the little step at the bottom of the barrier. There is a lot of space to move around and find the perfect spot.
Can you shake hand / give her a high five / hug her?
No. And don’t try. Just don’t. First, it’s rude, she’s performing. Second, it’s creepy. Just imagine if a complete stranger aggressively came up to you while you were doing your job or at school and waved their hand in your face? You wouldn’t appreciate it, would you? Now imagine if they ran up and gave you a bear hug? Ewe. Don’t be that person. Just smile and say, “Hi.”
Also, some crazy fan jumped up on stage this past weekend in San Diego and was not only tackled and restrained by the three HUGE men within seconds but immediately arrested and brought to jail. That’s serious folks.
Is the Taylor Swift concert loud?
It’s reasonable. I always make sure to bring proper ear protection and ear plugs for Kiddo, but this time the speakers were aimed over our heads and not down on the crowd, so we were able to have a normal conversation standing in General Admission without screaming. My ears were not ringing following the show or the next day. I great trick if you don’t have earplugs handy is to roll up straw wrappers tube/ball and they work awesome!
Is the show long?
She sings for approximately 2.5 hours. The setlist is a minimum of 18 songs and comprised 90% of her 1989 album. This is 100% a pop concert and the most country song she sings in Love Story.
The setlist remains the same from concert to concert for the most part, but she does mix things up slightly each night. Each stop has a different guest appearance so a few covers are tossed in and there are a couple that she switches in and out. In San Diego she sang 18 songs, but in Los Angeles, we were treated to a few more.
Welcome to New York :: New Romantics :: Blank Space :: I Knew You Were Trouble :: I Wish You Would :: How You Get The Girl :: I Know Places :: Cheerleader (OMI guest) :: Fearless :: Clean :: Love Story :: Style :: Bad Blood :: We Are Never Getting Back Together :: Complicated (Avril Lavigne guest) :: Wildest Dreams / Enchanted :: Out of the Woods :: Shake It Off
Are there opening acts?
You betcha. Vance Joy is the supporting act for the 1989 Tour, but Shawn Mendes and Haim have also played a few shows.
What’s with the light up LED wristbands?
Besides being rad, they are preprogrammed to light up throughout the concert and light up different colors during different songs. Event staff hand out one to each ticket holder, but of course by the end of the night every adult in the Pit gave Kiddo theirs so somehow we have 9…yes, NINE now.
Where should I sit if I don’t want to do GA?
Do your best to score a seat closest to the runway or Stage B. If that isn’t possible, opt for one of the first few rows on the first level. This will put your eye level to the stage and runway which actually lifts ups and twists in the air.
What time does Taylor Swift go on stage?
This is a great question because it varies from city to city. A few days before the show you will receive an email outlying the important times and parking, but in San Diego Taylor started the show at 8:50 pm and at STAPLES Center she took the stage at 9:10.
What are Taylor Swift’s pre-show songs?
Two songs will play back-to-back right before Taylor hits the stage. So when you here Fine Young Cannibals “She Drives Me Crazy” followed by my favorite, favorite, favorite Calvin Harris song, “Feel So Close.” The song is energetic and brings the crowd to another level.
Go! Run, don’t walk and make sure you see Taylor Swift when she returns to a city/town near you. It was fantastic, kids had a blast, moms loved every minute, and she’s one of the best entertainers of our time.
Photo credits: Nicole Standley