Taylor Swift Shows Her Many Colors Live on Red Tour in Texas – Exclusive Pictures
Taylor Swift doesn't have thick skin, she tells Taste of Country (after all, no good writer does) -- a trait only amplified during her live show, where she seems most at home. The 'Begin Again' superstar took the stage in the capital city of Austin, Texas on Tuesday night (May 21) wearing her heart on her sleeve and showing it off song by song, story by story.
After sizzling-hot country duo Florida Georgia Line ramped up the crowd -- tiny girls in Swift shirts singing along to every line of not only 'Cruise,' but the new single, 'Get Your Shine On,' as well -- British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran brought them back down again with a subdued set.
Then, the eager Texas crowd was seeing red.
Swift showed up before she actually made an in-the-flesh entrance, her silhouette appearing on a Lone Star State-sized red curtain, which dropped to deafening screams and the opening of 'State of Grace,' also the intro of her 2012 album.
The two-hour (to the minute) set included most of the biggest marks of Swift's career -- a shaken, not stirred Supremes-style version of 'You Belong With Me,' 'Love Story,' 'Mean,' 'Sparks Fly' -- in addition to much of the new album and a small sampling of 'Ho Hey' by the Lumineers.
Swift's introduction to country music, 'Tim McGraw,' was absent from the setlist, but her country roots were not. Despite being a circus-sized production, the 2013 Red Tour still brings out the raw, ever-feeling and emotional Taylor Swift who fans first fell in love with. At one point, it's just the 23-year-old pop-country superstar at a red piano, practically on the verge of tears as she tells the intimate details of one of her now-famous breakups in 'All Too Well.' Late in the set, she strips down to casual wear with just her guitar, winning the crowd over with her words, while other more upbeat tracks find her flying across the arena -- really something for everyone.
There are a total of 11 wardrobe swaps in all, including one incredible 4.5-second costume change (thanks, Mama Andrea Swift, for that tidbit). Seven months of practice and planning went into the Red Tour, but somehow, Swift's genuine nature still oozes out.
During her acoustic set at the south end of the Frank Erwin Center arena, she paused to pray for those "right next door in Oklahoma," where a small town was ravaged by a massive tornado on Monday (May 20). "I would really appreciate it, and I think they would really appreciate it, if they [Oklahoma] had a sold out crowd of 12,000 praying for them right now, don’t you think?" Swift asked Austin before beginning a soulful delivery of 'Safe and Sound' -- a divergence from last week's Houston set.
The superstar made her way back to the main stage via air carriage to close out the show, ending on a high note with party anthem 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together' as confetti rained from the ceiling.
Without an encore (truthfully, it wasn't necessary), she was gone, disappearing from the same part of the stage she walked out on.
Taylor Swift Red Tour Pictures - Austin, Texas, May 21, 2013