On Taylor Swift

So Friday night, after not interviewing Jimmer Fredette, I attended the Jingle Ball concert with the wife and kids inside Staples Center.

In case you’re out of the loop (as I sorta was), Jingle Ball is an annual holiday concert that brings together a dozen (or so) of the biggest acts in pop music. Featured artists included Nick Jonas, Jessie J, Arianna Grande, Iggy Azalea …

And Taylor Swift.

Now, to be honest, I’ve never spent much time thinking about Swift. I certainly know—and like—many of her songs, but she was pretty much just another young country/crossover singer in a landscape overrun by young country/crossover singers. Taylor Swifts come, Taylor Swifts go. Ho-hum. Or so I thought.

In the simplest terms: Taylor Swift was fantastic. She really was. First, unlike nearly all the other performers, she didn’t sing over a track. For example, when Jessie J and Grande sang “Bang Bang,” they did so over a recording of the song. Which, well, is sorta bullshit. I actually sat two seats down from a woman, maybe 18 or 19, who cried when Grande took the stage. And I thought, “Um, she’s not even singing.”

But Swift sang—well. And she had laryngitis. And she danced all over the place. And interacted with the crowd. And begged people to sing along. It was staggeringly good, and I can count on one hand the number of better live performers I’ve witnessed (Aerosmith, Mutlu, Indigo Girls, Blind Melon, maybe Train, um …).

Anyhow, there’s no real point to this post, other than Swift is the genuine article, and it was a pleasure to behold.

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