The guy in the box office looked for my tickets and couldn’t find them. Shannon was dismayed but I acted the pro and kept my appearance calm, despite having a mini-heart attack on the inside.
He nodded and said pit tickets could be picked up at 4:30.
Shannon’s sister Sarah is involved in organizing a bar evening fundraising project for the Ronan’s Day of Love and we helped her hand out flyers while we waited.
While Shannon was a little shy, I had no problem talking to people and we handed flyers to everyone in the room. Everyone was super sweet listening to our spiel. Whether they will go to the event or not I don’t know, but they all humored me, for 10 seconds at least, and that was good.
Fame at last When we’d handed all the flyers out we sat down to charge our phones on a power outlet we found on the wall. As I was sitting there a girl, about 16, came over and said, “Excuse me, are you Sami?”
Dumbfounded, I looked at her and said “Yes…?”and she got so excited.
She was like, OMG, I read all your blogs! It’s so nice to meet you!
Her name was Rachel — Hi Rachel if you’re reading this! — and she was the sweetest thing. She was there with her mom and she asked me if she could have a photo taken of her and me! Wow!
As we were chatting we could hear sound check and all of a sudden we heard Highway Don’t Care. I, of course tried not to freak-out but I have no control over my emotions when it comes to Taylor. Then we all freaked out in unison thinking Tim McGraw could be performing at the show!
I remembered that before Taylor and Train had performed Drive By in Newark, NJ, they had sound checked the song for several weeks before actually playing it. I checked all of Tim’s show dates and, other than today, the only day he didn’t have a show on a day that Taylor did in the immediate future was May 7.
I was trying not to freak out for fear of being let down. However, I said to myself, if he isn’t here the show will still rock so it’s all good. Then I let myself totally freak out.
High Organization at the Q The Q, as they call the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, had the most organized pit line, ever. They split us into two groups, pod 1 and pod 2 (right and left pit) before they let us inside and checked our bags. They then gave us our wristbands.
They then took pod 1 single file to the pit, waited a few moments and then took pod 2. Where you stood online was the order you got in the pit. There was no running, no bum-rushing to push in front of the person in front of you. Nothing, no fighting no wrassling. It was amazing. I wish every venue was that organized.
In the pit there was enough room for me to do my Stay Stay Stay dance — complete with turns! I got pushed away from the barricade by the child next to Shannon, but that was no big deal.
In the pit I read my Tweets and someone had Tweeted me saying they thought they could see me in the pit. I Tweeted back telling them to wave so I could wave back. It was a girl in the other pit. (Hi Alex if you’re reading this!)
Alex Tweeted that she had recognized me from my profile picture. Although it was difficult shouting across the stage she was very sweet and I’m glad she said hi.
Kind of strange being recognized like I’m a celebrity or something, which for sure I’m not. “I’m no one special, just another wide-eyed girl…”
I hope I was nice, I think I was nice. I love chatting with you all and meeting you. I hope people continue to Tweet me when they are at a show I’m at. I just love meeting new people!
Brett performed his usual great set although I missed Caylee asking him to sing Raymond, a show ritual developed in Florida that can only be performed by Caylee.
Brett definitely recognizes my face now because he grabbed my hand and made one of those “you’re here again!?” faces. It was a wonderful feeling!
Ed Sheeran came on at 7:20pm. By this point we were back to the regular show schedule. I tried to convince myself otherwise, but I then knew there would be no special guest that night.
I guess Highway Don’t Care is for another day. If Highway Don’t Care doesn’t happen in Louisville I will be shocked. Shocked I tell you!
Ed sang Drunk without much of a problem but he was a little flustered about something. Then, just before he did his Nina Simone cover Be My Husband, one of his tech guys came out yelling, “it’s not working man, it’s not working” and I realized that his boss loop pedal station wasn’t functioning.
Suddenly, a part of the show I have learned to take with a grain of salt and tune out of was a part that perked my ears up.
My all time favorite Ed song is Small Bump. It’s a favorite because it’s so moving and well-written and the story unfolds in just two minutes. I cannot listen to it without crying. Ed was playing his guitar, frustrated maybe, but moving right along with the flow.
I give him major credit for rolling with the punches. It took me a good 30 seconds of the intro to realize he was playing Small Bump and then my tears started flowing. Never in a million years did I think I’d get to hear Small Bump live. Although I felt badly for Ed, I was so happy that I FINALLY got to hear Small Bump.
And yes, it was just as beautiful live as the studio version is, perhaps more.
I was hoping that as his loop station wasn’t working he’d skip it, but he did it acoustic. Ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you, the song is 13-million times better ACOUSTIC, without the loop.
OMG. I could listen to it for hours. Just Ed, his voice, and his guitar. While it’s the same song acoustically, it doesn’t repeat 13-billion times over with the loop playing it as a bass, snare, and whatever…
He didn’t include the “my eyes are red” part. It was just Ed. And the song was LOVELY. I wish it was like that every night.
Ed then sang Lego House and The A Team just as he usually does as he doesn’t use the loop pedal with them, which is probably why I like them so much live. All-in-all, this was the best set I have ever seen Ed perform. It made me like him 13 million times more.
Taylor, of course, was amazing, and beautiful, and awesome, and everything she always is. I don’t need to say much in the way of that now do I!
Shannon and I had planned that we would remain against the barricade for the first half of the show and then, before 22 came on, during the montage, we would run back to the B stage so we’d see the secret song from up-close.
First I got a chance to talk with Rachel, the girl I’d met outside. She’d won a pit pass and was super-excited. She was so, so, so thrilled to be that close to Taylor…
When we left, Shannon gave Rachel her spot right up against the barricade and she totally flipped.
We left right as the montage was starting and went straight to the B stage. No questions asked.
I’d rather get the repeats out of the way now rather than in five months so I can start hearing new stuff! This night I was convinced she’d sing a song from Speak Now as it had been almost a month since she sang anything from that album.
Shannon was praying it wouldn’t be Today Was A Fairytale because it just isn’t one of her favorites. (Trust me when I say this: if you are not a fan of Today Was A Fairytale, listen to the acoustic version. It will blow your mind)
So, when Taylor started talking about a fan and her mom, I looked at Shannon in shock. I was amazed that Taylor would sing The Best Day now rather than on Mother’s Day weekend in Washington, DC. (Although, if I had to guess, she’ll repeat it then.)
Every single time I hear it I cry. Thursday was no exception. It was, of course, performed beautifully and as I had never seen it live it was a rare treat for me.
Shannon and I went back to the main stage when Taylor started singing Sparks Fly. When Taylor started Begin Again I turned to Shannon and said if she wanted we could now go back to the pit as Taylor goes so high up on the platform we wouldn’t be able to see her.
I told Shannon that if there was a special guest it would be right after Sparks Fly and the lights wouldn’t go down, and Taylor wouldn’t disappear into the floor.
Five seconds before the song ended Taylor started sinking and, sadly, we knew Highway Don’t Care was not for Cleveland.
I cherish those memories with every ounce of my being. This, I think, is one of the main reasons I started this blog, so I can remember every second of every show forever. Or, for as long as the Internet lasts. LOL.
I’m having serious separation issues with this tour. It’s kind of bad. OK, it’s really bad. As soon as the show finished I was on the verge of tears knowing that I’d be going home and missing the next two shows. I wouldn’t be seeing the show again for two weeks.
There are fans who never get to see the show, there are those who get to see the show only once, and some have to wait a billion years because their show is in September, and here I am in tears because I have to wait two weeks!
This tour, this album, that girl, is the whole world to me. There is nothing in this world I would rather be doing. Even if that means waiting two weeks before the next time I can see the show!
Every leg of this adventure brings something new. This leg was all about finding friends I didn’t know I had, and becoming better friends with the ones I already did know.
You know the saying “Make new friends but keep the old”? This trip taught me the meaning of that. For sure.
I am so thankful to Taylor for having given me a reason to find these people, fly to where she is going, and get to spend time with people outside of my computer screen. I’m also grateful to Taylor for bringing me together with people I never would have talked to before, just because I didn’t know them.
I cannot wait to see what my next set of shows will bring. I’m happy to report that my May concerts are no longer a source of concern as my babysitting gig now completely fits in with the shows I plan to attend.
Tomorrow it’ll be time for me to return to my home in New York, regroup with my family, sleep (YAYAYAYAYAYAY!), make some money to pay for more shows, and plan the next stage of my adventure.
(Some days’ blogs are missing but they’ll be added. Don’t go away! Some of the photos may seem repetitive. My plan is to observe progress through the RED Tour. On Friday some MSM reported that Taylor and others appear tired, stressed, by the intensity of the tour. I’ve seen no sign of it, but watch the photos from concert to concert to discover what happens on that front.)
Cleveland was show 14 of the planned 48.
Thanks for reading, thanks for caring.
“This isn’t flying, this is falling with style”
I’ll be blogging all the way through the RED Tour, Facebooking, and Tweeting (or @tswiftontour).
Use the email account CCWTS13@gmail.com if you want to send stories and photos that you think will be of interest to Swifties. We could even open an album!