A cold day in Georgia I know, I know… I’m aware that I say this most every show, but I’ll say it again right now because it’s so totally true. The second concert in Atlanta was, by far, my best ever concert experience in Taylor Swift’s RED Tour. So far anyway. But, then again, the shows just keep getting better and better!
Caylee woke me in the hotel at 10:30 saying more tickets had just been released on Ticketmaster for the night’s, Friday’s, show. We got online and finally settled on floor 9 and floor 7. Not ideal, but they were on the floor so they had to be OK. Ticket problem solved!
When we finally went downstairs to check out, I asked them to hold my luggage until that night, when I’d pick it up before catching my midnight bus to Florida.
OK, they replied, but you’re checking out a day early? You have the room booked through Saturday!
I was so irritated. I’ll have to remember to call Expedia and see if I can get my money refunded for that extra night…
Caylee’s friend Brady along with her mom and cousin were in town to see Taylor too and we met up with them at their hotel. Brady’s mom wanted to eat at The Varsity, where I’d been heading for in my abandoned walk two nights before.
The Varsity’s famous in Atlanta. It must be as at least five people told me to eat there.
There are seven Varsity locations in Atlanta and it bills itself as the “World’s Largest drive-in restaurant.” Occupying more than two acres, it can accommodate 600 cars and seat more than eight hundred people indoors.
Or so they say. Oh, and it sells more Coca-Cola than any other single outlet in the world.
We ate inside and I had hamburger Glorified (Let, Tom & Mayo) $1.63, onion rings $1.95, and a Large Sprite $1.79. Super good. Cheaper and much much better than the twin arches.
It reminded me of the restaurant the kids on 7th Heaven ate in for the first few seasons. The restaurant where Mary had to steal the glass for her basketball team, and Matt got arrested there for Mary’s theft, and then everyone who ever stole anything there returned it so Matt wouldn’t go to jail… That restaurant too was called The Varsity…
The great bus search Then we went back to Brady’s hotel and hung out. After Brady took a shower we went in search of the RED Tour buses and semis. Brady and her cousin had gone the day before so they knew where we were going.
We found the secret location. OK, it wasn’t so secret. It just was across the street from the Philips Arena and connected by tunnels, where the buses and trucks were being staged.
We saw a few fans, like less than 10. One guy said he had seen Ed Sheeran the night before but no one today. Although we waited an hour we didn’t see anyone either. And it was FREEZING. Like so unbelievably cold. We decided to wait ten more minutes and then, if we hadn’t see anyone, we were outta there.
Just as we were leaving we saw Brett Elderedge, Taylor’s opener, his band and his handlers. Again we pleaded, begged, him to sing Raymond. They responded that they had to check with someone else first…
Brett has has only a couple more shows before he’s done with the RED Tour, but Caylee is determined and we’ll keep trying.
At about 4 we went back to Brady’s hotel so she could get ready for the concert. Brady’s mom didn’t have a ticket to the show, she’d just driven the girls down. But when she was talking about the show, how much she liked Taylor, and how she really wanted to see the show, Caylee and I were both thinking the same thing — we wanted to buy Brady’s mom a ticket.
I went back to the hotel with Brady and her mom and Caylee said she had to go and meet a friend. But I knew what she was actually doing. A little later Caylee joined us and we chilled, waiting to go to the show.
Caylee said she had a surprise for Brady’s mom and pulled a ticket for her out of her back pocket. Brady’s mom was so excited. It was the cutest thing ever.
Then we headed for the venue
They were great for the mini-stage but not for much else. But I didn’t care, I was just glad to have any ticket at all.
I was trying to help Brady get Club Red because, while she’s been to a lot of concerts, she’s never met Taylor.
So I was jumping and dancing during Ed Sheeran, which was super annoying. As I’ve said before, I like Ed but it’s totally unnecessary for him to stretch songs out for ten minutes. Plus, none of his songs are easy to dance to!
Back in the pit. Again! Caylee went to her seat right before Taylor came on because it was on the aisle and she wanted to see Andrea, Taylor’s mom, who makes the Club Red selections.
Shortly after the lights went down Caylee came running up screaming, “I got us pit passes do you want to come!?”
We ran to the pit and made it just in time to see Taylor’s silhouette through the red curtain.
I don’t have a lot of friends but the fact that Caylee thought of me and asked me to join her in the pit amazed me.
I hadn’t noticed, but she had texted me saying, “don’t hate me but I got pit” before she got a pass for me. I could never hate anyone for getting pit over me. Especially not Caylee.
Fighting irate security I’m just glad to get to all these concerts! Doesn’t matter where I sit — as long as its not behind the stage!
Because we got into the pit late and weren’t against the barricade, we were able to run back to our seats by the mini-stage to see Taylor there.
It was easy for us because we had seats back there to begin with and security would let us through when they saw our tickets. At first I tried to go and sit with Caylee but security got so mad that I just went back to my own seat.
Caylee texted me saying, “I turned around and you were gone, I feel so bad, I’m in the sound booth, and you’re not here…”
I was like, “don’t even worry about it! I can see you and we are both here jamming! I’ll meet you back up front! ”
I thought the song might be Changed or Long Live because they are both very “graduate-y” songs but I couldn’t figure it out.
Then she started playing Fifteen, a song I’d told Taylor had changed my life, and the tears just started falling. I was so excited to hear it acoustic. A favorite moment of the tour…
We’d known who it was all day. People had seen him entering the building and had heard the band practicing the song during sound check several times, so it was not a shock when B.O.B. came out and they sang Both of Us.
Caylee came back just before Trouble. Claire Callaway, an ex-Taylor dancer and her baby Lulu along with other Swift Agency wives and family members were in the pit behind us all night.
Again I wanted to say hi but was too scared, although I was brave enough to wave and smile at Lulu. She looked at me like I was crazy because I had Christmas lights all over me. So she hid behind Claire. Real cute, and oh so beautiful…
When the show was over Caylee talked to Claire. I stood behind and oogled because I’m lame.
Midnight bus After the show I didn’t have time to eat as I had to get my stuff from the hotel and then the 12:23am bus to Florida. I gave Caylee a huge hug and said I would see her soon and ran…
Atlanta is one strange town. I asked a girl where the bus station and she told me. Then, as I was walking way, she added, “Good luck, be careful.”
OMG! Who says that to someone? “I’m going to die,” I thought to myself.
I started walking and some guy started following me asking where I was going, offering to take my bags. I was scared he was going to kill me and pretended to be talking on my phone.
When that didn’t work I called Caylee, who didn’t answer. I finally lost him when he found someone he knew and I kept right on a-walking.
Total disorganization Eventually I got to the bus station and it was the scariest place ever. There were people absolutely everywhere and totally disorganized. The line for my bus looked so long I thought I wouldn’t be able to get my booked seat.
It was then that I totally regretted taking a 12:30am bus. It was the worst decision, ever. (Yes, another one!) On the bus I would barely sleep and the people around were real weird. I was tired and hungry and wanted to murder everyone…
But, that’s for the next blog…
Throughout high- and middle-school I had few friends and spent most of my time alone.
It wasn’t until I found Taylor and started going to concerts regularly and sleeping on sidewalks to meet her, that I began to make friends. Real friends who are there for me no matter what.
These trips show who my true friends are. They’re the ones that will let me crash at their houses, who are willing to drive me to the airport, or to share a hotel room with me.
They include me if they get pit, or will try and get me into Club Red with them. The friends who want to spend their free day and my free day with me. It’s something I cherish and am so thankful for.
Atlanta was number 12 of the 48 RED Tour shows I’m aiming to attend. (I really need to find two more to make it an even 50 don’t I?)
I’m going to do another FAQ blog soon. If you have any subjects and/or questions, please email, Tweet or Comment them to me!
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).
I’ve opened an email account — CCWTS13@gmail.com — which, if you want, you can use to send stories and photos to that you think will be of interest to Swifties. We could even open an album!