If you have read my previous entry, We’re going to make it now. All For The Hall and Swift for y’all, you probably went directly for the videos and noticed the same thing that most Swifties know: Taylor really shines when she’s doing the small, intimate performance. That’s not to say that she doesn’t rock live when she’s on tour (as I know first hand) but large scale sets on award shows rarely have good sound. Although some artists do manage to overcome this, it’s a challenge which has often lead some people to rely on the unspoken tools of the trade (cough lipsynching cough autotuning cough).
I’m glad that I was not the only one listening to the difference here. Go to CNN’s Marquee Blog and read the latest entry: Taylor Swift sparkles at Country Hall of Fame fundraiser. It’s a great article written by someone who actually attended the show and has a lot of praise for Taylor Swift’s live performance. I particularly love the conversations between Taylor and Vince Gill.
If you know a little about Vince, you know he likes to joke around. A lot. Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood would joke about him before the first time they got to host the CMA Awards. Vince Gill has experience hosting. Carrie said she’d probably call Vince to ask him for advice. Brad said Vince would probably be better to ask for golf tips. All and all, you will find most country music stars have a great sense of humor.
“We were smart enough to invite this kid,” joked Vince Gill, as he introduced the 20-year-old country-pop sensation. “We dig her because she sold all the tickets. Miss Taylor Swift, everybody!”People sipping wine in the floor seats chuckled knowingly. People in the balcony seats screamed their heads off.
Later on Vince remind us why although he’s known for making jokes, he keeps his job as a country singer.
Swift strummed along softly as Kristofferson sang “Me and Bobby McGee” with Harris on back-up vocals. Richie played piano and goaded Gill into an impromptu guitar solo during “Easy,” his 1977 hit with the Commodores. After Swift performed her latest single, “Mine,” Gill made a personal request for “Fifteen,” an ode to her freshman year in high school. “I was thinking about writing a song called ‘Fifty,'” he quipped.
Jokes and all Vince Gill is always a gracious host and a great country artist, and Taylor is not far behind. Let me quote another piece:
As for Swift, she more than held her own with this bunch of veteran singer/songwriters two and three times her age.
The acoustic setting showcased the intimate nature of her songwriting, and her voice sounded strong against the quiet backdrop – unlike some award show performances, where her voice occasionally loses focus when competing against splashy stage productions.
And I have to really highlight how the article finishes, sorry to end up quoting almost the whole thing. Very nice writing throughout but the little interactions with Taylor are the best, and I love the way she answers the last question. Read away.
As she reached for her trademark guitar encrusted in sparkly Swarovski crystals, Gill couldn’t help busting her chops. “Oh yeah, come on Buck Owens!” he roared as Harris asked pragmatically, “You’re going to give it to the Hall of Fame, right?”
“Eventually,” Swift replied.
You might not realize the subtleties of that answer “Eventually”. One day that guitar will have earned a place in Country music history. But what I believe she is saying now is: Yes, you will get my guitar. But you will get it when I am done with it, and I am not done yet.
I wish that guitar ends up in the Country Hall of Fame. But I hope it doesn’t get there for a long, long time.
Next week, the Fearless One travels to Italy. She’s scheduled to perform in X-Factor Italia on September 28 in Milan.
(Sources: CNN Marquee Blog)