Inside Taylor Swift’s Speak Now: Treasures from the World Tour, the exhibit!

Hello Taylor Nation!

Here at the Swift Agency, one guy that never thought he’d do an Inside Speak Now article ever again, we always adore the chance to be proven wrong. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum opens the exhibit Taylor Swift: Speak Now – Treasures from the World Tour on June 6. However, aside from a media preview on June 4 there was a chance for members for a sneak peek on June 5. I’ve added the legends provided by the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum since I thought you’d wanted to know what the Sparkly Dressed has written about each vignette. Here we go!

(Credit: TheSwiftAgency.com)

The Story Of Us / Mine(Taylor’s dress designed by Roberto Cavalli)

We used toaster elevators to pop the dancers up into the air during this song. I wanted the characters to fly into the air and appear onstage during different verses of the song to act out the different conflicts and arguments that take place during a breakup.

– Taylor Swift

(Credit: TheSwiftAgency.com)

Enchanted

(Taylor’s dress designed by Reem Acra)

I wanted some of my dancers to be able to showcase their ballet abilities. We created this beautiful dance at the beginning of the song which also gave me time to get changed backstage into this dress.

– Taylor Swift

(Credit: TheSwiftAgency.com)

Long Live

(Taylor’s dress designed by Jenny Packham)

This song was written about the feeling I would get on the Fearless Tour when I was backstage and listening to the crowd, knowing that I was there with my band about ready to go out and put on a show.

– Taylor Swift

(Credit: TheSwiftAgency.com)

Better Than Revenge

(Taylor’s dress designed by Jenny Packham)

Coming out of “Back To December”, I had to quickly take off the long gown, revealing this short red dress and boots. Then I’d run up the bridge in the dark in order to appear standing in the middle of the bridge as soon as this song started with ‘Now go stand in the corner and think about what you did’. I always loved the crowd’s reaction to the beginning of this song.

– Taylor Swift

(Credit: TheSwiftAgency.com)

Mean / Our Song

(Taylor’s dress is a vintage reproduction)

I wanted this scene to look like the front porch of a farm. I created elements during the show that remind me of different time periods. I wanted this to take me back to the Great Depression when musicians would sit around on a front porch, jamming to give them hope.

– Taylor Swift

(Credit: TheSwiftAgency.com)

Speak Now

(Taylor’s dress is a vintage reproduction)

The church scene was the most elaborate scene in the show. We tried to make it seem like a real wedding ceremony with pews, a minister and a bridezilla. The whole story played out with the groom and me running away at the end of the song, exiting the stage. Then I’d make my way out into crowd.

– Taylor Swift

(Credit: TheSwiftAgency.com)

Fearless

(no dress details)

At the back of the arena we positioned a secondary stage with a lit up tree. The base of the tree had a bench around it where I’d sit with my guitar and play acoustic. I wanted it to look like a whimsical, beautifully colored tree. The tree was made of fiberglass and turned different colors.

– Taylor Swift

.

.

.

(Credit: TheSwiftAgency.com)

Back To December

(Taylor’s dress designed by Marchesa)

I love that bridge. We tried to recreate one that I had seen in Central Park, NYC. I wanted it to play a pivotal role in this number, so I had the string section line the rail of the bridge and play their violins while I was on piano just below.

– Taylor Swift

(Credit: TheSwiftAgency.com)

Haunted

(Taylor’s dress by Susan Hilferty)

Huge bells were used in “Haunted” to create this dark, stormy looking world. The trees, which were all lit up for “Enchanted”, turn dark and eery. Little does the crowd know, there are aerialists hanging inside the bells. They drop down hanging from silks in the middle of the song.

– Taylor Swift

(Credit: TheSwiftAgency.com)

Love Story

(Taylor’s dress designed by Valentino)

I knew this song had to have a special moment. The year before on Fearless, we had a big castle on stage. So for this tour I wanted to go to the audience. So we designed a Juliet balcony that would fly over the audience and get me as close to the fans as possible in the balcony seats.

– Taylor Swift

Of course I should mention, there are a lot more pictures than these, I’ll put the whole collection in the gallery when I get some time to do that.

On other news, Amos Heller is playing with Old Dominion at the 12th and Porter in Nashville on Saturday at 10:30pm. It’s a bit of an issue for me since it’s middle of the CMA Fest’s nightly performances. At least I’m confident I will see him with Tequila Sunrise on June 15 at Cleveland’s House of Blues.

Coming up in the Calendar!

(Source: Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum)

Hot Chelle Rae gets pranked by The Agency and the Residents! Remember to vote meow!

Hello Taylor Nation,

Should I remind you to VOTE for the Sparkly Dressed for ACM Entertainer of the Year? Was that a ninja behind you? I’d make sure to vote early just in case.

Here’s The Agency and the Resident Dance Crew pranking the opening band, Hot Chelle Rae at the last Speak Now Tour concert in Auckland, New Zealand at Vector Arena on March 18, 2012. Let’s go to the video!

Watch on YouTube

And here’s the introduction to Mean when the Sparkly Dressed mentions Amos Heller‘s birthday! As well as his involvement in the prank.

Watch on YouTube

I’d like to give a big shoutout to Hannah Swan for sharing her clips. Don’t forget! Your mission everyday is to VOTE for Taylor for ACM Entertainer of the Year! As Meredith says below, vote meow! 🙂

(Source: @TaylorNation13)

Coming up in the Calendar!

  • March 29: The Punk’d season premiere episode featuring Taylor Swift airs on MTV at 10/9c.
  • March 31: The 2012 Kids Choice Awards. Taylor is nominated for Favorite Female Singer and Favorite Song for Sparks Fly. The show airs on Nickelodeon on Saturday, March 31st at 8/7c.
  • April 1: Mike Meadows‘ Birthday.
  • April 1: The 47th ACM Awards air live from Las Vegas on CBS at 8pm ET, delayed for PT. Taylor Swift is nominated for Entertainer of the Year, Female Vocalist of the Year and Video of the Year for “Mean”.

(Sources: YouTube)

Speak Now NYC: The Encounters, Opening Acts and Current News Update

Meeting Amos Heller and Daniel Sadownick

Hello Taylor Nation!

Here at the Swift Agency, one guy who is really tired and needs to catch up on his sleep, we’d like to say thanks everyone for reading The New York Experience concert review. If you haven’t read it yet, shame on you. Just kidding. Go read it now and we’re good.

We celebrate Thanksgiving a month early up here in Canada, but I’d like to say I am thankful for all the chances to travel and see the Blonde With The Sparkly Guitar, as well as having the chance to meet some of the members of The Agency and as an additional perk, some of my blog readers and twitter followers!

NeedToBreathe

I am also thankful for these guys. NeedToBreathe has quite a strong following and has managed to play in huge venues as the main opening act for the Outspoken One. I would dare say they’re ready for prime time at this point. Every time I have seen them play in this tour they have been greeted with more and more applause and they’ve managed to get the crowd on their feet and cheering for them louder and louder. I would love to go to a concert to see what they can do by themselves.

You can find more about NeedToBreathe on their website at www.NeedToBreathe.net.

Adam Brand

Adam Brand was chosen as the opening number for the Enchantress’ two shows in New York City. He has a recording career back in his native home in Australia, where he hails from the city of Perth. He has made the move to Nashville to pursue his dream in the US and has a single out called Ready For Love.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence the Sparkly Dressed chose an Aussie artist when she’s going to do one last Speak Now Tour leg in New Zealand and Australia in March 2012.

You can find more about Adam Brand on his website at www.adambrandofficial.com.

Meeting Grant Mickelson

On that note, a few things you probably know. The Speak Now Tour is announced next year for Australia and New Zealand. Here are the dates:

March 2, 2012: Speak Now Tour in Perth, Australia at Burswood Dome. Click here for ticket info.

March 4, 2012: Speak Now Tour in Adelaide, Australia at Adelaide Entertainment CentreClick here for ticket info.

March 6, 2012: Speak Now Tour in Brisbane, Australia at Brisbane Entertainment CentreClick here for ticket info.

Canadian Swifties represent!

March 9, 2012: Speak Now Tour in Sydney, Australia at Acer ArenaClick here for ticket info.

March 13, 2012: Speak Now Tour in Melbourne, Australia at Rod Laver ArenaClick here for ticket info.

March 16, 2012: Speak Now Tour in Auckland, New Zealand at Vector ArenaClick here for ticket info.

On other news, coming up real quick is Billboard’s Women in Music 2011. The Queen of Sparks has been chosen to win the Woman of the Year award at the event taking place on December 2.

Amos and the Painters

Recently, while reading a Billboard article on Nicky Minaj, who will receive the Rising Star award at the event, I found out that Taylor is supposed to be attending the event as well. Widely seen video clips of the Outspoken One giving Nicki a nod by confessing her love for the song Superbass contributed to it becoming a single and boosting her career.

The female rapper won the AMA award for best rap/hip-hop album as well as favorite rap/hip-hop artist, this one from the Sparkly Dressed herself. Nicky took the chance on her accepting speeches to include the Blonde With The Sparkly Guitar with the people she wanted to thank for her success. Expect more love when they both attend the Women in Music 2011 event on December 2, 2011 in New York City.

Meeting David Cook

The American Country Awards air live from Las Vegas on the FOX network on December 5! The Sparkly Dressed is up for Artist of the Year, Artist of the Year Female, Album of the Year for Speak Now, Single of the Year Female for Mean, Touring Headline Package of the Year and Music Video Female for Back To December. You can still vote for Artist of The Year!

On some Canadian news, the Speak Now CD/DVD that is exclusive to Target in the US has been made available here. I saw the same CD/DVD in Archambault here in Montreal. Yes, I know online they only seem to have the standard one. I found one on the store with a sticker that says “bonus content” instead of Target and with the same white cover presentation.

Nice-People-For-Abby: Steve, Maya and Abby

Finally, coming up on December 5 are the American Country Awards which air live from Las Vegas on the FOX network. The Sparkly Dressed is up for Artist of the Year, Artist of the Year Female, Album of the Year for Speak Now, Single of the Year Female for Mean, Touring Headline Package of the Year and Music Video Female for Back To December.

Usually I’d save the current news update for another post but I decided that instead of just using filler to show the pictures, it would make more sense to recap all current news here. No ninjas were harmed in the making of this blog entry.

Meeting Amos Heller

Coming up in the Calendar!

  • December 2: Billboard’s Women in Music 2011 event in New York City. Taylor will receive the Woman of the Year award.
  • December 5: The American Country Awards air live from Las Vegas on the FOX network. The Sparkly Dressed is up for Artist of the Year, Artist of the Year Female, Album of the Year for Speak Now, Single of the Year Female for Mean, Touring Headline Package of the Year and Music Video Female for Back To December.
  • December 13: Oh, come on. You know :)
  • December 13: The CMT Artists Of The Year event honoring Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Lady Antebellum, Brad Paisley and Taylor Swift airs on CMT at 9PM ET/PT.
  • December 29:Paul Sidoti, Amos Heller and Mike Meadows along with other musicians will perform at Tequila Sunrise – A Tribute to the Eagles at the House of Blues in Cleveland, Ohio. I really wish I could go to this one, but it’s during the holiday season. Here’s the event on Facebook.

(Sources: NeedToBreatheAdam Brand, Women in Music 2011)

Inside Speak Now: Highlights from The Agency!

Hello Taylor Nation!

Remember when I said that I might not write another Inside Speak Now article again? Well, let’s pretend I never said that. I’ve been working on this one for a while… Sorry it took so long. Most of these little facts I picked up on Nashville, but others have been seen here and there.

Grant Mickelson

1. Grant’s stroll

Did you know The Agency’s Grant Mickelson has been known to walk among the audience before the show? We actually caught him doing that at the Nashville shows. Big shoutout to @StephanieJuliet for taking this picture. Sorry we blew your cover, Grant!

Sorry, I can’t say if he’s going to do that again, or where he shows up. Actually, the only other time I know of Grant ever doing this before came from someone’s tweet during another concert. I don’t remember who said it.

Note: Please don’t ask when Grant does this or on which part of the venue he shows up. It’s not scheduled and completely spontaneous.

The Story Of Us

2. Taylor and Grant fighting during The Story Of Us

You’ve probably noticed this. I was worried this little play acting they do while on stage will be scratched and just acted out by the dancers, but I can happily report they’ve added more to it.

As the song starts and Grant and Paul move up the catwalk, notice Taylor as she passes Grant. She makes a gesture with her arm as if she’s mad at him. They will keep “fighting” as the song progresses including a pause in which Grant stops playing and even puts his arm on Taylor’s shoulders and she just rolls her eyes at him.

3. Fernando and Caitlin on the introduction to Our Song

Fernando Miro does an impressive tap dancing routine, Taylor pops up from the stage and Caitlin Evanson‘s alter ego Eunice makes an appearance to play the fiddle. What’s not to love?

Watch on YouTube

Al Wilson

4. Al Wilson’s beard

Have you ever noticed during Our Song and Mean that The Agency is dressed in period costumes of the depression era? Of course you have.

What you might have not noticed is that Al Wilson on the drums is also in costume! Naturally, you can’t really see him back there but I noticed something funny and zoomed in… Al is wearing a beard!

Al is the first member of the Agency. I can’t believe that question comes up on the screens at concerts and nobody knows.

Al formed the band for the most part. Amos was brought in by Al, for example. Later on they would hold auditions as they needed more players. Liz was a Taylor fan that got to meet, speak, and even sing to Taylor before she auditioned to be her backup singer. Paul came in to audition with a guitar he had made himself.

Mean

5. Caitlin and Liz during the line “I can’t sing” from Mean

This one is very subtle, and not even a secret but still I want to highlight it.

Caitlin Evanson, still in her guise as Eunice, seems to be saying, “pssh… what-ever” just as the line hits. This is aimed at the mean guy, not at the audience, of course.

Liz Huett kills me. As the line hits she has this sly look that’s very sassy and a more than a bit catty. She’s standing with Taylor as if saying “she just proved you wrong and you’re just a douchebag.”

The picture is from back in Montreal in July. By the time Speak Now reached Nashville, Liz and Cait stood at a distance from Taylor when she gets to this line so it’s a bit harder to have them all in the same picture.

6. Caitlin and Liz during Back To Revenge

Another for Caitlin Evanson and Liz Huett. This time is the play acting between them and Taylor during Back To Revenge. There’s also a bit after they get off the bridge when Taylor and Cait are pushing each other and I love Caitlin’s face as she runs away.

Watch on YouTube

Yes, this video already shows Grant and Paul’s duel, but I want to mention it separately nevertheless, so…

7. Grant and Paul’s duel at the end of Better Than Revenge

Ok, ok… you just saw it and the end of the previous clip. I still wanted to highlight it so this is only clip which I filmed myself! It’s a great guitar duel between Grant Mickelson and Paul Sidoti at the end of Better Than Revenge. Here’s my clip. The winner, as always, is the audience! Well done, guys!

Watch on YouTube

Amos Heller

8. Amos headbanging

The question most Agency members get asked on Twitter is “What is your favorite song to play in concert?” If you ask Amos Heller, the answers are Better Than Revenge and Haunted. There’s some heavy bass in the later song.

You will notice the Agency’s bass player extraordinaire is headbanging on both songs. I wanted to highlight Haunted but it’s too dark. This is from Better Than Revenge, which is not much better…

9. The Wedding Dancers

This one was captured by @_Jencita_ during another Speak Now show. Ever notice what The Agency and the Dance Crew are up to while Taylor is “running away now” at the end of Speak Now? They’re doing silly dances as if they’re at a wedding reception!

Watch on YouTube

Caitlin Evanson at the harp

10. Caitlin at the harp during Last Kiss

I wish I had a clearer picture… Caitlin Evanson has several violin solos during Speak Now that serve as intros. The one she does for Back To December is excellent. The one for Enchanted is not to be missed.

But during Last Kiss she really goes all out with a huge harp that is raised onto the stage via one of the secret lifts (the one up front on the catwalk).

Saying Cait is multi-talented would be an understatement. She also really gets into the song and plays it very passionately.

Claire Callaway

11. Claire as the ballerina in Enchanted

Claire Callaway has two terrific entrances during Speak Now. The first is her stunning appearance as The Bride (insert lighting and thunder effects here) in Speak Now. It’s a very dramatic entrance.

The other is a lot more subdued but also show off her skills as a ballerina and happens during Enchanted. She does a little ballet number that starts only with her, then she is joined by Dominique and the rest of the Dance Crew.

The dress for Long Live

12. Taylor’s dress during Long Live

Yes, I’m including Taylor. In my mind she is a part of the band and this is about Long Live so it’s fitting.

After Haunted, the Sparkly Dressed appears from under the bell in a different dress and with the sparkly guitar to sing Long Live.

However, when she was about to bring out Andy Grammer in Nashville, she emerged without the guitar which usually hides this dress… It is another sparkly dress with a golden pattern on it.

13. The Agency’s lost introduction during Long Live

This is the part where the Blonde With The Sparkly Guitar would introduce The Agency during the international legs of the Speak Now Tour. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case. Now she adds clips from her video blogs and fan encounters on the screen. The band does get pictures of themselves during Fifteen as way of an introduction. I still wish I’d seen this introduction live.

This was taken in Manchester from the pit:

Watch on YouTube

And this was in Manila, the Philippines:

Watch on YouTube

Liz Huett

And as we wrap up, one last picture of Liz Huett just because 🙂

Coming up in the Calendar!

  • October 2: Speak Now tour in Atlanta, Georgia at Philips Arena. Sold Out.
  • October 4: Speak Now tour in North Little Rock, Arkansas at Verizon Arena.
  • October 5: Speak Now tour in New Orleans, Louisiana at New Orleans Arena. Sold Out.
  • October 8: Speak Now tour in Dallas, Texas at Cowboys Stadium. Click here for ticket info.
  • October 11: The Journey To Fearless DVD is available on stores. You can pre-order it on Amazon.com.
(Source: The Swift Agency)

The Announcement: The Speak Now Tour Live CD+DVD is released on November 21st!

Hello Taylor Nation!

It’s official. The Speak Now Tour Live CD + DVD comes to stores in November 21st! You can pre-order it at http://store.taylorswift.com.

Watch on YouTube

The Sparkly Dressed played Bossier City, Louisiana at the CenturyTel Center on September 20.

The Arm Lyrics were: “Love, save the empty and save me.” from Erin McCarley’s Love, Save The Empty.

She also did a Cover of Britney Spears’ Lucky.

Watch on YouTube

In case you need a reminder, the Journey To Fearless DVD is available on stores on October 11. You can pre-order it on Amazon.com.

(Source: taylorswift.com)

Coming up in the Calendar!

  • September 21: Speak Now tour in Tulsa, Oklahoma at Bank of Oklahoma Center. Sold Out.
  • September 24: Speak Now tour in Kansas City, Missouri at Arrowhead Stadium. Click here for ticket info.
  • September 27: Speak Now tour in Denver, Colorado at Pepsi Center. Sold Out.
  • September 28: Speak Now tour in Salt Lake City, Utah at Energy Solutions Arena. Sold Out.
(Source: taylorswift.com)