Concert Season: Who Are You Going to See?

taylor-swiftI blame Adam Lambert for what I am about to reveal to you all:  I’m headed to a Taylor Swift concert tonight. That’s right, Taylor Swift. Insidious curiosity got the better of me.

But why do I blame Lambert, you ask? Because I haven’t been listening to a whole lot of country music recently. Instead, thanks to my new, bizarre obsession with Lambert, in the past month I’ve pulled out old Queen, Bowie, Michael Jackson and Led Zeppelin. And I’ve listened to more My Chemical Romance, Pink and even Def Leppard than anything resembling country.  So, of course I thought of Swift. Because, when you think of hard rock, isn’t Swift the first person who comes to mind? 

(Save your ears, don’t listen)

I’ve also been tuning into rock radio, a rarity for me, to see what’s popular these days. Lo and behold, wouldn’t you know, Taylor Swift is also a rock artist (in addition to being a country, pop and heavy metal artist).  She’s regularly squeezed in between All American Rejects and Green Day on my local station. And let me tell you, nothing sounds more rock than a re-mix of Love Story. Don’t you agree?

But you have to give credit where credit is due. This girl has everyone fooled. Re-mix, re-package, throw in a few guest appearances with John Mayer and Def Leppard, form a friendship with Miley Cyrus, and suddenly, wow, you appeal to every demographic (under the age of 20). I gotta admit, I’m impressed. I’m also curious how a tall, gangly misfit, with a precocious attitude, who can’t sing, has made it work.  So, I’m headed to a concert tonight and will report back here because I actually know that many of you consider Swift a guilty pleasure. Wish me luck.

But no worries. I also have a number of saner concerts scheduled later this summer.  I’ve already got tickets to see Patty Griffin, Emmylou Harris, Nanci Griffith and Buddy Miller; as well as tickets to see Gary Allan and LeAnn Rimes (if she doesn’t cancel, which she’s done on  me twice).  I’m also still holding out for Bob Dylan/Willie Nelson tickets, but I’m sure that one is going to work out.

Summer concert season is around the corner.

Who are you planning on seeing in concert this summer?


  1. Terri Clark and James Otto are coming here in July, so I’m really looking forward to that.

    I’ll also be seeing Randy Travis and Montgomery Gentry at the state fair in September and Aaron Watson and the Eli Young Band will be in town a couple weeks later.

  2. Between me and Lynn, this site is becoming the #1 home on the web for people who know better but can’t help but kind of like Taylor Swift. Forgive us, Kevin!

    Sounds like Jim Lauderdale is playing somewhere here tomorrow night. I might check that out. There’s always CMA Fest, but I don’t know that I have the vitality to brave that!

  3. Bill and I like to try to catch some local bluegrass festivals in Maine. I tytpically don’t like outdoor concerts, but bluegrass festivals usually sound pretty good. The festivals try to have a known artist if they can, so we’ve seen Ralph Stanley and Rhonda Vincent as a result.

    We also plan to see Patty Loveless in concert as well. She’ll be performing at this little place in the middle of nowhere that will only have 200 or so people, which seems awesome. The tickets are insanely expensive though, but we’ll probably still do it.

  4. I’m going to see Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley, and Kenny Chesney in Canada, and Keith Urban and Sugarland in Nashville.

  5. I have a busy summer concert schedule. I`m going to go see Taylor Swift as well (won them so you can`t blame me for going LOL), Reba, Kenny Chesney, George Strait, and Emerson Drive (All in the same WEEK). then see keith urban, tim mcgraw, Kelly clarkson, no doubt, blink 182 and fallout boy. should be a fun filled summer time for me!!!!!! CAN`T WAIT.

  6. Well, so far i have planned to go see Kelly Clarkson one day, the next day I’m gonna see Keith Urban and Jason Aldean, the day after that I’m gonna see Josh Turner, Chuck Wicks and Jamey John. Then about 5 days later I’m gonna see Montgomery Gentry, Kellie Pickler and James Otto. and About a month after that I’m gonna see Kenny Chesney, Sugarland, Montgomery Gentry, Miranda Lambert and The Zac Brown Band. I think that is gonna be all this year. Unless something else comes up around here in central IL or in Indianapolis. And since Reba doesn’t think she is gonna start tourin’ for her album until late winter, early spring, I’m gonna wait for those.

  7. I am seeing Heidi Newfield tomorrow night in Cincinnati. And I plan to see Sugarland in August. Other than that, I plan to hit the county fair circuit and see as many country artists as I can this summer.

  8. I’m going to see Billie Jo Spears on her tour commemorating the 30th anniversary of her superior cover of “I Will Survive”. Also, I’ll probably catch Killing Her Softly – the reverse tribute band that actually encourages the assassination of Taylor Swift.

  9. I’m always curious as to why people have to seem shame-faced at having an interest or liking for Taylor or her music. No matter how many people say she can’t sing (an opinion) or that her lyrics are for adolescents, or a thousand other snarky accusations that people find to levy against her, she has from early age worked tirelessly to create her own music and her own style and project her emotions and reactions to life in a way that connects with people, and she has accomplished it time and again. In my opinion, all these opinions and accusations could just as easily be levied at any other artist that has ever written a song or performed to an audience, at some point in their career. She has never asked to be cut any slack for being young, never made excuses for who she is; she just writes and sings what she feels, and she touches people and brings out emotion and reaction and empathy which is what music is supposed to do. It tells the stories of human beings and brings about a relationship between the storyteller and the listener. So as a middle aged man, I say straight up with no shame that I admire and respect and like Taylor for who she is and the music she makes and the songs she writes for herself and for anyone that is willing to open their mind and listen without first shrouding themself in a mantle of superior age and assumed superior musical tastes. If you don’t like her, fine, but continually making snarky comments stated as facts about her does nothing to enhance your own credibility as a fair judge or assessor of what is good music.

  10. silver,

    I agree with you, honestly. I like Taylor and think she has a great deal of talent for writing from her particular perspective, which is something I even wrote about in my review of her current single. I don’t think she’s a technically good singer, no, but I think she’s easily one of the most interesting mainstream artists out there today, mostly because I think she’s one of the most genuine.

    So my “snark” is purely in good fun. Talented as she is, it’s undeniable that Taylor’s image and stage show do appeal to a younger crowd, so I’m just musing about the fact that older folks like me and Lynn still find her appealing.

  11. I caught a Swift show earlier in the year while she was down in Australia. I somehow landed first row in GA (apparently impossible in the States) and I was oddly surprised and impressed by her. The lack of children due to the fact that it was an Over 18s gig may have also been a contributing factor.

    Without the massive stage show, it was just Taylor and her band on a small stage sans bells and whistles, dances or costume changes. She carried the show remarkably (to a more mature audience also) and while I refuse to acknowledge her as a vocalist, I didn’t walk out with any negativity towards the girl – just a new found respect for her as an entertainer.

    The same week I also took in Old Crow Medicine Show. An odd combination for the week.

  12. Oh TS I was never a fan but liked her, and a couple songs, but as of late she is really beginning to bother me. That genuine factor that Dan mentions is seemingly becoming fake to me as her star shines brighter.

    Lynn I hope you comeback not brain washed….jk

    Carrie Underwood, Trace Adkins, Charlie Daniels, Little Big Town, Lorrie Morgan, Ricky Skaggs

    One day at CMA Fest
    Neal McCoy, Heidi Newfield, James Otto, Ashton Shepherd, Phil Vassar, Chuck Wicks

    Dierks Bentley, Brooks & Dunn, Julianne Hough, Reba McEntire, Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker, Rascal Flatts

    Kenny, Sugarland (voice pending), Miranda, M&G, Lady A, No Doubt, Coldplay

    Loretta Lynn is at the local Casino the night I come home from Nashville so, I hope I make it home it time to catch her, wouldn’t want to miss a great!

  13. I actually saw Taylor last Thursday here in Arizona and I have to say I was a bit impressed! To me, she sounded better live and she kept her show fairly entertaining. Aside from the screaming tween girls, it was a great show! Kellie Pickler was pretty good too but I was sooo disappointed that I missed Gloriana becaues I was really looking forward to seeing them!

    Well here’s how my concert schedule looks like so far…in July I see Keith Urban and Sugarland…and maybe the American Idols Live tour (cant wait to see my boy Kris!)and in August we’re driving down to Tucson to see Miss Julianne Hough (cant wait for that) and then in October it’s Brad Paisley and Lady Antebellum! And if anymore people decide to come than I’ll probably go see them too! haha

  14. Leeann, I really encourage you and Bill to attend the Patty Loveless concert at the Stone Mountain Arts Center. I got my ticket to that Brownfield show, It Looks like a beautiful little venue, and a rare opportunity. The last I heard, there are still tickets available.

    I hear Stephen King is also a big Loveless fan, and I think Brownfield is near one of his houses? So I’m betting there’s a good chance he will be there as well. After all, he regularly travels to Boston to see the Red Sox, so there’s no reason for him not to see his other obesssion in concert in his own back yard! :)

    And there’s always the free Patty Loveless concert in Freeport the following day, on the 4th. (LL Bean Summer concert series). I’m hoping to attend that one as well, and I’m really hoping she does some of her new material as a prelude to her upcoming album release in the Fall.

    And in late August, I’m planning to see Sara Evans in Lowell, MA, this will be my 10th Sara concert!

    Lynn, Dan, thanks for sharing your clandestine admiration for Taylor Swift with us. You are among friends here, and your secret is safe with us.;) (Razor, great line, btw.) And Lynn, I am also looking foward to seeing what Adam does next, he is an amazing talent, and shoulda won.

    And JR, I saw Heidi Newfield open for B&D last summer, and she is terrific in concert. I think you will really enjoy her.

  15. And Silver, I also meant no offence regarding Taylor, she is extremely talented. I think Dan’s answer is very well stated and pretty much represents my position as well.

  16. And here’s where I wish we had an edit feature, so I could have said all this in one post instead of three…

    In mentioning the possibility of Stephen King attending Patty’s Brownfield concert, I in no way meant it as a selling point for Patty’s concert, and I hope it didn’t sound that way. Patty doesn’t need any additional selling points. I meant it just as a side note, a point of interest.

    For those who have never seen Patty Loveless in concert, I wholeheartedly recommend her, no matter what she is charging. I attended my first PL concert last fall, and for many reasons, it was the best concert I have ever experienced. No bells and whistles, no smoke and mirrors, just music, wonderful, authentic music…It’s often said about her, but it’s true…it IS all about the music with Patty Loveless.

    Usually her ticket prices are quite modest and reasonable, the higher price at Stone Mountain has to do with the remote location and limited seating capacity of the venue, and the necessity to cover the artist’s costs and expenses. But it is a uniquely intimate setting, and promises to be a far better listening experience than stadium shows that often cost much much more.

    This is a rare opportunity to see a legendary Country singer in a very unique setting. I urge everyone who is able, to take full advantage of this great opportunity, Friday July 3rd!

  17. I will be seeing LBT with Jamey Johnson this fall at the Ohio State Fair, and trying to decide if I want to go to see a combo concert of Josh Turner, Emerson Drive, Heidi Newfield and Justin Moore, tickets are cheap ($10/20) but just need someone to go with me…and then I am going to do the same as JR and do the county fair thing, we get a lot of really good acts at the local county fairs here in Ohio…..

  18. i just got backstage passes to Jamey Johnson this weekend in Richmond… I am super excited to see him along with Darius Rucker at Country Fest this Sunday!

  19. Soooo… what’s the verdict? ;-)

    I’m seeing Mr. Urban Friday night and she is opening. Just curious if I’m going to be pleasantly surprised. Don’t get me wrong, the girl is talented and is a particularly gifted writer… I just don’t care to see her live. Oh well.

  20. Echoing Jen..what’s the verdict? Since Lynn hasn’t been seen since then, maybe she became so enamoured after being there and experiencing the Fearless Tour live that she became a roadie and is following the tour from now on, like the Grateful dead groupies….

  21. I will be seeing Keith Urban w/Taylor Swift on June 13th so I’m anxious to hear the verdict as well! I read on somebody’s blog that their niece saw Taylor recently and she said she counted 242 times that Taylor slung her head and hair! Said it was so annoying. So if the girl had time to count her hair slings, must have been a dull concert!

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