NEW YORK — On Thursday night at Madison Square Garden,
Before Taylor took the stage, a video showed celebrities like Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Faith Hill, Lucas Till and Swift herself sharing what they think the word "fearless" means. Then Swift, dressed as a marching-band leader and surrounded by cheerleaders, kicked off the show with "You Belong With Me." Mid-song Taylor lost the marching-band garb to reveal a sparkly dress, and the crowd went wild. That's also when her infamous sparkly acoustic guitar appeared.
There wasn't a moment when the crowd wasn't enthralled or charmed by Swift. They loudly sang every word to every one of her selections, including "Our Song," "Fearless," "Fifteen" and "Teardrops on My Guitar," which was accompanied by an anecdote about the unrequited love that inspired it, with a pair of actors playing two-thirds of the love triangle.
Then a mock interview played: "Today" co-host Hoda Kotb asked the singer why guys should date her if she's going to call them out in songs. Swift responded that guys shouldn't do bad things. And then she went into her Joe Jonas breakup ode, "Forever & Always."
Taylor's penchant for writing songs about guys she knows was later mocked in a video that led into "Hey Stephen," which she began on the other side of the arena surrounded by crowd. She then walked through the audience, hugging and high-fiving them as she made her way to the stage.
The screams of Swift's fans were deafening, and she had to hold back some emotion when talking about moved she was by their devotion. Then she introduced "White Horse" by noting that unlike in fairy tales, sometimes the bad guy is really, really cute.
Other favorites — "The Way I Loved You," "You're Not Sorry," a cover of Justin Timberlake's "What Goes Around ... Comes Around," "Picture to Burn" and "Change" — rounded out the set before she reemerged for her encore and once again dazzled the crowd, this time with "I'm Only Me When I'm With You" and "Should've Said No."
There were times when Swift seemed a bit overwhelmed but also incredibly excited to be playing the famous New York arena. Early in the night she told the crowd, "I feel like I've been waiting my whole life to say this: MSG, welcome to the Fearless tour."