While she’s immersed in promotional appearances for her new album, “Red,” Taylor Swift is also hatching plans for the concert tour that will begin March 13 in Omaha, Neb. And she says that her fans — who have purchased 1.55 million copies of “Red” since its October 22 release, according to Nielsen SoundScan — will have everything to do with what she plays.
“Of course, you know the tour will be a big representation of this record,” Swift tells Billboard. “I’m so excited to see what songs the fans like the most and which ones jump to the forefront, because that’s the first step. We always see which songs are really the passionate songs and the ones the fans are freaking out over the most, and those are the ones that are definitely in the set list. I can’t wait for that.”
Tickets begin going on sale Nov. 16 for Swift’s 58-date trek, which will be stopping at mostly arenas and nine stadiums on the tour and is currently announced through Sept. 21 with British troubadour Ed Sheeran, who guests on the “Red” track “Everything Has Changed,” as the opening act. And Swift says she’s planning a production that will fit the scale of the places she’s playing.
THE ‘RED’ ZONE
“I like for it to be big — as big as possible,” Swift explains. “If we can make a show that dazzles people more than the last tour, then I’ll have done my job in the right way. I just want to be able, in this economy, to make a show that for fans is definitely a guarantee that they will be entertained enough to warrant them leaving their house, spending their evening with me, parking their car, waiting in line, maybe buy a T-shirt. I want them to be so happy that they decided to spend their time with me — I think that’s my biggest objective. And the element of surprise is still really important in a concert and showing scenes and images and visuals that are magical. I really like to take people to a different world and change things up constantly, never showing them too much of the same thing too many times in a row.”
Swift’s Speak Now World Tour grossed more than $123 million and played to more than 1.6 million fans during 2010-2011, and “Red’s” success so far certainly bodes well for strong ticket sales for the tour. Nevertheless, Swift contends that she’s not taking anything for granted.
“I don’t naturally feel like I am entitled to win,” Swift says. “If I put out a song I don’t expect it to go No. 1 within hours. I got used to having to fight to get the song up the charts and having to wait and having to hope people would hear it; that’s kind of where my mind stayed. And so when we have something like (‘Red’), where all the songs that we’ve put out…have all gone to No. 1, it is absolutely mind-blowing to me that the fans are that reactive and that they’re that fast and that there are that many of them who are so clued in. It’s not something that I’m ever going to get used to.”
Swift’s episode of “VH1 Storytellers” is currently airing, and she’s also lined up performances on “The X Factor” (Nov. 15) and the American Music Awards (Nov. 18). She’s co-hosting “The Grammy Nominations Concert Live!! — Countdown to Music’s Biggest Night” Dec. 5 on CBS and will perform in New York City’s Times Square as part of “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” on ABC.