Vance Joy has just left the stage after singing "Riptide." The lights go down. The crowd screams. Then, in a moment, lights flood the arena as Taylor Swift welcomes you to New York.
Or Toronto, if it's October 4 and you joined me and 55,000 other fans as we crowded into the Rogers Centre listening to Taylor open her 1989 world tour with "Welcome to New York."
Taylor invited us to join her squad, not only calling us all her friends, but also providing each and every person with interactive glowing wrist bands that simultaneously changed colors throughout the show. The light show was intensified by thousands of fans who brought their own glowing signs, proclaiming everything from "1989" to "I met Taylor Swift in my Wildest Dreams." We became part of her concert.
And what would a Taylor Swift concert be without a special surprise guest? That first night in Toronto it was country sensation Keith Urban. Taylor went back to her country roots, trading off verses of "John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16," and "Love Somebody" with Urban.
But there was no shortage of Taylor's new pop sound that we have all come to know and love. She sang 12 out of the 13 tracks from 1989, including crowd favorites like "Bad Blood" and "Blank Space," and lesser known songs like "I Know Places." Diehard fans sang every lyric.
The climactic finale: "Shake It Off." She had the entire arena on their feet, shaking along with her and her dancers on a rotating stage complimented by fireworks and lasers.
But it wasn't just the finale that had a special Taylor flair. Neon lights, smoke machines, costume changes, flying dancers, and complex sets made every song a new adventure.
Even old favorites like "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," and "I Knew You Were Trouble" took fans by surprise as they were reinterpreted into rock anthems.
Taylor slowed things down a bit with an acoustic rendition of her 2009 hit "You Belong With Me," a new addition to her set list from the beginning of her tour.
In an intense fusion of old and new, she remixed "Wildest Dreams" with "Enchanted" on the piano, singing "this night is flawless, don't you let it go."
If you didn't catch Taylor in Toronto, don't worry, her world tour continues on into December. Although you might have to fly to Australia for a seat at one of her final shows.