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Country superstar Swift rocks out at Heinz Field

| Sunday, June 19, 2011

The last time Taylor Swift performed at Heinz Field, she was an opening act for country superstar Keith Urban. Saturday night, Swift drew 52,000 fans into that same venue on her own, blazing her own path as a country music superstar.

Olivia Kiray, 8, of Upper St. Clair couldn't wait to see her idol. Receiving tickets to the concert as a birthday gift, she anxiously awaited the opportunity to dance to her favorite music live, rather than in her bedroom.

"I like every one of her songs," she said, unable to keep a smile off her face. "This will definitely be the best birthday gift ever."

The 21-year-old Pennsylvania native brought her "Speak Now" world tour back to her home state, with opening acts Randy Montana, Danny Gokey and NeedToBreathe. Reminiscing with the audience about past experiences, Swift said the concert will remain the best memory she has ever had in the state.

"I have had some great times in Pennsylvania; first being born here, then learning how to play guitar, then singing the national anthem at a Pittsburgh Steelers game," she said. "I can't believe this many people can be in one place, I am definitely making my best (Pennsylvania) memory here with all of you tonight."

To begin the concert, Swift appeared onstage amidst a thick veil of white smoke on an elevating platform, and as she ascended to stage level, the shouts of star-struck fans amplified with every inch she rose. Once on stage, Swift stood in awe, as 52,000 fans screamed at deafening pitches, waved glow sticks and illuminated cell phones as they eagerly anticipated her next move.

She wasted no time kicking off the show. After peering out to the massive crowd of fans, predominately young girls, she began her set with her song "Smile," fittingly beaming through her toothy grin.

From that point, Swift asserted total control over the audience. She had the crowd excited when she played crowd favorites like "Mean," "Our Song," and "Speak Now." At the flip of a switch, she sent the crowd into a somber state, when she played more personal songs like "Last Kiss," and "Dear John."

"This concert totally blew her 'Fearless' concert out of the water," said Alex Dietz, 15, of Wexford. "I couldn't believe she was actually hanging over the audience; that made her feel so much closer to her fans in the audience."

Her mother, Moncel, agrees, adding that the concert is a great family experience; mainly because Swift is one of the few wholesome acts in the music business, and she continues adding exciting elements to her show, like fireworks and amazing sets.

"I will never miss an opportunity to go to a Taylor Swift concert," she said. "She knows how to rock the house, and I can't wait to come to one of her concerts in the future."

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