Thursday, June 25, 2015
Let's Go Swifting
Heinz Field has seen its fair share of concerts this summer. The Rolling Stones, Kenny Chesney, and best of all, pop country crossover phenom Taylor Swift! Selflessly commemorating the year of her birth, the 1989 tour pulled into the stadium accompanied by a seemingly endless entourage of 18-wheelers.
So did I attend the exclusive VIP party? Did I buy the $35 t-shirt and $20 matching pink sunglasses? Did I hang out with the Rooney grandkids in the owner's suite? Uhh, the answer is a resounding no. However, I did venture down to check out the scene. I gotta be honest. It was pretty much what I expected. Streaming packs of cellular-addicted teenage girls swarming the North Shore with reckless abandon. Cockeyed optimists with unbridled enthusiasm. All of them quite content to feed the burgeoning musician's empire.
A wise man once said, "What the Swift wants, the Swift gets." I agree. In her mid-twenties, Taylor has evolved into a higher life form. Let's give the woman credit. She's more than a singer songwriter. She's more than a marketing genius. She is now an entity... with bright red lipstick.
I reflected on her quest for global domination. I wondered if there was a way to increase her fame and fortune, power and control. Could something lie beyond the realm of stadium concerts? Suddenly, it dawned on me. Ka-Pow! In one swift revelation, I devised a plan that would revolutionize the entertainment business and permanently transform the live music industry.
There's only one thing that could supersede performing in an NFL stadium. And that's performing at a NASCAR track. But instead of the tireless refrain of "let's go racing," I proudly give you the nifty, swifty equivalent --- "Let's Go Swifting." Picture it as a weekend vacation destination. But instead of camping, we're gonna go swifting.
My idea utilizes the similar theme of the 3-day race weekend getaway. Arrive on Friday and set up. Saturday night's the concert. And on Sunday, they kick you out. But here's the twist. With my vision, everyone is a participant who gets to showcase their special talents. Everyone's a star. Just like our host. Maybe you make the best grilled cheese sandwich. Maybe you do the best cartwheel. Maybe you're a mime. Yawn. Or maybe you do these incredible Mike Tomlin impersonations. My point here --- everyone gets an opportunity to perform. It's a natural extension from the overwhelming glut of prime time song and dance shows.
I even took the liberty of writing a dozen songs for her new cd. Here's a sneak peak at the title tracks: Fired Up, Rainy Day, More S'mores, Sleeping Bag For Two, Summer Lovin', Scary Karaoke, Fishing and Wishing, Hikin' and Bikin', Sunglasses in the Dark and Intense Tents.
Like I said, it's so much more than a concert. It becomes an interactive community. Unparalleled exploration and an experience to behold. Here are the major sub-plot angles. Nag parents until they capitulate. Meet new people. Make friends for life. Personal growth and self-discovery. You're the star of the show. It's all grounded in the iconic, warholic notion that everyone deserves their 15 minutes of fame.
Let's Go Swifting is a commitment. But with that dedication comes a hefty price tag of course. This is her turf and you will play (and pay) by her rules. Swift, and only Swift, controls every aspect of commerce. No cash is permitted on site. And with that, I humbly present the Swift Inc. Credit Agency. A parking pass costs $100. Weekend tickets are priced at $250. No refunds, no exchanges. Your thirst will be quenched with $5 bottled water and $10 lemonade, kale smoothies. You can use the restrooms, but please be aware, they come with a modest "excretory" tax. Cell phone accessories, tooth brushes, feminine hygiene products, the list is endless.
All your dreams will be fulfilled. You can buy anything and everything. Be forewarned though. If you fall behind on your monthly payments, her corporate roadie hunters will snatch your ass up and throw you in jail. That's right! She has her very own privatized incarceration facilities. Based on the premise of a modern-day debtors prison. But it's our beloved Taylor who functions as judge, jury and executioner. There's a name for this as well. We call it swift justice.
You see, I live in a future fantasy world where Taylor Swift shapes government policy and wields broader authority than the President, Congress and the Supreme Court combined. Reminiscent of a North Korean despot, but slightly taller and sporting a less rigid haircut. Regardless, you will obey the swift. Or you will face the consequences.
All the while, it's economic exploitation at its finest. Motor speedways can sell an infinite quantity of tickets. Factor in the infield and they're basically capable of holding an unlimited number of people. Cha-Ching!
Regrettably, all of this does raise some legitimate concerns regarding venue safety. Unrestricted general admission seating and hundreds of thousands of frenzied teenagers could be a recipe for disaster. Seriously, you might be thinking... what if there's a stampede? My reply. Hey, they're Taylor Swift fans. If they die, they die.