Taylor Swift performed a VH1 Storytellers concert at Pomona College’s Bridges Auditorium last Monday, Oct. 15, as a result of Harvey Mudd College’s victory in the “Taylor Swift on Campus” competition.
The filmed performance was the largest of the Storytellers series, which usually has an audience of only 150 to 200 people. Nevertheless, the concert had a more intimate feel than most Swift performances—the stage was complete with several sofas laden with pillows. Swift paused between songs to tell stories of what inspired them—she made fun of herself for writing so much about ex-boyfriends, admitting that the topics of her songs haven’t changed much from her first album—and to answer questions from the audience.
Travis Beckman HM ’15, who organized the Facebook page to facilitate 5C voting in the contest, had a front-row seat and received a kiss on the cheek from Swift.
Swift performed a mix of older pieces and songs from her upcoming album, released next week. Highlights included “Ours,” which she performed alone. Swift strummed a variety of guitars from sparkly silver to red to blue, as well as a banjo.
Swift’s mother was also at the performance, and she led some lucky students down to the front of the auditorium for the last few songs of the night.
HMC was presented with a $10,000 check for their music department before the concert began. Sponsors gave out free goods before the concert as well, such as Papa John’s pizza in specialized Taylor Swift boxes; mascara, lip gloss and makeovers from Covergirl; and glasses from Chegg. Attendees also received free specialized concert shirts after the performance.
Before Swift came on stage, VH1 had the audience practice laughing and clapping so the cameras could get clips of the audience reaction from different angles. Once Swift was on stage, however, the laughter and cheering came naturally. Swift even dedicated one song to men in the front row of the balcony who took off their shirts while cheering her on.
The concert will air on VH1 on Nov. 11.