Taylor Swift
Thurs. April 30
North Charleston Coliseum

The audience response to opening act Kelly Pickler suggested she could have packed the Coliseum on her own. The former American Idol contestant worked every big of that stage while giving fans her big hits, but she really soared with “Didn’t You Know How Much I Loved You.”

The other opening act, up-and-coming foursome Gloriana, gave the audience a peppering of what to expect off of their debut album, along with their popular first single “Wild At Heart.” The infectious song was just made for an audience (you’re almost compelled to clap along when you here it in the car), so it was no surprise that the crowd ate it up.

Before launching into her final number “Should Have Said No,” Taylor Swift told the sold-out crowd at the North Charleston Coliseum that she wanted to leave a good last impression. That she did, but she shouldn’t have worried. The impression from every number was big-budget theatrical fun worth every penny.

Swift started the show “You Belong With Me,” outfitted in a band leader uniform through most of the song until ripping it off to reveal the first of several glittering, skinny dresses she would wear during the night.

The set design, white stairs and platforms projecting different backgrounds for each number, was put to good use — shifting from high school lockers in the opening number to library shelves in “Teardrops on My Guitar,” and on and on until thunderclouds for the final number.

Obviously excited to be spotlighting the music off of her new album Fearless (released in November), the energy on stage really seemed to climb for the new stuff. The standout performance was “You’re Not Sorry” (a scorned lover ballad we’ve got new respect for) that bled into a cover of Justin Timberlake’s similarly themed “What Goes Around … Comes Around.” —Greg Hambrick