Taylor Swift performs in front of fans July 6 at Heinz Field
By Diana Kline
For many teenage girls, including myself, this past week has been the highlight of the summer.
Music sensations Taylor Swift and One Direction, considered the top of the food chain as far as teenage-girl appeal, performed in Pittsburgh within days of each other. On July 6, Ms. Swift took the stage at Heinz Field as part of her "Red" tour, and two days later, One Direction performed at Consol Energy Center on the band's "Take Me Home" tour.
For those of us able to attend both concerts, it was a dream come true. Many referred to the nearly back-to-back performances as the perfect mix -- Ms. Swift's mellow music with One Directon's pop-rock tunes.
For the fans not able to experience both performances, deciding which concert to go to was "a very tough decision to make," said Mt. Lebanon High School freshman Julia Funovits. Like many other parents, the Funovitses weren't pleased with spending the sometimes ridiculous amounts of money to purchase tickets to both performances.
"I love [both artists] equally, but ... I had to make a choice," Julia said. She ultimately chose Taylor Swift "because I felt I had a deeper connection with her and her music."
Ms. Swift, known for her calm, dreamy ballads (except for the boy-bashing breakup ones), toured with three male artists as her opening acts -- Joel Crouse, Austin Mahone and Ed Sheeran. "Every song had its own vibe," Baldwin High School sophomore Jess Dini said about Ms. Swift's performance. "I was really impressed with the concert. ... She made sure every performance had meaning to it and made it an overall spectacular, unforgettable concert."
One Direction, or 1D, is a charming, heartthrob boy band that consists of five boys from the UK -- Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson. Their performances include fooling around on stage and answering goofy Twitter questions from their fans.
Most of their music is upbeat and gets viewers moving, dancing and, of course, screaming. "The crowd at One Direction was ridiculous. As soon as the band came on stage, high-pitched screams filled Consol and they didn't end until [it] was empty ... the energy inside Consol was surreal," said 17-year-old concertgoer Meghan Schneck.
The days before the concerts were nearly as action-packed as the performances themselves. For Ms. Swift's concert, girls rushed to find the perfect fashion-forward outfit to look as good as the songstress, all the while fitting in with her music style. Ms. Swift "isn't really country anymore, so you have to find an 'in-between' outfit balance of pop and country. That is the most stressful thing about a concert. You have to dress for the occasion," Megan Brubaker, a Mt. Lebanon High School freshman, said.
For 1D, the pressure was even higher to find the dream outfit, with the unrealistic hope that one of the boys would notice the girl's undeniable beauty and, perhaps, invite said girl to indulge in some post-performance McDonald's with the band. (Hey, I can't say I didn't wish for the same thing.)
However, many girls would agree that none of the pre-concert stress mattered in the end. As a fellow crazy teenage fan, I can verify that at the end of the day, the unbelievable shows delivered by both artists were the memorable parts of the experience.
We're hoping both Taylor Swift and One Direction will be back in Pittsburgh soon for another performance.