April 24, 2009 — Taylor Swift sold out New York's prestigious Madison Square Garden and Los Angeles' Staples Center for her upcoming summer dates, making it appear she could have kicked off her first tour just about anywhere.
So why the heck would she choose Evansville to inaugurate this part of her career? It was, as it turns out, Taylor's destination of choice.
"There was this group of girls when I was first starting out, when I was 16 years old, and I was playing the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville, Tenn.," she told WFIE-TV in Evansville. "The craziest group in the entire crowd was this group of 12 girls. So after the show, I told my mom, 'You have got to go get these girls.' They were screaming, and they made shirts and they had face paint on, like at a football game."
Making a lot of noise got the girls a very nice perk. They got to go backstage and meet Taylor, and they unwittingly inspired this year's itinerary.
"They said they drove all the way there from Evansville, Ind.," Taylor noted. "So I've always had this really good vibe in my head when I thought of Evansville, Ind., because of these girls. So when they gave me the options of where to start the tour, I was like, 'That one!'"
Taylor kicked off the Fearless Tour Thursday night with Kellie Pickler, and Evansville made a point of showing its appreciation. Officials proclaimed Taylor Swift Day and gave her a key to the city. The tour continues Friday in Jonesboro, Ark., and Saturday in St. Louis.