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Swiftie From A Young Age

By Natalie Pedroza

Desiree Saldate, a junior at Rialto High School enjoys going to concerts. Seeing artists like Panic at the Disco, The Weeknd, and Arctic Monkeys at just 16 years old hints at the many more concerts she will eventually go to in the future. The first artist Saldate saw in concert is any girl's dream - Taylor Swift.

Saldate realized her interest in Taylor Swift because of her sister Savanna Saldate. She stated that her sister was always listening to Taylor’s music. Saldate explains, “She always blasted her music around me so I was really influenced by her.” Around the time Saldate explored her interest in Taylor Swift, Taylor’s recent album at the time "1989" was trending. Saldate shared that her favorite song from the album at the time was “New Romantics.”

In 2015, a year after Taylor Swift released her "1989" album, and about two weeks before Taylor Swift was expected to perform at Petco Park in San Diego for her 1989 tour, Saldate at just 8 years old and her older sister Savanna were in for the surprise of their life.

Saldate states, “My parents said they had something for me and my sister. They made us close our eyes while they put something in our hands and when we opened our eyes it was the concert tickets.” She said this surprise led to her jumping up and down almost in tears because of the overwhelming excitement.

While at the Petco Park Stadium in San Diego Saldate was in the same vicinity as Taylor Swift. Saldate did not only attend the concert with her sister, but her mom, aunt, and grandma tagged along as well. Saldate says she remembers walking into the venue feeling tiny because of how big the stadium was. She also remembered how unique and amazing people’s outfits were, leaving her in awe.

Swift concert. 2015.

Even though she was 8 years old, that did not hold her back from having the time of her life. One of her favorite parts of the concert was being able to sing as loud as she wanted and being able to see Taylor with her own eyes. Saldate and her family sat high up and far from the stage, but luckily there were big screens on both sides of the stage letting Saldate see Taylor’s performance from a better perspective.

Saldate believed that nothing got in the way of her “unreal” night. However, Saldate had a scare when Taylor left the stage without performing one of her hit songs at the time “Shake it Off.” Saldate explains, “I thought Taylor was going to finish her concert without playing “Shake it Off” because she said goodnight and thank you, and the venue went dark,” but just a few moments later the lights came back on and Taylor was back to perform and complete 8-year-old Saldate’s night. “It was one of the best moments of the night,” says Saldate.

After the concert, Saldate expressed tears of joy and was in shock from everything she just experienced. Saldate says, “I just wanted to experience it all over again.”

One thing Saldate wishes she could have experienced is Taylor’s recent tour “The Eras Tour” where Taylor performed songs from each of her albums. Saldate says she still considers herself a big Taylor Swift fan as she tries to keep up with her latest projects and anything she puts out in general.

Overall, Saldate is very grateful for all the opportunities she has been given to see some of her favorite artists in concert and she hopes to continue her concert journey as the years go on.

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