We Made it Through the Rain … Again

I know that I’m once again conflating Barry Manilow and Taylor Swift with that title, but if the soggy shoe fits…

Perhaps a more appropriate title in anticipation of the impending Speak Now re-release (July 7, pre-order now) would be The Rain Show (Taylor’s Version).

For on Saturday evening, my daughter and I attended our second Taylor Swift concert in the rain at Gillette Stadium. As I wrote about in my 2018 post, Ten Years of Taylor, we were also there for the original “Rain Show” during the Speak Now Tour in June 2011, an unforgettable night.

Although equally memorable and magical, there were some key differences between our experiences in 2011 and 2023. The first was that we were not expecting to be part of a rain show in 2011. As Taylor mentioned on Saturday, there had been reports throughout that day of the potential of thunderstorms in the area, but we assumed that it wouldn’t dare rain on Taylor.

Taylor_RainIn fact, when the rain started that night in 2011, we weren’t even sure it was real. Taylor was on the back stage, sitting under a lighted fake tree when the rain started at that end of the stadium. My daughter assumed that the rain (light at the start) was fake, part of the show. It was only logical. That night we had already seen fake snow (i.e., confetti) fall to the ground during Back to December a couple of songs earlier and we had seen Taylor incorporate fake rain, but real water, into Should’ve Said No during the Fearless Tour.


But we soon learned, all too well, that the rain was real.

We were, in a word, unprepared.

Not so this time. This time we knew that we were going to be attending a rain show. The hourly forecast on AccuWeather suggested a possible lull, but it was going to rain all day and the rain would only get harder as Midnights approached.  If Saturday’s show had been planned for the 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm window rather than 8:00 – 11:00 it might have been just another epic rain show and not, in Taylor’s words, “the rainiest rain show that ever rain showed, ever, ever ever.

This time we came prepared.


Our carefully planned Eras outfits were covered by “Speak Now”-colored purple ponchos purchased earlier in the week. I do have to give a shout out to Amazon and the poncho people. Even after five hours in the rain, I was pretty much dry from the knees up. When the wind picked up and the rain started coming straight at us, a little water did start to seep in around my neck, but the Reputation Stadium Tour scarf/towel that I was wearing was able to keep me dry.

Along with our clear plastic bags, filled with extra clear plastic bags, I carried my 1989 Era Taylor Swift beach blanket to help wipe down seats when we arrived. I say beach “blanket” because the stadium website said that blankets were allowed but made no mention of towels.  The couple in front of us were appreciative when the husband was about to wipe down their seats with the $45 t-shirt they had just waited in a seemingly unending line to purchase at the merch stand.

And, of course, my daughter came armed (literally) with homemade friendship bracelets to wear and to share.


ShoesOur only shortcoming was our matching 1989 Taylor Keds. Probably not the best footwear choice for standing in the rain, clearly no match for the puddles that turned into standing water that turned into a small river in the parking lot after the show.I dried mine in the sun on top of my car Sunday afternoon.


 The Best Days of Our Lives

 A lot of water has flowed under the bridge between our two Rain Shows.

After the 2011 show, I dropped my daughter off at her grandfather’s house, where she would be spending the week while attending the Boston College Basketball Camp for the final time, an annual oasis throughout middle and high school. Her big task that summer was deciding which colleges to visit and preparing admissions applications.

After the show on Saturday, my daughter and I drove back to her apartment near the Boston College campus, where she is conducting her postdoctoral research. Her big task this summer will be submitting papers for publication and deciding which academic positions to apply for in the fall.

As we drove through the rain to and from the show on Saturday, we reminisced about our drive through the tropical storm in August 2009 to our first Fearless concert, barely able to see the road as we made our way to and from Mohegan Sun in Connecticut.

And as we sat in traffic heading toward Gillette Stadium (where parking actually costs less today than it did in 2011), I thought about our first show, also in Connecticut. Stuck in traffic that night, when we finally made it off of the highway, we paid some guy $20 to park in a vacant lot, and walked the final mile or so that we would make it to the concert in time. With Taylor as the opening act for Rascal Flatts, we didn’t have the luxury of arriving a little late.

And I remember the concerts that were a whole family affair:


  • The Speak Now Tour concert in DC (indoors and much drier) that we incorporated into the aforementioned college visit trip in August 2011.
  • The Red Tour concert in Denver in June 2013 where we combined a business trip with a family vacation with a Taylor concert. (Dear Reader, there will be a chapter devoted to combining business trips and Taylor concerts in either the second or third volume of my memoirs.)
  • Finally, the Reputation Tour concert at FedEx Stadium in Maryland in July 2018, following the first year of my daughter’s doctoral program at the University of Maryland and the beginning of my sabbatical summer when I decided it was time to do something different with my life.

We didn’t know that it would be five years between the Reputation concert in 2018 and the show on Saturday. We had tickets to Lover Fest East at Gillette Stadium, postponed in 2020, cancelled in 2021 (which is probably the only reason we were able to get tickets to the Eras Tour).

I don’t know whether there will be more Taylor shows in our future, what the next five years, the next five months, or even the next five days will bring. Saturday night was my first Pandemic Era concert, or large-crowd activity of any kind. (I’m confident that the fierce wind and driving rain kept any lingering COVID germs away from us.)

I would like to think that at somewhere down the road there might be another show, indoors and out of the rain, but if not, I can thank God for the many amazing memories we made with Taylor during these past 15 years and ask him he could play it again, play it again.

Published by Charlie DePascale

Charlie DePascale is an educational consultant specializing in the area of large-scale educational assessment. When absolutely necessary, he is a psychometrician. The ideas expressed in these posts are his (at least at the time they were written), and are not intended to reflect the views of any organizations with which he is affiliated personally or professionally..

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