Taylored to please: James Taylor and Taylor Swift bring generations of fans together


Tuesday July 3, 2012

LENOX -- Lucie Mazursky, 8, couldn't contain herself when she found out she was going to see Taylor Swift live.

"I almost fainted," said Mazursky, of Egremont, who was still having a difficult time maintaining her composure as she waited for the concert to start with her friends on the lawn at Tanglewood.

A crowd of about 18,000 people filled the grounds for the sold-out show. It was an open secret that Swift would appear as a special guest with James Taylor -- and fans like Mazursky were plentiful and prepared.

Toting a giant sign proclaiming "We are Taylor's #1 Fans," Mazursky and her two friends, Zandy Veague, 7, of Stockbridge and Maisy Seckler, 7, of Alford talked about how much they love Swift.

"She's just such a good singer, and pretty, and nice," said a bubbling Seckler.

"I only have her songs on my iPod," added Mazursky.

Though The Eagle was able to confirm the line-up in June, Tanglewood promoted the concert only as featuring Taylor plus a "special guest."

That the guest would be Swift wasn't made official until she took the stage at the end of the first set to join Taylor for a rendition of his hit "Fire and Rain," at which point the crowd erupted, with many of those lounging on the lawn jumping up and rushing toward the Shed.

During the second set, Taylor and Swift sang Swift's "Ours" and "Love Story" to an equally appreciative response.

This isn't Taylor and Swift's first appearance together. They've occasionally joined one another at shows over the past five years, and Swift, a country-pop crossover singer-songwriter who's won multiple Grammys, is a self-proclaimed Taylor fan, as are her parents, who named her after him.

The pair's joint effort at Tanglewood didn't disappoint.

"They have a nice sound together that you wouldn't expect," said Ana Larkin of Pittsfield, a fan of both Swift and Taylor who said she jumped at the opportunity to attend the concert. "It's just a good twist for [Taylor]."

News that Swift would be appearing with Taylor drew excited fans from across the region.

Izzi Duprey, Jessica Varner and Kira Wirsig, all 14 and of Medfield, were decked out in everything Swift for the occasion, with 13 painted on their hands (her lucky number), question marks drawn on their cheeks (one of her songs is "I heart question mark"), and a sparkly guitar in tow (she's known to play them).

"Our whole last two years has been about Taylor," Kira said.

How did the group feel about James Taylor?

"I've really only heard two of his songs, but our parents really like him," Kira said with a shrug.

The sentiment wasn't uncommon among the many adult-tween duos that dotted the lawn.

Margaret Demeter of Albany said she "dies for James Taylor," while her daughter, Ally, 17, calmly explained that Swift is her favorite singer ever. The two said it was the first time they've been equally excited to go to the same concert together.

"I don't even know -- I have no words to describe how excited I am for tonight," Ally said.

"There's no way the concert could be long enough for us," Margaret added.

Taylor is playing Tanglewood again today and Wednesday, though Swift will not be joining him for those dates.

To reach Ned Oliver:


or (413) 496-6240.

On Twitter: @NedOliver


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