10 Days of Taylor: How to meet Vance Joy, Shawn Mendes and Taylor Swift's band
(Welcome to 10 Days of Taylor, our epic countdown to the epic finale of the most epic pop tour of all time: Taylor Swift’s 1989 Tour, stopping Halloween Night at Raymond James Stadium. For all of our Taylor Swift coverage, click here.)
A few days ago, we explained how you can meet Taylor Swift during her 1989 World Tour stop this Saturday in Tampa. But how can you meet the rest of her squad?
Fear not. Both of Swift’s openers, Vance Joy and Shawn Mendes, are hosting their own private meet-and-greets, both accompanied by intimate acoustic performances. And if you really want to get close to Swift’s team, two members of her live band, including her music director, will be speaking for free in St. Petersburg.
Let’s start with the openers.
Joy will participate in a 97X Green Room performance at around noon on Saturday. The Riptide folkster has a short but nice history with the alt-rock station; he headlined a free 97X show at Jannus Live in July. The only way in is to win tickets from the station. Click here for details.
Taylor’s tweenier fans will fall all over themselves for the chance to win passes to see Mendes at 93.3-FLZ in Tampa at around 1 p.m. Saturday. The Canadian teen has a rising hit single, Stitches, and will return to Tampa on Dec. 19 as part of the lineup for the 93.3-FLZ Jingle Ball at Amalie Arena. Again, the only way in is to win. Click here for details.
Finally, there is one time that anyone and everyone can actually get up close and personal with two members of Swift’s touring crew, keyboardist and music director Dave Cook and bassist Amos Heller. They’re speaking at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Palladium in a lecture for the Music Industry/Recording Arts program at St. Petersburg College.
Cook and Heller are old friends of a couple of MIRA faculty members — Heller went to college with Academic Department Chair Patrick Hernly. When he saw that Swift’s tour was coming to town, he invited them to speak to students about getting a foothold in the cutthroat music industry.
“It’s going to feature an open-ended interview, which hopefully is going to stimulate them talking about their backgrounds and how they developed their personal brands as musicians,” Hernly said. “Most artists who tour with big-name acts, they’re independent artists in addition to the work they do with big-name acts. We’re interest in the big picture of who these gentlemen are as artists.”
Hernly expects a lot of gear talk and stories about working in Nashville and beyond. Initially it was going to be open just to SPC students, but when Hernly considered the appeal to other music students outside the MIRA program, he decided to expand the venue and open it up to the general public. It’s an opportunity, he said, “to learn something from these people who really exemplify some of the best possibilities that a young musician can aspire to become.”
And Swifties, don’t get your hopes up: Taylor will not be attending.
“Our promotional materials have been really, really clear about that,” Hernly said.
The event is free at the Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Click here for details on the event.
-- Jay Cridlin