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NEEDTOBREATHE Reflects on Taylor Swift’s Unwavering Dedication During Speak Now Tour

During the 2010 Speak Now tour, rock band NEEDTOBREATHE served as the opening act for Taylor Swift. The band, consisting of Josh Lovelace, Randall Harris, Tyler Burkum, Seth Bolt, and Bear Rinehart, had the opportunity to witness firsthand Swift’s dedication to her craft. In a recent interview with Us Weekly on June 7, 2024, at the CMA Fest, Bear Rinehart shared insights into their experience touring with the pop superstar.

Rinehart expressed that they learned a great deal from Swift, emphasizing her unparalleled professionalism and commitment. He recalled a moment during their collaboration when Swift was performing a soundcheck alone in an empty arena, behaving as if she were in front of a full crowd. Rinehart and his bandmates found this behavior peculiar at first, thinking it was the “weirdest thing” they had ever seen.

However, as time went on, they began to appreciate her dedication. Rinehart highlighted Swift’s genuine care for her fans and her remarkable work ethic, stating, “Man, the commitment to what she gives the audience and the way she cares about fans, that’s why she is who she is.”

Swift’s meticulous approach to her performances wasn’t the only lesson NEEDTOBREATHE took away from the tour. Rinehart noted that despite advice from her business team, Swift personally chose the band to be part of her tour lineup. Her simple reason was, “I like this band. I wanna bring them out.” This decision underscored her commitment to authenticity and supporting artists she genuinely appreciated.

In a 2015 interview with the Lexington Herald-Leader, NEEDTOBREATHE reflected on their tour experience with Swift. Joe Stillwell, a member of the band, mentioned that Swift often praised them as one of her “favorite bands on the planet” during her shows. He also recalled a now-deleted tweet where Swift expressed her desire to attend one of their concerts if she could find the time.

The band’s admiration for Swift was further cemented in a 2023 interview with The Local Spins. Seth Bolt described touring with Swift as “inspiring,” referring to it as a “master class on touring and performing.” He acknowledged that the production level of the Speak Now tour was the biggest they had ever seen and that it provided invaluable lessons for their own performances.

Throughout the 83 stops of the Speak Now tour, Swift’s generosity and kindness left a lasting impression on NEEDTOBREATHE. Bolt fondly recalled a time when Swift cooked them a spaghetti dinner, a simple yet thoughtful gesture that highlighted her supportive nature.

As Swift continues her Eras Tour, known for its extensive three-hour performances that showcase her entire discography, her dedication to her fans remains evident. She has been known to pause concerts to address fans’ needs, demonstrating the same care and commitment that NEEDTOBREATHE observed during the Speak Now tour.

NEEDTOBREATHE has also continued to thrive since their time with Swift, performing regularly and planning new projects, including an upcoming acoustic tour. Reflecting on their journey, Rinehart expressed their ongoing passion for performing and gratitude for the lessons learned from one of the industry’s most hardworking artists.

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