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  • José Luis Villegas /

    Taylor Swift's fans thrill to her guitar artistry Tuesday as well as her singing. In a website note to fans, she says the "RED" album conveys her experiences of love that's fast-paced and out of control.

  • José Luis Villegas /

    Taylor Swift belts out a song at Sleep Train Arena. Also appearing was songwriter Ed Sheeran, whose "RED" duet with Swift, "Everything Has Changed," was an iTunes best-seller.

  • José Luis Villegas /

    Fans bathed in scarlet lighting reach out to Taylor Swift as she sings Tuesday at Sleep Train Arena. Dubbed the "RED" tour, after the name of Swift's last album, her 47-city jaunt has eight more stops left. Rolling Stone reports that the Billboard chart-topper is writing material for her fifth album.

Taylor Swift wows sold-out Sacramento crowd

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1B

Two things stayed constant at Taylor Swift's sold-out concert Tuesday night: She always wore red, and her fans screamed relentlessly.

Swift, the 23-year-old sensation from Nashville and seven-time Grammy Award winner, drew more than 12,000 to Sleep Train Arena. Sacramento marked the final California concert and near-end of the first leg of her 47-stop "Red" tour.

She opened with "State of Grace," a track off "RED," as her tall, slender silhouette displayed across a red curtain.

In a collared shirt, high-waisted shorts, red lipstick, red glittery shoes and wielding a matching red, glittery guitar, she pranced around and twirled in circles.

Her performance included light shows, drummers suspended in the air, multiple elaborate sets, many costume changes and a brief escort into a suddenly shrieky, pushy crowd.

Swift broke onto the country music scene with her eponymous debut album in 2006 when she was 16 years old. At age 20, she became the youngest winner of the Grammy Award for Album of the Year for her second album, "Fearless."

Her list of accolades is exhausting: "RED" sold 1.2 million copies in its first week and topped Billboard charts for seven weeks. She holds multiple other Billboard records to boot.

The teenage set adores her – she's the most-awarded person in the history of the Teen Choice Awards. And on Sunday, Swift won best female video for "I Knew You Were Trouble" at MTV's Video Music Awards.

Granite Bay sisters Gabrielle and Lauren Helfer, 20 and 14, respectively, were dressed up in homemade renditions of Swift's perfume WonderStruck – red felt bulbs with gold accents.

"She's fearless," Gabrielle said of Swift. "She's musical. She's kind and inspirational."

The preteen set is likewise enamored.

Lindsay Ryan, Grace Oliva and Liv Holscher, all 9-year-olds from the Marin area, could barely contain their excitement hours before Swift took the stage.

With the help of their parents, they each carried a letter of "R-E-D," lit up around the edges. Swift's favorite number, "13," was etched in glitter on their hands.

Grace said the three best friends have been fans "since forever," and that they'd be skipping school today since they were up so late for the concert two hours from home.

Parents said they liked how their children were Swift fans because she is relatively wholesome compared with some other pop icons. One dad cited Miley Cyrus' shocking MTV Video Music Awards performance Sunday. Another mom said she appreciated how Swift wrote her own songs.

Susan and Geoff Brandt of Roseville came with their 16-year-old daughter, Rebecca, and her best friend.

Susan Brandt said the teens have been known to mouth Swift's lyrics, accompanied by hand motions, across classrooms.

"Every song, they can pick out something in their lives to relate it to – the friendships, the boys, the coming of age," Susan Brandt said.

Swift's music strengthened Geoff Brandt's relationship with his daughter, too. He's a fan, and it gives them something to bond over.

"She gets upset because her dad knows all the lyrics to every Taylor Swift song, too," Geoff Brandt said with a laugh.

Tuesday's spectacle included some intimate moments: video of Swift as a child, and a sweet monologue about breakups, which was the basis for "RED."

"Those emotions, I think, make you stronger," Swift said.

She also thanked the fans, who showed up decked out with costumes, red glitter, fake tattoos of Swift's lyrics and crafty, lit-up signs that flashed the singer's name and song titles.

Call The Bee's Janelle Bitker, (916) 321-1027.

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