We’re back in the States! And honestly, thank goodness, because I couldn’t take another sip of tea if you paid me. And I don’t even need money! I live in a giant van and I don’t need food to live. I really only need money to buy trinkets like keychains, wallets, and the occasional tub of vaseline.
Taylor Swift’s Reputation Tour landed in Louisville, Kentucky for her first U.S. concert since Chicago in early June. We played Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium last night. Turns out, Papa John sponsored the stadium, but it’s not a stadium made of pizza. Weird!
I want to take this particular diary to address the growing drama around the phrase “1, 2, 3, let’s go bitch.” This is a thing Taylor’s fans say just before she launches into the first verse of “Delicate.” I — a raring, animatronic snake — have no idea where this trend began, but it’s here for good. The fans shout it in unison, seemingly celebrating Taylor’s newfound artistic freedom and DNGAF spirit.
I wouldn’t have expected “Delicate” to become the anthem for Taylor’s renaissance. Yes, it’s the first real single — “Look What You Made Me Do” shocked us all, and "...Ready for It?" is a banger, but they're not the songs from reputation that we’re all going to remember — but it’s not about the reputation ethos. It’s a love song about the delicate moments before a relationship is defined. It’s about a brittle, fresh-out-of-the-oven couple. So, why is it the tentpole to which fans have hung “1, 2, 3, let’s go bitch”? (Don’t worry, there’s been a decree on Tumblr that fans start saying “dance” instead of “bitch.” Swifties have rejected in it full.)
Whatever it is about “Delicate,” Taylor herself seems to agree. “Delicate” is the song that, for whatever reason, is best at condensing her reputation emotions. Speaking to the crowd Saturday night, Taylor gave a speech before the song. She told the audience that, before this album, she felt trapped in a “pattern” of releasing albums and touring. (For reals: When reputation dropped last November, it marked the longest gap, three long-ass years, between Taylor albums. She needed to do her!)
“Something a little bit different happened with this last album, and I decided that rather than going right back into the studio and putting out an album and tour, I decided it might be important for me to take a break and just figure out who I would be as a person if I didn’t have a spotlight on me,” she said to cheers from the crowd. “And, see, here’s the thing, the fact that you would cheer for that, it just shows that I’m so lucky to have you.”
She continued, “I thought a lot about what is our reputation, like what is it actually, and what is the value of it? How does it actually affect us?Is it bigger in our own mind and more influential than it actually is in reality?”
The other surprising thing to emerge from the tour is that “Don’t Blame Me,” a track that faded next to “I Did Something Bad” and “LWYMMD,” has become a concert highlight. Taylor performs it in a dramatic black gown. When the song reaches its climax, she throws her arms out and supplicates in the middle of the stadium. It’s as if she’s sacrificing herself at the altar of celebrity. (I’m a machine, but I still have thoughts about how humans treat celebrities! Y’all eat them alive, okay? I’m a metallic rendering of a snake, which prefers to eat live things..) She then hits some wildly high notes, scoping out the top of her range. Taylor’s best known for the litheness of her voice, not necessarily the length of it. But here, she really extends, going places we didn’t think were possible. Her fans are calling for “Don’t Blame Me” to be her next single. It’s a bit slow for radio play, but the drama certainly makes it ripe for TV soundtracks!
Finally, the surprise song. Taylor sang “Mine” in Louisville, crooning her way through a Speak Now-era song. It’s a more classically “Taylor” song. It tells a story: a young girl falls in love with a guy in college “waiting tables.” They take a risk and fall in love. And, lo and behold, he is the “best thing that’s ever been mine.”
Speaking of things that are hers, I don’t think Joe Alwyn (British boo) was at the concert this weekend. After all, he has to promote Operation Finale — more like Operation Climax, considering what Taylor says about him, right?! (Sorry! We’re randy this week.)
Next week, we’re in Columbus, Ohio! I’m a snake. Hiss!