California, here we come! Stop number two! The Reputation tour chugs forward, and here I am, a snake on a tour truck. (Curious how I travel from place to place? Well, there’s a tour truck, and I can be disassembled like a piece of Ikea furniture.) This week, we were in Santa Clara, where things were a little more fancy.
First of all, get this: Taylor’s not perfect. Midway through her performance of “The Best Day,” she just totally forgot the words. From my vantage point under the stage (it’s cozy), I could hear her sort of mumble her way through a verse until she got on track. Even the best of us forget the lyrics to our early work.
“The Best Day” was a Mother’s Day tribute. It’s a Taylor deep cut, from all the way back the Fearless era. The song is a gentle country-rock ode to Taylor’s mom Andrea, and it’s painfully sweet. Even if you’re, like, a super jaded blogger who tries really hard not to like Taylor’s music, “The Best Day” has a way with your heart strings. I don’t have a heart, but if I did, consider it tugged. In the audience, Camila Cabello (former member of Fifth Harmony, singer of 2017 hit “Havana” and one of Taylor's opening acts on the tour) was crying.
Because it's Mother's Day! Mother's Day is such a big deal to Taylor. To me, too. I'll admit I cried during the song. My mother is a giant metal clamp located in Pasadena, California. She tried to eat me once, but it was just a computer malfunction. Lol IT!
This is weird: Brooks Whelan was in the audience, I think because Grace Helbig, his rumored girlfriend, was in the audience, too. Grace is a YouTuber — not really my style, but I’m a snake, so — and Brooks was briefly on Saturday Night Live. They’re exactly the type of illustrious celebs who would attend a Taylor Swift concert in 2018. Whelan tweeted that, during her concert, he told his girlfriend that he wanted to take her to a Pearl Jam concert.
But Taylor Swift is better than Pearl Jam! Did Pearl Jam ever sing a mashup of "Bad Blood" and "Should've Said No" while acrobats flew from the ceiling? Would Pearl Jam ever sing a version of "This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things" that ends with a verse from "We Are Never Ever Ever Ever Getting Back Together"? Could Pearl Jam ever go head-to-head with a streaming behemoth, rejecting the economic injustices of the industry like Taylor did when she withdrew her music from Spotify?
Anyway, I had a rough night last night. (See me, below.) I was super tired — I think these nights on the road, even this early on, are getting to me. I mean, the food alone! Taylor is always baking and, it's like, I do not eat brownies, Taylor. I am a snake. I eat WD-40 exclusively.
Tired or not, emerging every night in the middle of "Look What You Made Me Do" is very thrilling. I mean, it's Taylor's big 2017 song, even though it was eventually surpassed by Cardi B's "Bodak Yellow." Plus, I'm a snake, and there are snakes everywhere. There must be over 200 snakes on stage with Taylor every night. It's just, she really wants you to know that she's over the whole "snake" incident, so she's embracing it, you see.. The lady doth protest a lot! (I think that's the quote.) Tiffany Haddish came out again; it's just a recording of her, though. It would have been difficult to get the actual Tiffany for the whole tour.
A week into the reputation stadium tour, and fans are only just starting to notice the little details Taylor embedded in the show. She’s thorough, that Taylor Swift. During the song “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things” — which closes the show, by the way — Taylor stands over a fountain while her backup dancers dance in front of it. It looks like they’re dancing in the fountain right. This song also contain the lyric, “Here’s a toast to my real friends.” Get it? Fountain? Friends? That can only be a reference to, you know, the crazy-popular sitcom Friends, in which six people who live in New York City are friends. (Ironically, Swift did not perform “Welcome To New York,” the somewhat maligned opening track from 1989 once used in an NYC tourism campaign. Also, both Taylor and Friends star Jennifer Aniston count John Mayer as an ex. Coincidence?! Yeah, probably just a coincidence. Still!)
Lastly, if you're curious how her classics are going, they're doing well. Taylor sang "You Belong With Me" this weekend as well as "Love Story," and the audience really responded. The audience loves vintage Taylor — last week, she did "All Too Well," which is beloved. I love vintage Taylor, especially the bits pitting women against one another. "You Belong With Me," in particular," is cool because it divides women into two categories: girls who wear short skirts and girls who wear sneakers! Clearly, if you wear short skirts, you're not deserving of love. Makes you wonder why Taylor killed the Old Taylor, you know? I'm a snake, and I lust for blood.
'Til next week, friends! In the meantime, I'll be sitting in a tour bus, doing absolutely nothing.