We made it to Hollywood! For real! The reputation stadium tour rolled up in Pasadena, California this this weekend, where Taylor performed at the Rose Bowl. And you know what Hollywood means — it means Taylor's coming home. Let's reiterate: Taylor Swift hasn't been a celeb, really, for two whole years. From 2016 to fall to 2017, Taylor was a ghost. That's, like, a full 18 months of not being a celebrity.
So, coming home for Taylor was a really big deal. There's so much to recap! I don't even have opposable thumbs!
Okay, so, first of all: the celebs. On her first night at the Rose Bowl, Taylor brought out Selena Gomez. There were rumors earlier this year that their friendship had faltered, but, oh boy, it's not. It's literally, physically impossible to dance on the same stage as someone you hate. Selena stopped by and they sang "Hands to Myself," which contains the lyric "you're metaphorical gin and juice."
As a snake, I can't really relate to the concept of "gin and juice," but I want to unpack this a little. Selena is saying that her beloved — the one she can't keep her hands off of — is like gin and juice in that she can't let a drop go to waste. But the song is about keeping hands to herself? Does she stick her hands in her gin and juice? And is gin and juice generally a drink you can't stop drinking? I never got the impression it was like movie theater popcorn, which is something that really clings to your hands. (Or belly, as it were. I'm a snake!) Also, I can't help but wonder (I love Carrie Bradshaw!) if the lyric is a reference to Californian Snoop Dogg's classic song "Gin and Juice"?
Lyrics aside, a brilliant performance from Selena Gomez. She gave a small tribute to Swift, too, after the performance.
Standing on stage, Selena told the crowd, "The reason why she's one of my best friends is because this person has never, ever judged me for a decision I've made. She's always met me where I've been. She encouraged me when I had nothing to be encouraged about. And I don't know if I would be as strong as I am if I didn't have you and your family." She thanked the fans for supporting Taylor, whom she called "the most beautiful, strong, independent woman [she knows]."
I'm just a snake, but it feels like we're in a months-long court case wherein various celebrities are forced to come forward to provide witness testimony proving Taylor's strength and moral fiber. It's like, don't believe Taylor is strong and independent? Well, what if Selena Gomez told you she was? Let's get some anecdotal evidence!
@selenagomez was @taylorswift13 special guest tans I was the happiest and her speech about tay was everything! 😍 #RepTourPasadena #Reputation #TaylorSwift #SelenaGomez #Bestfriends #ReputationStadiumTour #ReputationTour #Pasadena #RoseBowl pic.twitter.com/hGrK9NMEqQ— Juanito💭 (@Jsmurfx) May 20, 2018
This weekend was really about the Taylor Swift love from some relatively disparate corners of the internet. Lena Dunham (who costarred in the "Bad Blood" video with Gomez and a small army of other celebs) attended the concert and wrote about it on Instagram. So did reality TV royalty Spencer Pratt and performer-choreography Todrick Hall. Swift brought out snakelike boys Troye Sivan and Shawn Mendes.
I know the "Old Taylor" is dead, but this really smacks of Old Taylor, and an ongoing schtick of her massive 1989 tour from a few years back. She loves surrounding herself with celebrities, sort of as a fortress of beloved celebritydom. Like, how you dislike Taylor Swift when she's surrounded by people you can't help but love? Shawn Mendes, Selena Gomez, and Troye Sivan are the perfect type of anodyne pop stars to protect Taylor. They're not going to get blasted, but they're also not going to build the city of Rome, you know?
Those were just the celebrities who made it onstage. The Rose Bowl performance also attracted the likes of Amber Rose, Julia Roberts, Rebel Wilson, and Sarah Michelle Gellar.
Of course, following the Rose Bowl performances, Taylor did something drastic: She went (without me) to the Billboard Music Awards. Actually, there wasn't a snake to be seen on Taylor's outfit last night! She wore a prom-ready blush-colored Versace gown that, again, smacked of Old Taylor (it also took 800 hours to produce, NBD).
"When I was making reputation, for a while there, I felt really misunderstood by a lot of people. I just want to say to the fans: Thank you for continuing to show up...Thank you for making me feel understood again," she told the crowd after she won for Top Selling Album.
Taylor is on a mission to be understood! That's also my mission, actually. While we're here, let's talk about snakes. Not all snakes are venomous! In fact, there are only 600 species of venomous snakes! Out of 3,4o0 total species. I'll do the math for you: that's only 17% of snakes that are evil. Almost one in five!
Tomorrow, we'll be in Seattle, Washington! I hope it rains! My scales are getting itchy. I'm made of metal.