Taylor Swift's reputation tour kicked off in early May. Here, her animatronic snake (just go with it) diaries about the experience.
Taylor sang "So It Goes"! "So It Goes" has become an accidental dark horse of reputation, thanks to Taylor's reluctance to sing it. (She also sang it at Whembley Stadium in London.) Her fans have changed their handles to various iterations of the title (e.g. "soitfuckingoes") and they continue to make noise about the song. Early reviews of the song, per Buzzfeed, were that it was good, but really frigging hard to remember.
In one snake's humble opinion, the song is a transition number, an outlier that perhaps didn't belong on this album. Compared to the viciousness — in tone, style, and acuity — of the rest of the album, "So It Goes" seems sleepy. But it's not! It's low-fi, as low-fi as Taylor can get, and it's going to make a great addition to a television soundtrack some day. (My pitch? It belongs in a dramatic moment in Netflix's On My Block.)
It's also subtly sexy. Other songs in the album are a bit more overt — looking at you, "Dress"! — but this one is quietly hot. One YouTube commenter declared it the "slutty version" of "Style."
Taylor sings, "Scratches down my back now/So, so, so it goes." That's sexy. I don't even have hands, and that's sexy! I also don't have opposable thumbs, which is a shame because I'd be very good at typing if I did.
The other lovely lyric goes, "You did a number on me/but honestly, baby, who's counting?" See how she explores the different versions of the word "number"?
Later, for her "surprise song," Taylor sang "State of Grace." I have opinions about this song, too. It's a song from Red, which is widely believed to be her best album. Red was a turning point for Taylor. I actually didn't know her all that well, then. I was still working as a body guard for a motel in Vegas. (It's complicated.) Her songs would come on, and it was like, whoa.
"State of Grace," though, felt like a dispatch from 2018 Taylor. It's very chill, I guess. It sounds like a U2 song; like if Taylor Swift swallowed U2 and burped out a perfect song. Is that gross? I don't burp, but I can unhinge my jaw and open it to about 40 feet.
Taylor allegedly told a fan that the reason she doesn't sing deep deep cuts on this tour is because she wants to make sure everyone in the audience knows the songs she's singing. I guess a stadium filled with people can get grouchy if they hear something they don't recognize. Trouble is, the Taylor Swift fanbase is devoted to her entire discography. I'm far from the most devoted of Taylor fans, but I know all the lyrics to "Begin Again." Honestly, I probably know all the lyrics to "New Romantics" and "You Are In Love," too. In theory, she could sing her deep cuts. But then she'd be singing for four hours, reaching out for true deep cuts like "Both of Us," her excellent collaboration with B.o.B. So, in practice, she's better off sticking to reputation songs with a touch of the all-time hits.
Lastly, it's hot. Stadium tours are rough in the heat. Washington, D.C. is a swamp, and the East Coast is currently swimming in a heat wave. (Taylor apparently loves D.C.. She told the crowd that she's performed in the D.C./Maryland area 24 times in the past decade.) Taylor had to thank the crowd for withstanding the heat to come to the concert. Stadiums, you know, are outside, and often not that great at staying cool.
"All this dancing and jumping and screaming — it all takes a little extra work when it's this hot outside," Taylor said before launching into "Delicate." And not just for the audience, too. Taylor wears mostly long sleeved outfits during the show. And, she wears tights on her legs. Her outfit for "Look What You Made Me Do" is basically a leather coat. Not to mention her dancers, who are dressed in leather bodysuits. I don't even want to get into my discomfort. I'm an animatronic snake — production is actually really concerned that I'll overheat!
So far, so good, though. So it goes. This weekend, we're in Philadelphia. The weather's only going to get hotter, but no matter. The reputation tour continues.