Disaster struck! Well, not really. I'm being dramatic, but give me some leeway here. I've been on tour for the past three months! A snake gets irritable, especially when his friends are struggling. At our show in Philadelphia this Saturday, the contraption Taylor rides during "Delicate" — it's like a gold braided basket — malfunctioned. Taylor got stuck in the air in the middle of the song.
"I'm pretty sure I'm stuck up here," she remarked. "It's a pretty nice view, though."
The contraption is supposed to bring Taylor to the other side of the stadium for the latter half of the show. For the record, that contraption is actually a friend of mine, and, thanks for asking, she's doing really well. Minor bout of stage fright.
While the crew figured out how to get Taylor across the stadium, our heroine just started singing. When in doubt, sing. And when really in doubt, sing "Our Song," one of the easiest numbers to do a capella. A lot of Taylor's music is great a capella music, actually, because the melodies are so deceptively simple. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Taylor Swift makes music you can sing in public, like around a campfire or in a crowded bus full of teenagers. (Or, if you're a massive animatronic snake, when you're bored backstage at Cirque du Soleil.)
That said, I'll never fully understand why the love interest in "Our Song" talks "real slow" on the phone. Is talking slow meant to be sexy? Or was the lyric meant to be "low"? Humans are weird. Snakes are preternaturally sexy – I mean, look how we seduced Eve in the Garden of Eden! So smooth! – so we don't have to talk slow or anything like that.
As if to make up for the malfunction, Philly delivered one of the more exciting Reputation Tour moments. Two Swifties got engaged! They did it at a meet and greet right in front of Taylor herself. This actually isn't the first couple to get engaged at a reputation tour concert, but they are the first to do so in front of the super-duperstar herself. This couple also met at the Red tour, which makes them particularly hardcore. It's all very well and cute, and the best photo of the night emerged from it. (See below. Taylor's face! This is what happens when you forget to ask the third wheel to step away for the photo.)
Lest we forget, Taylor's from Pennsylvania, so this performance felt very special. For all of us, really, even though I'm made of machine parts that were manufactured all over the world.
"This, ladies and gentlemen, this is what I call a hometown show," Taylor told the audience. She's from Reading, Pennsylvania (she moved to Nashville when she was 14 to pursue her dreams). On Friday, before the show, she trekked to her childhood home, as evidenced by her Instagram. She brought with her a group of friends, some of whom are former members of her canonized "squad". (The squad is no longer. Talk to me after class if you have questions.) Models Martha Hunt and Gigi Hadid plus fellow musician Este Haim and Ashley Avignone, and Kennedy Rayé Black all attended on Friday. Black is a beauty blogger behind the site the Joy of Roses, and Avignone is a fashion designer from Nashville.
In light of the recent malfunction of my colleague, the glowing orb (her name is Hannah), I want to take a minute to acknowledge the hard working pieces of machinery that participate in the stadium tour.
First, the computer that operates the wristband technology. Incredible work. For those who haven't attended, audience members all receive a wristband which glows throughout the performance in specific ways. I don't want to say more than that — I hate spoilers! — but it's one of the most impressive production pieces in the show. The wristbands themselves are too numerous and not all that interesting, but the computer who does the operating — what a guy.
Second, the hollowed-out snake that also functions as a floating set piece: a gem! What incredible work, too. That particular set piece has to carry Taylor around the stadium, one of the most important tasks during the show.
And lastly, I want to recognize the fireworks at the top of the stadium, who only get to participate in a few songs (“I Did Something Bad”) but really blow each song out of the water. I mean, metaphorically.
On Wednesday, we're back in Ohio! We'll be in Cleveland, mourning the loss of LeBron James to the Los Angeles Lakers.