My friends! I took a minor writing vacation during our tour stops in Miami and Nashville. Sometimes, a massive animatronic snake has to take a few days off from dictating diary entries. (What? You think I have opposable thumbs? Think again, comrade, and stop being so thumb-normative.) Those shows were brilliant, amazing, lovely — I’m sure you heard that Tim McGraw, the subject of Taylor’s first-ever hit single, performed at the Nashville concert alongside his wife Faith Hill. In Miami, Taylor gave a rendition of “Breathe,” her collaboration with Colbie Caillat from 2008. (The Nashville surprise song was “Better Man,” a Sugarland song that won Taylor a surprise Grammy this year.) And all while that was happening, I was sleeping blissfully in my trailer, unconcerned about diaries. I caught up on The 100! The fifth season was very silly, especially when they put that fetus in cryo for the second time. Y’all really have to watch this show.
I’m revving back into the diaristic work life with our Detroit show, which was a more somber affair than usual. Detroit native Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, died just over a week ago, and her home city is in mourning. Taylor paid tribute to the music legend with a moment of silence during the ceremony.
“Words could never describe how many things [Aretha Franklin] did in her lifetime that made our world a better place,” Taylor told the crowd. “I would like it if we could have a moment of silence so that every single one of us could reflect on the love and respect for her and everything she she did in her life."
Some idiots took this opportunity to holler their affections, yelling “I love you, Taylor!” during the silence. Rest assured, Swifties, Taylor knows you love her. The fandom is strong with this one, and Taylor Taylurks. (Allow me to digress: It’s a wonder that no one’s written a fanfiction titled Tinker, Talurk, Soldier, Spy.) Swifties love Taylor so much that they’ve already brought this tour to another record-holding spot. Billboard reported last week that Taylor surpassed her last tour to earn the spot of highest-grossing U.S. tour by a woman. Before it's even done, she’s already made $191.1 million domestically, which is a full $10 million more than she made in the U.S. with her 2015 tour. The 2015 tour was, by the way, the previous record holder with about $181.1 million. In North America — including stops in Canada — the 1989 tour made $199.4 million, a number that Taylor will probably eclipse before her tour is over. Taylor bested herself, in part due to the Verified Fan program, a system that allows Taylor’s truest fans to skip to the front of the line — by purchasing reputation-adjacent merch or making the trip to Target to buy the physical album, which this year came with a magazine.
The Detroit show continued with a bit of a dignified air. Taylor sang “Jump Then Fall” as her surprise song, a throwback to her Fearless days. I always liked this love song, but I find that people don’t enjoy when I jump or fall. Hazards of being a giant animatronic snake. The last time I fell — I’m clumsy — it caused a four-car pileup on the I-10, a highway in Louisiana. There was a lot of rubbernecking. Sigh.
This weekend, we’re in Minneapolis! May Minnesota be cooler than other parts of the country.