Getty Images for TAS Rights Management
Many fans looked even more excited after being held in the stadium yards for several hours, and after it rained — on the crowd and Swift alike — the final two-thirds of the epic late-night concert.
Taylor Swift’s latest single “Midnight Rain” lived up to its name when it was performed Sunday night at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, except it was actually after 1 a.m. local time when it finally made it to the set list. The final show of Three Nights in Her Hometown was pushed back hours from its scheduled start time due to lightning strikes near the downtown area; Once it finally started after 10 p.m., the second half of the three-and-a-half-hour set featured a steady downpour, hitting Swift just as hard as the crowd at the roofless venue, before finally showing up after 1:35 a.m.
The general mood of the crowd in that hilarious first hour: delirium. (Except for the small minority of fans who gave up and went home before the show even started.)
“It’s officially a rain show,” Swift told the crowd of 70,000, when the long-threatening rain finally arrived halfway through “Delicate,” the 16th issue of a 45-song show that would go down in legend as “Late Night.” With Taylor Swift.
Later, as it hasn’t stopped raining, during the “red” part of the show, she says, “This is something we all do together. It’s like a bonding experience. We’re all going to leave here tonight like we just went through five car washes… People are going to be like , “Where were you? several wars? And you’re like, “No, I just went to the IRAs tour.” decent.'”
As 1 a.m. ticked away, Swift kicked off the penultimate “surprise songs” segment of the show, where she was joined by special guest, co-writer and co-producer on her last three albums, Aaron Dessner of The National, to play second guitar on “Midnights.” The extra “could have been, should have been, should have been.” Taking the long walk from the main stage to Stage B in the middle of the stadium, Dessner quickly looked waterlogged.
“You’ve been through a lot tonight,” she told the crowd. “We all look like we were sprayed with a garden hose. We all look like river otters.” Of Dessner, she added, “He was warned about the rain and accepted the challenge anyway. Don’t worry about us, we talked about this. We knew this was a possibility. Your hair will soon be looking as good as mine.”
Dessner was ready for the memorable occasion. “I was lucky to see other shows on this tour, but in the rain it’s even better,” he said.
The show was scheduled to start at 6:30 pm, as it did at every other stop on the tour, with two opening performances preceding Swift’s set usually lasting from about 7:50 until about 11:15. On Nashville Sunday, though, the show was about an hour away from starting when advertisements appeared on the big screens and on social media warning attendees to take cover in the venue halls, or to stay in their cars if they hadn’t gone inside yet. This warning remained in effect from about 5:30 until about 9:45, at which point the lightning left the area—for the time being—and fans were told they must finally take their seats, resulting in a traffic jam through the stadium entrances. By then, some exhausted families with younger children had already taken their leave.
The “Rain Shows” are actually well remembered and appreciated among some fans who’ve seen them on outdoor courts before, so wet spirits weren’t much of a problem among those who made it through the marathon waiting for the show. Finally the opening acts started around 10:10 p.m. Where Phoebe Bridgers and Gracie Abrams had long bumped off the bill was, not surprisingly, with Swift’s collection, which averaged about 220 minutes.
The sight of Swift with a wet head isn’t uncommon (some past tours have ended with her either standing in a waterfall or strolling with her dancers in a fountain), but the length and extent she’s been outside in the pouring rain alongside cheerleaders may be unprecedented in her touring career. The singer made a point when she wrapped things up at 1:37 a.m. to ask the audience to “make some noise for my awesome dancers who danced in the rain all night. … The fact that you stayed with us, that you gave us everything you had — we love you so much, Nashville. It won’t.” We will never forget this night.”
Lightning returned to the surrounding area before Swift’s show ended, as fan photos and videos showed the sky lighting up in the distance around midnight, but the show didn’t stop after it started. Although fans have wondered if curfews or fines might cause the Swift group to ramp up, Nissan Stadium is owned by the city and is said to not be subject to the restrictions that might affect other venues – especially when unleashing 70,000 furious Swifties into the wild is a possibility.
Long delays in the event of lightning or even tornado alerts are unheard of in the summer at Nissan Stadium, ticket holders for the annual CMA festival can attest. A new stadium is in the planning stages and will have a fixed roof, with plans to build it next to the existing facility and open it for the Titans NFL season in 2026.
One fan who was happy to wait for hours was Siobhan Dowden, a 32-year-old middle school teacher from Knoxville who was out on one of her first nights after having a baby six months ago. “We all came together in this bonding moment, singing songs while we waited for Taylor. Everyone totally embraced her. We were all here for Taylor and knew she’d be there for us. While we were waiting in the middle of the shelter at the venue, my friends and I joked that Taylor meant it literally when she said it. “Meet me at midnight”. We were literally waiting if the show started at midnight to see her, if that’s what it takes. When I finally got to my seat it was so exciting because once I realized how many people stayed through it all, I knew you I was around people like you with the same persistence.
For Swift fans wondering how Sunday’s show was different from the previous two shows in Nashville, or any of the other gigs along the track so far: “The 1” is back on the Sunday set as the first number of the “Folk” segment, following “Invisible Chain” Curiously, she reappeared once on Saturday night. Apart from that one time, “Invisible String” was last a part of the chart-topping hits on March 25 in Las Vegas. Fans widely assumed she was taken off the set early in the tour because her lyrics are full of autobiographical details about her relationship with Joe Alwyn, with whom she is known to have split this year.
(It’s been reported that Matty Healy from 1975, described by British tabloids as a potential new lover, was watching Sunday’s party from a covered venue… although, contrary to tabloid predictions, he didn’t perform with Swift. Foreplay Guitar chords behind Bridgers during the opening act on Saturday.)
Although Bridgers didn’t get to perform her planned opening set (which featured cameos from fellow Boygenius bands on the first two nights in Nashville), fans did at least get to see Bridgers once again join Swift during the headlining set for the third consecutive show from Their duet of “Red (Taylor Version)”, “Nothing New.” (Bridgers will also open for all of Swift’s shows through the end of May, before leaving to tour with Boygenius starting in June.)
In the “Secret Songs” section, Swift prefaced it with Dessner’s rendition of “Would Have, Would Have, Should Have Been” by calling it “one of our favorite songs we’ve done together… (this) we hear you guys ask for all the time” . Conceived as a return to the theme of Speak Now’s hit “Dear John,” the song was a clear favorite among all the bonus tracks released as part of the “Midnights” deluxe edition last fall. “I knew every word about it,” she said, expressing her amazement at the ferocity of enthusiasm for the tune that left the standard version.
After Dessner’s exit, and after Swift’s transition to piano, she took much greater pains to provide lyrical context for the second surprise single, “Me” — just to emphasize that that song isn’t, in fact, autobiographical. In 2010, the debut single from “Speak Now,” which Swift announced only Friday night would be the next album to be released in Big Machine’s “Taylor’s Version” series of re-recordings, urged fans to steer clear of buying. or play.
Swift noted that although she discussed 2020’s “Folklore” as truly the first time she’s written extensively on her character rather than her own performance, that really started 10 years ago with the “Speak Now” album. She noted, “I wrote the (title) song ‘Speak Now’ about interrupting my ex’s wedding… I was 19 when I wrote it, and none of my exes were getting married.” It was so imaginative, so imaginative… The first time I’m in cinema I think of, ‘This isn’t my life, but what if’ terms. The same goes for the song that releases the album: “When I wrote it, I was writing about all these things that It never happened to me in a relationship. Like “There’s a drawer for my stuff at your place”… Those are the things I wasn’t involved in at 19, when I wrote these songs. It’s been a pleasure to go back and re-record them, because I’m so attached to them now. This is called “mine”.
Fans have puzzled over who “Mine” is for years, as the lyrical details don’t seem to have known analogues to real-life events. Now, they may be content to know who is ultimately spinning for sure: no one.
Swift will resume her tour on Friday in Philadelphia. Some Sunday night attendees may take around this time to get back into their sleep schedule. As a creep came at the end of one of the fan’s live streams: “Good night, good luck to everyone who has tmrw school.” It may be a special “good luck” for everyone whose phone battery runs out before calling the family about pickups in the designated waiting area; Nissan Playground advised parents via social media to show up three hours after the actual start time.
Future teen idol. Typical social media ninja. Alcohol buff. Explorer. Creator. Beer advocate.”