For the first time since 2009, Taylor Swift is playing festivals; she’ll be appearing at the summit of Mad Cool Festival, Werchter Boutique, Oslo Sommertid, Roskilde Festival, Open’er Festival, Festival de Nimes, and NOS Alive. Oh, and she was recently revealed as one of the major headliners at American Express present BST Hyde Park as well as her own festivals, Lover Fest West and Lover Fest East in the States. Then there's the strongly rumoured headline set at Glastonbury's 50th anniversary next summer, but, we'll wait and see....
In classic Taylor Swift fashion, below is a list of the '13' songs that we need to hear at her upcoming shows. Listed in a specific order, split between her classic track 'Begin Again', we've started with the heartbreak songs, before moving onto happier territory towards the end.
1 - 'Cruel Summer'
The bridge of this song SMACKS and every fan can attest to the thrill they feel at the end of the first bridge when Swift sings “He looks up grinning like a devil.” I can already imagine the thousands of fans screaming this one line at each show.
2 – 'You Need To Calm Down'
There’s no way Swift won’t play this bop at her festival tour. The song celebrates the validity of all love; despite gender, sexual orientation, skin color, etc. It would be lovely to see some of the famous extras from the music video on stage, people who serve as some level of representation for the marginalized groups the song is intended to fight for.
3 – 'Death By A Thousand Cuts'
This is my personal favorite on Lover - something about it truly kills me by a thousand cuts. The song is inspired by the loveable movie Someone Great, written by Jennifer Robinson, who has relayed in interviews how much Swift’s music inspired her work during the writing and directing process - hopefully there’ll be some honorary mention of the film, or even an appearance from one of the actors, or Robinson herself.
4 – 'I Forgot That You Existed'
Who doesn’t have that person that won’t escape their mind no matter how hard they try? Or, as Swift puts it in the song, “free rent living in my mind.” Almost every young woman I know who’s tried listening to this album mentions this song, often motioning towards a person who they didn’t even date who emotionally tore them apart. As a song that brings catharsis, even to people who aren’t die hard fans, if played, I’m sure the chorus to this song will be screamed.
5 – 'All Too Well'/'Cornelia Street' Mashup
Almost as if intentional, these two songs have the same chord progressions - and they just so happen to also be the perfect lyrical and melodical match for a mashup - I can hear Swift flawlessly transitioning from the lyric, “I remember it all too well…” to “I’d never walk Cornelia Street again.” 'All Too Well' is a fan-favorite and is my all time favorite Swift song, and, knowing how much her most devoted fans love the song that was originally six minutes long, she often plays it at her shows, alone on her piano. 'Cornelia Street' is almost a follow up song to 'All Too Well', marking the fear of the beginning of a new relationship after experiencing so much hardship from a past one.=.
6 – 'Blank Space'
I certainly wouldn’t be surprised or opposed to this song making the setlist. Along with being extremely catchy, this song is funny and poignant with its satire, calling out people who attack women’s art that often reflects their experiences with love and heartbreak - the main theme of this album.
7 – 'Begin Again'
Though this song hasn’t been in the spotlight for a while, it’s always been one of my favorites and would fit perfectly with this tour. We all want the opportunity to start over and love again, and this song fills us with the kind of hope that the content of Lover brings to fruition.
8 – 'Delicate'
Reputation predated Lover by about two years and there are rumors that she actually wrote Lover first. Because the album is so recent and still on our minds, I’m sure she’ll play at least one or two songs from it. This is the perfect song to play from the album as it touches on the feeling of vulnerability when you start to have feelings for someone but don’t know if the relationship will work out in the way you’re hoping. The song also seems to be linked to the larger chunk of the Lover storyline, marking Swift’s opportunity to 'begin again' with a healthy relationship.
9 – Surprise Song
Swift is known for doing a surprise song at every show. During her last tour for Reputation, she did a different surprise song at almost every show, covering a large portion of her discography dating all the way back to 2006. However, there were some songs she never got around to on that tour that I, and I’m sure the rest of the fans, are dying to hear live during her upcoming festivals. In sticking with the romantic theme of Lover, 'The Way I Loved You' from Fearless and 'You Are In Love' (a bonus track from 1989) are at the top of my list, and were never played during her Reputation tour.
10 – 'False God'
'False God' is the jazziest song Swift’s ever released. Along with how rebellious the jazz genre was considered in its early years, the title of this song feels defiant with Swift’s country roots in the bible belt of the USA. I’ve never seen Swift’s shows accompanied by saxophones and didn’t realize how much I wanted that until now. With its references to The West Village in NYC, and as a New Yorker myself, I’m hoping the stage production will include realistic New York imagery, with yellow cabs and street signs, especially a Cornelia Street one.
11 – 'Lover'
Lover, the title song of the album, came out as the last single before the full album release. It’s hard to listen to this song without swooning from its sweetness. I can see this song being played at a high school prom, and hope to see a similar simple sweetness on stage, perhaps with pink lights everywhere just as the Love Story performance of her last tour always included.
12 – 'Paper Rings'
This song is so fun and is often referred to as the older sister of 'Stay, Stay, Stay' from her Red album. It has a bit of a pop-punk feeling and I know I’ll be jumping up and down, dancing with a ridiculous exertion of glee if this song is played.
13 – 'Red/Daylight'
Swift writes a prologue for each of her albums, describing what the record is about and what inspired it. In the Red prologue, Swift wrote:
“When we’re trying to move on, the moments we always go back to aren’t the mundane ones. They are the moments you saw sparks that weren’t really there, felt stars aligning without having any proof, saw your future before it happened, and then saw it slip away without any warning. These are moments of newfound hope, extreme joy, intense passion, wishful thinking, and in some cases, the unthinkable letdown. And in my mind, every single one of these memories looks the same to me. I see all of these moments in bright, burning red.”
And on the final track of Lover, 'Daylight', one of the lyrics is “I once believed that love would be burning red/ but it’s golden like daylight.” A mashup of 'Red' and 'Daylight' would be an absolute dream, recognizing how much Swift has grown as an artist and as a person learning how to fulfill her own needs and focus on people who add nothing but positive energy to her life.
Keep up to date with all of Taylor Swift's upcoming festival appearances here