Taylor Swift Braved the Torrential Downpour, Emerged Victorious at New Jersey Show

Taylor Swift
Kevin Mazur/TAS18/Getty Images

Taylor Swift performs onstage during the Taylor Swift Reputation Stadium Tour at MetLife Stadium on July 21, 2018 in East Rutherford, N.J.

Taylor Swift is in the midst of making history as the first female artist to play three consecutive shows at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. And on Saturday (July 21), fans witnessed another first: it rained for the entirety of Swift’s show, which, as the singer told the crowd, had never happened.

As the skies opened up, Swift stormed out to the very appropriate “Bad Reputation” by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. She immediately brought the action with opener "...Ready for It?,” performing an elaborate dance routine as cryogenic fog shot out of the stage floor.

By the second song, Swift was drenched and, unlike the audience, was not afforded the benefits of wearing a poncho. But her smile (and her lipstick) never wavered as she continued to tear through Reputation hits like "I Did Something Bad" and "Gorgeous" before busting out a medley of old favorites -- "Style," "Love Story" and "You Belong With Me" -- seamlessly weaving her country roots with her present-day pop star sensibilities.

"Look What You Made Me Do" was accompanied by an enormous writhing snake (a creature that made several appearances throughout the evening) and, of course, a miniature tilted stage. Tiffany Haddish also made a cameo for the now-iconic “Old Taylor” dialogue.

The shenanigans didn't stop there. “Delicate” had Swift flying across the entire stadium in an illuminated basket, enabling her to connect with the whole stadium. Once she landed on the B-stage for the acoustic portion of the show, Swift told fans that the dress she was wearing during “Delicate” was “brand new.” “Technically, I was dancing in a storm in my best dress," she said with a smirk before debuting “Fearless" for the first time this tour. (She also surprised fans with “Clean” as part of a piano medley later on.) Over and over again, Swift made performing in the rain look like an art form.

Despite the downpour, the technical aspects of Swift’s production managed to work, though some of the video screens appeared to short out towards the end. Swift took a minute to thank the thousands of people responsible for building the stage and other mechanics, marveling at how the massive setup not only manages to work on a normal day; it’s waterproof, too. Moving video screens, pyrotechnics and an added light show courtesy of LED wristbands all contributed to something that can only be defined as a spectacle.

It won’t come as a surprise that rain or shine, Swift is a phenomenal performer, even beyond the seamless singing and dancing and her crew’s own acrobatics. She has a charisma that we tend to forget about, and last night, it shined through more than ever. When you see Taylor Swift singing her heart out while dripping wet just like the rest of us, you can’t help but be reminded that she’s only human, and like everything else, she’s damn good at it.

Taylor Swift Setlist -- July 21, 2018

"...Ready for It?"

"I Did Something Bad"

"Gorgeous"

"Style / Love Story / You Belong With Me"

"Look What You Made Me Do"

"End Game"

"King of My Heart"

"Delicate"

"Shake It Off" (with Charli XCX and Camila Cabello)

"Dancing With Our Hands Tied" (acoustic)

“Fearless” (acoustic)

"Blank Space"

"Dress"

"Bad Blood" / "Should've Said No"

"Don't Blame Me"

“Clean” / "Long Live" / "New Year's Day" (piano)

"Getaway Car"

"Call It What You Want"

"We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" / "This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things"

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