When Taylor Swift toured last, it was a very different world. You might remember that almost every show on The 1989 World Tour involved Swift bringing out other singers, famous friends and even star athletes to perform duets with. A different headline praised her on the daily for spotlighting emerging artists and celebrating #girlpower.
Back then, the Kim Kardashian/Kanye West/Calvin Harris/Katy Perry hullabaloo wasn’t even on the horizon. In short, it was a simpler time.
In 2018, Swift is in a more mysterious place. She’s been laying low for the past few years as all of the aforementioned drama went down, though she had her say with the release of Reputation in November 2017. Now, she’s reconnected with fans on social media and has been teasing tour rehearsals. Still, Swift has opted out of the usual media appearances, so overall it’s hard to know what to expect.
With that in mind, we’ve done our best to compile everything we hope makes the setlist on the Reputation World Tour when it kicks off on May 8 in Glendale, Ariz. at University of Phoenix Stadium.
“…Ready for It?”
This is the first song Swift performed each night on a handful of dates in December 2017, and it’s an easy option for an opener on the Reputation Tour, too. The line “let the games begin” is basically tailored for a set opener.
One of Swift’s biggest 1989 singles, it stands to reason that she’d want to keep that opening energy going with this iconic Hot 100 No. 1 hit. If you’ve watched the video even once, you’ll know that it’s impossible to hear this song without envisioning Swift in a black robe and eye mask, waving a knife around.
“Don’t Blame Me”
Thematically, this is the perfect follow-up to “Blank Space.” Really, the line “’cause darling I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream” is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from “don’t blame me, love made me crazy.”
This rounds out the Dangerous Swift Section, and serves as a great opportunity for collaborator Jack Antonoff to come out as a guest.
“I Knew You Were Trouble”
The most likely remnant from Swift’s country-pop days to make it to a 2018 setlist is “I Knew You Were Trouble,” mainly because it’s a banger. This was the Red single that most pointed its way towards Swift’s full leap into pop, and it holds up.
“I Don’t Wanna Live Forever”
“All Too Well”
These three tracks would serve as a nice little acoustic section. Again, Swift performed “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” with only an acoustic guitar on her December dates, and it made for a pretty magical moment. “All Too Well” is a less-likely fan favorite, but in a dream scenario, the Red deep cut makes it into the setlist.
“Call It What You Want”
It’s likely that “Love Story,” which was in rotation on the 1989 Tour, will be axed in favor of a Reputation song, and “Call It What You Want” is a neat update. Fans have pointed out the lyric parallels between the two songs — it just makes sense.
“You Belong With Me”
We’re hoping Swift will make room for a couple classics, and “You Belong With Me” is Quintessential Old Taylor.
“New Year’s Day”
At some point, Swift will have to make good on her promise of a piano section. “This piano is going to be used for two songs in the set,” she told fans on social media May 1, showing off the instrument during rehearsals. “One of them is on Reputation. One of them is an older song.” Of course, the exact songs are a mystery, but these two are good bets.
“Shake It Off”
“I Did Something Bad”
Haters gonna hate, and Swift doesn’t care what they think, anyway, so she’ll create this section to let us know that she’s not apologizing for any of her behavior, and will in fact do it “over and over and over again.”
As we all know, Swift is smitten with British actor Joe Alwyn these days. “Gorgeous” and “End Game” would be staples in any grouping of love songs.
“Look What You Made Me Do”
Finally, we’re brought to the most fun section of them all: Revenge. Swift is taking names, and she references every one of her enemies in these explosive set closers.