Taylor Swift has been keeping a low profile as she prepares for her reputation stadium tour, but on Saturday night she emerged from rehearsals to play an intimate surprise set at the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville.
The “Delicate” singer joined country songwriter Craig Wiseman for a performance that celebrated the Bluebird’s 35th anniversary. The venue holds special significance in Swiftian legend as the place where she was discovered by Scott Borchetta, of Big Machine Label Group.
“I wanted to say a big thank you to the Bluebird Cafe,” Swift said, according to The Tennessean. “I think any songwriter in town would echo my sentiments and say that this is kind of the only place where this exists — this particular place where you get to come and hear the writer’s take on the songs they’ve put out into the world.”
Swift played her smash hit “Shake It Off” as well as “Better Man,” the award-winning single she penned for country group Little Big Town. Swift and Wiseman also reminisced about hanging out in the Fireball Whisky shot room at Wiseman’s CMT after-party. Wiseman recalled pouring multiple shots for the superstar, who admitted that she and pal Ed Sheeran stole the giant inflatable Fireball bottle from the party.
“For old times’ sake,” as Wiseman said, he brought out tiny bottles of Fireball for himself and Swift.
“I’m literally watching you, and I’m just going to do what you do. I’m going to look you in the eye the whole time,” Swift reportedly told Wiseman before taking the shots.
Swift then recalled a songwriting session with Wiseman when she 17 years old. She brought him a song she’d been working on, but he “didn’t get it,” and turned down the song that became a career-defining crossover hit. “This is the song I almost wrote with Craig Wiseman,” Swift said as introduction. “It’s called ‘Love Story.’”
Fans can next catch Swift on her reputation tour, beginning May 8.