Taylor Swift returns to stage

Taylor Swift returns to stage


This is what the Taylor Swift fans could only hope for when they decided to come to tonight’s show.

“Welcome to F1 on a Saturday night,” the audibly beloved star welcomed close to 80,000 screaming fans as she strutted across the stage in a short, black, sparkly number.

During her first and only concert performance of 2016, Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix weekend in Austin, Texas, the Grammy winner tore through a number of her hits—but the cherry on top may have been a stripped-down version of “This Is What You Came For,” the track Swift co-wrote for then-boyfriend Calvin Harris that became a huge, song-of-the-summer hit for the Scottish DJ-producer and Rihanna.

Taylor Swift, Grand Prix

Taylor’s backing vocals can be heard on the single, and she did a little lip-syncing during New York Fashion Week, but this was the first time she’s publicly performed the tune start to finish. The Internet was set ablaze with anticipation earlier in the day after video of her rehearsing at a piano during a sound check made the rounds.

“As a songwriter, the most rewarding feeling in the world is writing something and having a crowd sing it back to you because you know the words,” Taylor told the audience, which she had encouraged to join her at every turn. “I never played this song live before, but you know it. Maybe you can sing along.”

Swift initially agreed to recede into the background when Harris went around promoting the song when it came out in April, but once the chorus detectives got wind of Tay’s voice on the song and connected her with the co-writer listed on Wikipedia—Swift’s sometimes-alias, Nils Sjoberg—then the ruse was up.

Her rep confirmed Swift’s role in “This Is What You Came For” on July 13, prompting a Twitter treatise from Harris that started out friendly, “And she sings on a little bit of it too…Amazing lyric writer and she smashed it as usual. I wrote the music, produced the song, arranged it and cut the vocals though. And initially she wanted it kept secret, hence the pseudonym,” before descending into finger-pointing chaos.

But everything that Swift had to deal with over the summer only made the Swifties more excited about this very night, the date of which is just shy of all sorts of milestones.

For starters, the fourth anniversary of Red is today, the 10th anniversary of her self-titled debut album is Monday, the sixth anniversary of Speak Now is Tuesday, Thursday is 1989’s second birthday and Fearless turns 8 on Nov. 11.

So in even-numbered years, fall has historically been a momentous season for Swift.