Superstar Taylor Swift performed her first — and last —concert of the year at Club Nomadic Saturday night, as a crowd of 9,000 jammed the temporary venue for its farewell Super Bowl concert. “As far as I know I'm doing one show in 2017. As far as I know, this is that one show," Swift told the crowd. "By coming here tonight you are essentially attending 100 percent of this year’s tour dates, so thank you."
Around 11:30 pm, the singer, wearing a black sequin-and-fringe mini dress and black bedazzled booties, appeared in a cloud of smoke and launched into "The Night is Still Young" (and "So Are We," the crowd sang along, waving LED wristbands that flashed bright colors to the music), "New Romantics" (the bonus track from her hit album 1989), and "Blank Space." The hits kept coming throughout the nearly two-hour concert, with such favorites as "Bad Blood," "We Are Never Getting Back Together," "Out of the Woods," "You Belong With Me," "All Too Well," and "Wildest Dreams" during the 17-song set.
Swift also offered the first live performance of her new ballad, "I Don't Wanna Live Forever" from the new Fifty Shades Darker movie. Before performing an acoustic version of the song she apologized that her collaborator Zayn Malik wasn't there to join her on the duet and asked the crowd to take his place.
In a segment about top-selling songs she has written, Swift performed "Better Man," a No. 1 country song she wrote for Little Big Town — it's the first time she has performed the song live — and an acoustic version of Rihanna's "This Is What You Came For," which she and her ex, Calvin Harris co-wrote.
And, to no one's surprise, she ended the show with her monster hit, "Shake It Off," telling the crowd, "It's time to dance."
The show was vintage Swift, with high energy songs punctuated by a slower segment in the middle in which she showcased her considerable talents on the guitar and a silver baby grand piano. Throughout each song, kicky graphics and awe-inspiring photos flashed on a screen that ran the length of the long stage in the slick production.
The only thing that wasn't perfect was Swift's hairdo. She experienced a bad case of "Houston hair," as her blond locks went limp amid the heat and humidity in the venue as the show progressed. But it didn't seem to slow her down as she wiped the sweat from her face often between songs and then resumed her trademark movements, with a flip of the head and a nod to the crowd.
Celebrities turned out in droves for the concert, which was billed as DIRECTV Now Super Saturday Night. Olympians Simone Biles and Aly Reisman posed for photos with John Legend on the the red carpet and Legend's wife, Chrissy Teigen, seemed in better spirits than the night before when she refused to be photographed.
Other celebs included New York Jets receiver Brandon Marshall and Heisman winner Tim Tebow, both wearing white shirts, actors Chris Evans, Vince Vaughn, Jeremy Renner, and Adrian Grenier, actress Lea Michelle, TV personality Maria Menounos, and quarterbacks Tony Romo and Eli Manning.
Orange is the New Black co-star Ruby Rose DJed sets before and after Swift's appearance.
Although a temporary venue, Club Nomadic got high marks as a concert space. Organizers added a walkway over the gravel leading to the venue, which made walking in high heels much easier for the ladies, and, inside, it was easy to move around even amid the large crowd. The acoustics were excellent and, although the venue is large, it seemed intimate as we stood only about 40 feet from the stage in the general admission section during Swift's performance.
While there was a long Uber line at the end, traffic in the area was surprisingly easy to navigate. After the concert, my friends and I walked a few block to Washington and easily called Uber to take us home in a matter of minutes.
Taylor Swift set list:
I Knew You Were Trouble
I Don't Wanna Live Forever
You Belong With Me
This Is What You Came For
We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
All Too Well
Enchanted/Wildest Dreams medley
Out of the Woods
Shake It Off