Flanked by a quartet of fellow singers, Taylor Swift was, as usual, preternaturally poised as she took the stage at the B96 & Pepsi Jingle Bash on Thursday night. With her sparkly top shimmering in the lights and her gleaming white teeth competing for attention, she prowled the stage like a catwalk model. She gave a smile here and there, and at one point strapped on a guitar for an acoustic performance of “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever,” a reminder of her humbler aw-shucks roots and a brief respite from the flash and glamour. And then, an efficient six songs and a little under 30 minutes later, she was done. Say what you will about Swift: the Taylor train runs right on time.
As for Swift, her performances of “Gorgeous” and “…Ready For It?” surely whet the appetite for her future stadium assault, while “Blank Space” and “Shake It Off” showed that even a few years of ubiquity (thanks a lot, radio overlords) couldn’t dampen fan enthusiasm. Whether the clunky “Look What You Made Me Do” will connect years later quite the same way is another matter, but given Swift’s sheer force of will, don’t put it past her.