Published 9:00 AM EDT Jul 11, 2019
NEW YORK — Fans aren’t shaking off Taylor Swift’s latest nemesis any time soon.
The “I Knew You Were Trouble” singer played an uncharacteristically intimate show Wednesday night, headlining the Amazon Prime Day concert at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom, which normally houses just over 2,000 people.
It was Swift’s first performance since publicly denouncing music tycoon Scooter Braun in a lengthy Tumblr post early last week, accusing him of “incessant, manipulative bullying.” Braun – who manages Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande and Swift’s past foe, Kanye West – paid $300 million to acquire Swift’s former record label, Big Machine Label Group, and by extension, the masters of Swift’s old music.
Although Swift did not directly address the controversy while on stage Wednesday, fans on social media were quick to note how she emphasized the lyrics about “liars and dirty, dirty cheats of the world” during closing song “Shake It Off.” Many of her fans in the crowd also chose to show their support by holding up pink hearts printed with the hashtag #WeStandWithTaylor.
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“Hold this PINK heart against your flashlight the moment Taylor Swift finishes performing her first song,” read the paper hearts, which could be seen dotting across the audience at the end of her whimsical opener “Me!”
Swift played a typically charming and effervescent nine-song set, which included the live debut of her new pro-LGBTQ single “You Need to Calm Down,” an acoustic version of hometown favorite “Welcome to New York,” as well as crowdpleasers “Style,” “Blank Space,” “Love Story” and “Delicate.”
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Before closing out the concert, which also featured performances from SZA, Dua Lipa and Becky G, Swift took a moment to briefly tease her much-anticipated new album, “Lover,” out Aug. 23.
“The album is a love letter to love itself,” said Swift, who has been dating actor Joe Alwyn since 2016. “I think love is such an inspiring thing to write about. Love is complexity, love is hope, love is equality.”
Contributing: Charles Trepany