Taylor Swift will headline some of the nation’s biggest stadiums when The Eras Tour kicks off in March. But over the weekend, she attended a much more intimate performance in New Orleans.
On Saturday, Swift captured the 6:15 p.m. set at Preservation Hall, the former traditional jazz sanctuary on Rue Saint-Pierre in the French Quarter that barely has room for 100 spectators.
Swift didn’t wear any sort of disguise, or even a hat, to hide her identity. Yet no one seemed to recognize her, perhaps because no one thought one of the world’s biggest pop stars would be hanging out at Preservation Hall on an unremarkable Saturday night in December.
“It was completely random and unexpected,” said photographer Erika Goldring, who was in the audience that night. “You would never expect to see Taylor Swift at Preservation Hall. Maybe during Jazz Fest, but not in December.
Swift’s boyfriend, British actor Joe Alwyn, was with her. Alwyn has been in New Orleans for several weeks filming director Yorgos Lanthimes’ “And” with a cast that also includes Emma Stone and Willem Dafoe.
Producer and songwriter Jack Antonoff, a frequent Swift collaborator, was also said to have been present at the Pres Hall. Antonoff’s fiancee, actress Margaret Qualley, is part of the cast of “And”.
Before Saturday’s show, Goldring spoke briefly with Swift in the backyard of Preservation Hall. She was struck by the superstar’s down-to-earthness as they talked about Harvey Nichols and other UK department stores.
Swift also said it was her first visit to Preservation Hall.
When Powell and company performed the song “My Bucket’s Got a Hole In It,” Swift made her way from the back row to the front bandstand and dropped several bills into the band’s tip jar.
And yet, no one seemed to realize who she was.
“Nobody gasped,” Goldring said. “I didn’t feel like anyone was putting two and two together.
“It was refreshing that someone everyone should know could sit in a room with less than 100 people and not be disturbed.”
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