The aesthetic of Taylor Swift’s new era is crystal clear: She’s all about pastel colors, sparkles, and having F-U-N. Those elements were certainly front and center in her performance of “ME!”, which kicked off the Billboard Music Awards 2019 on May 1.
Earlier in the night, Swift walked the red carpet in a ruffled Raisa Vanesa number (again, very Taylor Swift New Era—down to the butterfly ring):
For the performance of “ME!”, though, she changed into a sequin one-shoulder dress and powder blue boots. But that wasn’t the only lewk on stage: Swift brought along a full marching band dressed in pink, dancers in colorful suits and briefcases (like in the song’s music video), and Panic! at the Disco’s Brendon Urie in a suit so gorgeous I could see Villanelle wearing it on Killing Eve. See for yourself, below:
The whole thing felt very similar in tone to the music video, with one exception: Swift notably changed “spelling is fun!” to “Vegas is fun!” (The Billboard Music Awards took place in Las Vegas.) Like I said, New Taylor is all about having fun. Here’s a clip:
That said, not everyone was feeling Swift’s performance—or, more specifically, her use of that marching band. Beyoncé fans took to Twitter to complain that Swift had copied Bey’s 2018 Coachella set which was featured in the behind-the-scenes documentary Homecoming.
Others, however, felt the performances are two different things and shouldn’t be compared.
“It’s been so much fun and putting out this song and video has been really, really exciting and just a really joyful experience,” Swift recently told Zane Lowe on Beats 1 on Apple Music about this chapter of her career. “And it’s been like, you know the video’s like a magical-like, whimsical, mystical world. So it’s kind of been amazing to see the fans pick out little Easter eggs. And I just feel really grateful.”
She continued, “This new music is much more playful and actually inward facing. Like when you get into this album, it’s much more about me as a person, no pun intended with the song title.”
This post has been updated to include the Twitter debate around Swift’s performance.