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The National’s Aaron Dessner Joins Taylor Swift To Debut ‘The Great War’ in Tampa

Dessner and Swift previously worked together on the hit pandemic-era albums 'folklore' and 'evermore'
Taylor Swift and Aaron Dessner on April 14, 2023 in Tampa, Fl. (photo: Octavio Jones / TAS23 / Getty Images for for TAS Rights Management)

It was only a matter of time before Taylor Swift teamed up on stage again with the National’s Aaron Dessner, her songwriting and production collaborator on the smash hit pandemic-era folklore and evermore albums. Last night (April 14) during the second Tampa, Fl., stop on the Eras tour, fans got their wish.

Dessner joined Swift on acoustic guitar during the “surprise songs” section of the show for the live debut of “The Great War,” which appears on the 3am Edition of the latter’s 2022 album Midnights. Dessner, who had been spotted in the audience the night before, told the crowd they were “watching the greatest performer on Earth do the greatest show of all time.” He then jokingly compared “The Great War” to the plight many fans experienced trying to get tickets to the Eras Tour.

Since first meeting group members in person several years ago after a National concert in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, Swift has relied on them heavily as collaborators. As previously reported, she’s one of the guests on the National’s upcoming album, First Two Pages of Frankenstein, which is out on April 28, and also appeared on the most recent album from Dessner and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon as Big Red Machine.

The only other guest on the Eras tour prior to last night was Marcus Mumford, who teamed with Swift for a performance of “Cowboy Like Me” in Las Vegas. Swift has also performed the Midnights track “Snow on the Beach” in tribute to the song’s featured guest, Lana Del Rey.