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Aaron Dessner Joins Taylor Swift Again at Last of Three Nashville Shows

Phoebe Bridgers also reprised her Friday and Saturday appearances with Swift on 'Nothing New'
Taylor Swift and the National's Aaron Dessner in Nashville on May 7, 2023 (photo: John Shearer / TAS23 / Getty Images for TAS Rights Management).

Having already made a surprise appearance last month in Tampa, Fla., the National‘s Aaron Dessner appeared unannounced again early this morning (May 8) during Taylor Swift‘s last of three Eras tour shows at Nashville’s Nissan Stadium. The concert was significantly delayed due to storms in the area, with Swift not taking the stage until after 10 p.m. local time.

Dessner, who co-wrote and co-produced Swift’s hit pandemic-era folklore and evermore albums and also worked on last year’s Midnights, joined the artist on acoustic guitar during the nightly “secret songs” section of the show for the live debut of “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve,” a bonus track from the latter project. Earlier, opening act Phoebe Bridgers sang again with Swift on “Nothing New,” which the pair played live for the first time at Friday’s Nissan Stadium gig and reprised on Saturday.

“We all look like we were sprayed by a garden hose. We all look like river otters,” Swift told the waterlogged audience. She said Dessner “was warned about the rain and he did accept the challenge anyway. Don’t worry about us, we’ve talked about this. We knew this was a possibility. Your hair is gonna look just as good as mine pretty soon.”

Dessner gushed about the experience in a subsequent Instagram post, calling “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve” his favorite song he’s written with Swift. “Not sure how I got so lucky to have these experiences on the greatest tour of all time, but I’m so thankful,” he wrote. “It’s incredibly inspiring to see the dedication and work ethic Taylor, her band, her dancers, and her incredible team and crew put into this show. It’s truly a mind-blowing experience.”

Since first meeting the National’s members in person several years ago after a National concert in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, Swift has relied on them heavily as collaborators. She and Bridgers both appear on the band’s newly released album, First Two Pages of Frankenstein.

The night Frankenstein was released last Friday, Swift played the National-featuring “Coney Island” live for the first time in Atlanta, telling the audience, “this band has influenced me beyond my ability to verbalize how much they’ve influenced me — just lyrically, their ability to set a scene, their ability to tell a story. And obviously, Aaron Dessner is in the National and he has completely changed my life.”


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