You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Taylor Swift Goes Full Rainbow for Pride Month at L.A. Wango Tango Show

Halsey and the Jonas Brothers were colorful in their own visually less flamboyant ways at the annual iHeartRadio concert.

Taylor Swift was taking the kickoff of Pride Month pretty seriously — and the title of the Rolling Stones’ “She’s a Rainbow” pretty literally — during the climax to Saturday night’s annual iHeartRadio Wango Tango concert in Los Angeles. For anyone who’d read up on her newsmaking Instagram post from the night before, there wasn’t much question about why she was flying the colors right down to her rainbow sneakers, but she made it explicit anyway.

Dignity was on her mind as she took to the stage of Carson’s Dignity Health Sports Park at the close of a four-hour, multi-act show. “It’s wonderful to be spending this particular evening with you, because today is the first day of Pride Month,” she said. “A lot of my songs are about love, and I just feel like who you love, how you identify,  you should be able to live your life the way you want to live your life with the same rights as everybody else. So I started this petition, and you can find the link on my Instagram. It’s for the Equality Act. and it basically just says that we want to send a message to our government that we believe everybody should be treated fairly in this country. If you sign it, it would really mean a lot to me, because I think we need to stick up for each other and stand together. Don’t you?”

Swift had emerged wearing a flamboyant vest with extreme levels of colorful, almost tie-dye-looking fringe, as if she wanted to be ready to march in a pride parade and step in as a last minute Woodstock 50 headliner if called upon. The cotton candy look of the bandshell reflected the aesthetic of her “Me!” video and artwork but also, in this case, doubled as implicit LGBTQ advocacy. (It’s a happy coincidence of timing that Swift is going full-in on the pride front now and not during her borderline-goth “Look What You Made Me Do” phase, although maybe we shouldn’t count out giant rainbow cobras on the next tour.)

Saying she wanted to spend “some time with just you and me,” Swift followed her Equality Act pitch with a solo acoustic performance of “Delicate,” the sweetest single off 2017’s “Reputation.” That previously unheard arrangement with just the star and her guitar was a tipoff that Swift would not be using her Wango Tango set to reprise what fans heard on the 2018 “Reputation” tour, even if she wasn’t about to debut any material from her upcoming album than the single that’s already out. After opening with the live staples “Shake It Off” and “Blank Space,” Swift used the occasion to service fans with four songs that hadn’t been performed in full by her and her band since her 2015 tour: “I Knew You Were Trouble,” “Love Story,” “Style” and “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” (The last two did figure into the “Reputation” setlist, but only in shortened medley versions or interpolations.)

Taylor Swift at iHeartRadio Wango Tango, Show, Dignity Health Sports Park, Los Angeles, USA - 01 June 2019
CREDIT: John Salangsang/REX/Shutterstock

With the show-closing rendition of “Me!,” it seemed as if audiences might finally get to hear what an all-Swift version of that song would sound like… but there was Panic! at the Disco’s Brendon Urie, showing up mid-song to make this version of their fey pride anthem another “We!” performance after all.

The Jonas Brothers - Nick Jonas, Joe Jonas and Kevin JonasiHeartRadio Wango Tango, Show, Dignity Health Sports Park, Los Angeles, USA - 01 June 2019
CREDIT: Michael Buckner/Hollywood Life/REX/Shutterstock

Swift was preceded on the Wango Tango bill by the Jonas Brothers, who were greeted just as enthusiastically, boding well for their upcoming arena tour, the trio’s first in… how long has it been, again? “We just realized it’s been 11 years since we shared this Wango Tango stage with you,” said Joe Jonas. “So thank you for being patient.” Egged on by his brothers to stop being quiet, Kevin also used the P-word: “This has been a long journey getting here. Thank you for being patient. We’re stronger together for it.”

The audience — or the part of it that was even old enough to have been around for the original part of the Jonas Journey — might well have responded: No, thank you for taking yourself on the market long enough for us to miss you. The catalog songs they reprised from the pre-estrangement years hold up remarkably well for supposed teen-pop — “Burnin’ Up” and “Love Bug” are hits in any era, even with those strange, foreign-looking six-string instruments — and the fresh “Sucker” only sounds better in concert as more of a rhythm guitar-propelled rocker.

Halsey and Yungblud at iHeartRadio Wango Tango, Show, Dignity Health Sports Park, Los Angeles, USA - 01 Jun 2019
CREDIT: imageSPACE/REX/Shutterstock

Guess who else was bringing the rock to Wango Tango, a generally rock-free zone if ever there was one? Halsey. Not that she’s suddenly going Joan Jett on everyone, even though her now jet-black shag cut almost makes it look like she’s leaning that way. But her new “Nightmare” single — which she described as “a song I wrote so you would go absolutely wild when you hear it” — is essentially a brooding and building rock ballad, and of course “11 Minutes,” which featured her significant other Yungblud as duet partner and lead guitarist, places her foot firmly in that camp. Maybe the skintight green camouflage she wearing at Wango Tango was a sign that she really does intend to slip across genre lines.

Coming in-between Halsey and the Jonases was Zedd, whose succession of lead vocalists was strictly on tape, unlike Coachella, where he’d managed to bring in guest appearances by Katy Perry and Maren Morris. After an opening set bu Five Seconds of Summer, much of the earlier part of Wango Tango consisted of a succession of quickie performances by freshman pop acts that proved that you don’t have to be a celebrity DJ to have your entire performance pre-recorded.

More Music

  • Chambers Brothers

    George Chambers, of 1960s Hit Group the Chambers Brothers, Dies at 88

    George “Pops” Chambers, singer and bassist for the Chambers Brothers, best known for the 1968 hit “Time Has Come Today,” died Saturday at 88. “The best big brother you could ever have,” Willie Chambers wrote on his Facebook page Sunday night. “I am so sad, and at the same time, I’m so glad to have [...]

  • Stock market

    Trading In Music's Futures: How to Cash In on the Industry's Gold Rush (Guest Column)

    The music industry is entering a time of financial prosperity thanks to the widespread use of streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal. According to a recent report by Musicwatch, 77% of all internet users in the U.S. stream music, while Goldman Sachs projects a revenue pot of $34 billion by 2030. Finally, the [...]

  • Vampire Weekend - Brian Robert Jones,

    Vampire Weekend, Mumford & Sons, Rufus du Sol to Headline Okeechobee Festival

    Today, Insomniac Events announced the lineup for the fourth edition of Florida’s Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival. The four-day event will return to Sunshine Grove in Okeechobee, Florida March 5-8, 2020 with a multi-genre lineup led by Vampire Weekend, Mumford & Sons, Rufus du Sol and Bassnectar, along with over 100 other artists across a [...]

  • Member of South Korean Girl Group

    Korean Pop Star Sulli Dies at 25

    Korean pop star Sulli was found dead at her home near Seoul on Monday. She was 25. Her manager found her body and alerted the police. The manager reported that the star, whose real name was Choi Jin-ri, suffered from depression, and police said that they were working on the assumption that she had died [...]

  • Jay Frank

    Jay Frank, UMG Senior VP and Digital Music Veteran, Dies at 47

    Universal Music executive and digital music veteran Jay Frank died Sunday after a battle with cancer. He was 47. UMG chief Lucian Grainge remembered him in a message sent to the company. “Dear Colleagues,” it reads. “I’m deeply saddened to tell you that our colleague and friend Jay Frank has passed after a recurrence of [...]

  • Boomtown Rats Feature Doc Launches From

    Boomtown Rats Feature Doc Launches From New Music Banner BeyondTNC (EXCLUSIVE)

    Bob Geldof and the re-formed Boomtown Rats will talk about their legendary punk band in a new feature doc, “Boomtown.” It is one of the first two films from a new music producer-distributor that has been formed by Beyond Entertainment and TNC Media – BeyondTNC. BeyondTNC will be launching “Boomtown” to international buyers in Cannes, [...]

  • Zedd

    DJ Zedd Banned From China After Liking 'South Park' Tweet

    Zedd has been “permanently banned” from China after the German DJ liked a tweet from the “South Park” Twitter account. Zedd, whose real name is Anton Zaslavski, announced the news via his own Twitter account: “I just got permanently banned from China because I liked a @SouthPark tweet,” he wrote. I just got permanently banned [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content