Guests to Look For Onstage With Taylor Swift Tonight
Photo by Troy Fields
You know anticipation for tonight's show is starting to build when even Bun B is apparently lobbying to join her onstage. Tuesday morning, the beloved Houston rapper tweeted that he had seen a few dozen(!) trucks outside Minute Maid Park; his later tweet bearing only the hashtag #HeyTaylorBringBunBOnStage was retweeted more than 100 times. Fans got into the act, taking their cause directly to Swift, and even the Austin American-Statesman jumped in. So after all that, Bun's chances look to be slightly less likely than J.J. Watt's, but not by much. CHRIS GRAY
Personally, I’d like to see something a little more different: perhaps a rap battle with Fat Tony, or maybe even something much more unexpected like a punk or metal mash-up. (Think: “Blank Space” vs. “I Prevail.”) Maybe a harder cover of “Shake It Off” with Venomous Maximus or Deadhorse, or a Phil Anselmo/Superjoint scream session over “We Are Never Getting Back Together.” Or, a surprise appearance from Houston’s own D.R.I. for “Bad Blood” should be enough to transform the mob of 15-year-old daddy’s girls in the front row into the dark, disturbed emo kids they really already are deep down inside. KRISTY LOYE
BILLY F. GIBBONS
He is a reverend after all, so it feels only right that Gibbons should open Swift’s stadium-size celebration of self-actualization with a guitar invocation that’s a little more down to Earth. It doesn’t have to be something raunchy like “Tube Snake Boogie” or “Backdoor Love Affair,” either — one of the statelier passages of the Book of ZZ could welcome our honored guest with the proper tone of reverence and esteem while still letting her know without a doubt she’s in Texas; a song like “Hot, Blue & Righteous,” maybe, or even “Rough Boy.” And if he wants to throw in a little “La Grange” to really kick-start the party, that would probably be fine too. CHRIS GRAY
ROBERT EARL KEEN
Outside of joining the Suffers' Kam Franklin for a soulful auditory treat, I’d like to see Swift perform some throwback country with Robert Earl Keen; an acoustic duet on a song neither of them wrote could be an encore to remember and should naturally inspire a singalong from the audience. It should be a classic Garth Brooks or Alan Jackson tune the crowd would be familiar with — or at least their parental chaperones, anyway. KRISTY LOYE
The McGovern Commons Fountain in the Texas Medical Center, Christmastime 2014
LOCAL DOCTORS AND NURSES
There are plenty of Houston-connected celebrities Swift could call onto Minute Maid's stage, people who share Hollywood status with her like Jim Parsons (could happen) or Beyoncé (never in your wildest dreams). We could advocate for any number of local bands we'd like to see join her because, well, that's what we do here. But Swift has made her legacy not by connecting with A-listers or The Next Big Thing. She's done it by giving voice to the fears and hopes of the everywoman and man. No one knows more about fears and hopes in this city than the medical professionals of the TMC, whose dedication and effort is worth being heralded in a non-medical environment by a global superstar. They're heroes, but that doesn't mean Swift needs to serenade them with some slow, poignant ballad. Just bring them up, acknowledge how special they are and let 'em dance off some of their day to "Shake It Off," Taylor. JESSE SENDEJAS JR.
I'm gonna go with the less obvious response. Taylor Swift is a star by any definition, but I don't know if she's given that much thought to her Houston date. Now, please don't mistake this as my slamming Swift or saying she doesn't love her Texas fans, but she tends to bring big acts onstage when performing more than one night in a city: London, Los Angeles, New York City. Maybe the question shouldn't be, "What artist will Swift bring to Houston?" but rather, "Why don't you spend a few more days in our heavenly city and play more shows in a smaller arena?" Houston would love it, and maybe we'd get a few celebrities to surprise us during the show. ALYSSA DUPREE
WELCOME TO HOUSTON
Swift is an unabashed rap fan who has already collaborated with artists like Kendrick Lamar, B.o.B. and T Pain. She’s got an awareness of the genre, so where’s our chopped-and-screwed version of “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” featuring Z-Ro dropping lines from “I Hate U” in the mix? What would legitimize anyone’s rap interest more than passing the mike to Bun B, Slim Thug, Paul Wall, Mike Jones and company? C’mon Taylor – when in the City of Syrup, you gotta sip from the cup. JESSE SENDEJAS JR.
This isn’t a suggestion, it’s a prediction. Book it. It’s going to happen. And the rumors will follow, bringing even more attention to our local sports hero. I still think Jennifer Lawrence is a better choice for future Mrs. Watt, but who knows? Maybe J.-Tay is the next Bennifer? At the very least, it’d be fun to see her in Texans red and blue on the literal eve of the 2015 NFL season. JESSE SENDEJAS JR.
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