It might seem impossible, but it’s been 12 years since Taylor Swift released her debut album and nearly 15 years since she arrived in Nashville to pursue her music career. On Saturday night, in a rare show of nostalgia-fueled homecoming, Swift returned to where it all began for a single night, playing a set of her classic songs at Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe.
Swift, fresh off the release of her latest album Reputation late last year and rapidly approaching the start of her next tour, took a little time to visit the cafe the night before Easter. It’s the same spot where she was discovered in 2005 and signed to her first recording contract. Seated alongside longtime country songwriter Craig Wiseman, Swift played acoustic versions of some of her classic hits, like “Love Story,” “Better Man,” and “Shake It Off” in front of a few dozen fans.
According to the Tennessean, Swift devoted some particular praise to the Bluebird Cafe itself, portraying it as a unique and essential venue for songwriters.
“I wanted to say a big thank you to the Bluebird Cafe,” Swift said. “I think any songwriter in town would echo my sentiments and say that this is kind of the only place where this exists—this particular place where you get to come and hear the writer’s take on the songs they’ve put out into the world.”
Swift also reportedly knocked back some Fireball shots while at the Bluebird―for the uninitiated, Fireball is a type of cinnamon-flavored whiskey. According to Wiseman, she’s had a taste for the stuff for a long time, as he recounted pouring her some shots at an after-party years ago.
taylor swift holding fireball is the cutest thing I ever did see pic.twitter.com/PC58ne2FoR— chloe // loverfest east (@wildeyedswift) April 1, 2018
“I got her a shot of Fireball, and then I got her another one,” Wiseman said. “For the rest of the party, I would go get a shot of Fireball … and snake my hand through the people (on this balcony) in her general direction. I don’t even know if she took it, but it disappeared.”
Both of them took a shot on stage for old time’s sake, to boot. For her part, Swift won’t have too much longer before she’s back in the spotlight in a major way―her Reputation tour is scheduled to start on May 8.