For all of Taylor Swift’s singing about her individuality on her new song “ME!” her performance of the song at Wednesday night’s Billboard Music Awards seemed to take some inspiration from someone else.
At the awards show, Swift performed the song with a Pepto Bismol-pink marching band in tow, which immediately called to mind Beyoncé performing with an iconic marching band for her Coachella Homecoming performance. Now, Beyoncé might not own on-stage marching bands as a concept, but she certainly made the case for owning them with Homecoming. It was an extremely hard-to-miss performance, considering the documentary version dropped just a few weeks ago. Despite the fact that there are differences in the live set-up, someone, anyone, should have kindly taken Swift aside and reminded her of the optics of this, and that it would inevitably draw comparisons to Beyoncé’s Coachella set.
While we’re here, someone should have kindly taken Swift aside and told her that “ME!” sounds like a rejected theme song from an animated children’s film and seriously doesn’t do justice to her songwriting track record. Granted, Swift’s debut singles (“Shake It Off” for example) never deliver the full scope of whatever her album will sound like, “ME!” feels particularly dark. It is the most commercialized, soulless piece of music fans have ever gotten from her, and I think she knows all to well (*wink*) what kinds of songs she and her fellow new romantics (*winking again, with a tear down my face*) has in her to write and should actually be releasing. “ME!” is not it.