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Taylor Swift Performs in Soggy Sydney After Weather Evacuation

It was a rollercoaster of a night on Friday (Feb. 23) for Taylor Swift as the singer kicked off her four-show stand at Sydney, Australia’s Accor Stadium in front of 81,000 soggy, determined Swifties. Before the show could kick off, the stadium floor and lower bowl were evacuated due to storms — and a nearby lightning strike — which meant that opening act Sabrina Carpenter‘s set was cancelled in order to get Swift on stage in time.

“Please note, due to weather, show start time has been delayed. Stay undercover until further notice and follow venue screens and staff instructions. Stay safe and remember to be kind to those around you,” the venue announced on X in describing the delay.

But, according to the Sydney Herald, the show did go on, with Swift taking the stage just before 8 p.m. local, and yes, boyfriend Travis Kelce was in the house, accompanied by Swift’s dad, Scott Swift. The Kansas City Chiefs tight end — wearing an electric blue, wildly patterned matching shorts and t-shirt combo –made his way to his seats accompanied by the rabid screams and shouts from Swifties on the stadium floor. Fans also got excited to see Rita Ora and Katy Perry (as well as Rita’s husband director Taika Waititi and beloved Australian director Baz Luhrmann) sharing a private box and exchanging friendship bracelets with admirers; Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was also in the house.

On to the show, though. According to the Herald, Swift immediately nodded to the resiliency of her audience, telling them, “We have a little bit of a weather situation, a little bit of rain but I have never known an Aussie crowd that let anything get in the way!” Later, in what has become a signature moment in the set, Swift picked a nine-year-old named Scarlett — who was diagnosed with an aggressive brain cancer in October — as the recipient of her black hat during “22.”

The show progressed as usual after the storm delay, and the night’s first surprise song was “How You Get the Girl” from 2014’s smash 1989 album. “I kind of pick the song for each individual crowd and hope I get it right,” Swift told the audience of the song she first played during the stripped-down portion of the night in Atlanta last April.

Swift then brought out Carpenter to help her on a mash-up of Fearless‘ “White Horse” and Evermore‘s “Coney Island,” with Taylor telling the crowd that Carpenter “heroically sacrificed her show, which I think is a crime against Sydney.” The singer also took a moment during the surprise piano acoustic section to shout out her new favorite destination: the Sydney Zoo, which she visited the day before with Kelce. “We really love the Sydney Zoo – we’ve been 100 per cent of our days off here,” Swift said of her back-to-back visits. “I don’t think you guys don’t understand how cool kangaroos really are. They are so cool, so strong, so bouncy.”

Swift’s Accor stand will continue with shows on Saturday (June 24), Sunday (June 25) and Monday (June 26) before moving on to Singapore on March 2.

This story originally appeared on Billboard

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