Taylor Swift Says Her Band ‘Plays Live for Three and a Half Hours,’ in Seeming Clapback to Dave Grohl’s Shadiness

Taylor Swift may not ever get around to responding directly to Dave Grohl’s controversial weekend jibe. But it sounds as if she’s already had her say, offering what is being taken by some fans as a subtle, subtweeting retort to his joking contention that Foo Fighters concerts consist of live music and the Eras Tour does not.

Somewhat buried in her very newsworthy Sunday night show at London’s Wembley Stadium was a passing remark in which she noted that her band “is playing live for you for three and a half hours tonight.”

More from Variety

The comment was so tossed off, in the middle of an appreciative speech about Swift’s entire crew, that Swift probably has plausible deniability as to whether or not she is really dignifying Grohl’s barb with a response. But the reference to “the music in her show being performed live “playing live… for three and a half hours” is not a part of her nightly patter, making it seem to many that she was offering the most fleeting — yet firm — response possible to the allegation about canned music that was inherent in Grohl’s joking.

In response to a long ovation, Swift told the closing-night Wembley crowd, “What you just did was an unforgettable moment” — not just for herself, she emphasized, “but for every one of my band members, every single one of our crew, my band that’s playing live for you for three and a half hours tonight. They deserve this so much. And so does every one of my fellow performers. And you just gave that to us so generously — we will never forget it.”

Grohl created a firestorm when he made what amounted to a dad joke during Foo Fighters’ concert in London Saturday, which was up against the second of Swift’s three Wembley shows this past weekend.

“I tell you, man, you don’t want to suffer the wrath of Taylor Swift,” Grohl said in front of Saturday’s crowd at London Stadium. “So we like to call our tour the ‘Errors Tour.’ We’ve had more than a few eras, and more than a few fucking errors as well. Just a couple. That’s because we actually play live. What? Just saying.”

Grohl’s gag had some self-deprecation built into it, but also what came off as a real dig that Swift’s show is allegedly largely canned. Watchful fans who have seen Swift’s tour dates over and over would beg to differ, as her lead vocals have variations in tone from night to night, and although the music is admittedly error-free, elements of her band’s playing are clearly live at various points in the night.

Public reactions to Grohl’s diss have largely been negative, even in circles that might normally skew toward the rockist side of things. The dig at the biggest star in music made international headlines, perhaps far and away beyond what he intended, but so far Grohl — who has praised Swift going farther back int he past — hasn’t made any followup comment to explain himself.

Attention to Swift’s remark on stage Sunday only began to grow on Monday, with the oxygen previously having been sucked up by less subtle moments in her Wembley show, like guest appearances by Travis Kelce and Gracie Abrams and the presence of a dancing Paul McCartney in the audience.

Back in 2016, Grohl showed a much more charitable side toward Swift, telling the story of how she saved him from embarrassment at a McCartney party. As he relayed the story, McCartney “started playing this song and he’s blowing everyone’s mind… He finishes, and everyone looks at me, and they’re like, ‘Go on, Dave, play a song!’  I’m like, ‘I don’t know how to play piano.’ I look around and all the guitars are left-handed. I’m screwed… I’d maybe smoked a little pot – so I was already ‘challenged.’” Then Swift stepped in at the party and asked to play a song, leading him to think, “I know this song. What the hell is this? And she was playing ‘Best of You.’ As if I weren’t high enough — that blew me into outer space! Taylor Swift, ‘Best Of You,’ Paul McCartney… I lost my mind.”

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Advertisement