Taylor Swift opened the 2018 American Music Awards on Oct. 9 and took full command of the stage at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles with a sizzling performance of “I Did Something Bad” from her record-breaking sixth studio album reputation.
Swift began singing with her back to the audience, standing on top of what looked like a rock formation until she turned, and then it became obvious the "mountain" underneath her was a pile of dancers. The edge in her voice set the dark tone for the opening lines, “I never trust a narcissist/But they love me/So I play ‘em like a violin/And I make it look oh so easy…”
The “Gorgeous” singer was just getting started and “cast off” the male dancers to join a large group of female dancers amidst smoke, flames and red lights. She had a bold message for her naysayers in the track’s infectious chorus as she sang, “They say I did something bad/Then why’s it feel so good?/Most fun I ever had/And I’d do it over and over and over again if I could/It just feels so good …”
Swift’s Reputation Tour cobra, Karyn, rose up to preside over the epic performance which unfolded slowly as Swift strutted across the stage with her fierce declaration in the bridge, “They’re burning all the witches even if you aren’t one (pointing at herself)” – later belting, “light me up, (light me up), light me up (light me up)…” (Watch a clip below).
She never broke her confident stride during the explosive routine. Her performance marked Swift’s fifth AMA performance to date as well as her first award show live performance in almost three years. Swift’s large and loyal fan base has spoken and once again crowned her their AMA queen. She made a huge, record-setting sweep taking home wins in four major categories including Artist and Tour of the Year (Watch her accept the latter award in the video above). This year’s victories increase Swift’s American Music Awards tally to a staggering 23 trophies. The "End Game" songstress beat out her pal Ed Sheeran for three of her 2018 wins.
Taylor Swift has enjoyed a great tour run with her latest album and notably brought out several surprise guests at select shows including Faith Hill and Tim McGraw in Nashville and for an amazing group performance of her very first debut song (titled after McGraw). She also brought out Niall Horan for a “Slow Hands” duet in London.
Swift's tour opener, Camila Cabello, sat next to her during the ceremony and notably won three AMAs herself, including Favorite New Artist and Favorite Pop/Rock Song for “Havana.”
Stay tuned to AXS for Taylor Swift updates.