Taylor Swift's birthday vacation in New Orleans involved music, cake, recording session – NOLA.com

Taylor Swift brought her Reputation Tour to the Mercedez-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Saturday, September 22, 2018. (Photo by Chris Granger, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)
A screen grab of Taylor Swift’s Instagram post from Dec. 13, 2022, showing her and producer Jack Antonoff inside Esplanade Studios in New Orleans on her 33rd birthday. She reportedly enjoyed a birthday cake from Bywater Bakery while in the studio that day.
Photographer Erika Goldring snapped a picture of Taylor Swift after the superstar left a tip for the band at Preservation Hall in New Orleans on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022. 
Wristbands controlled by infrared beams light up pink during Taylor Swift’s performance at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018.
Taylor Swift brought her Reputation Tour to the Mercedez-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Saturday, September 22, 2018. (Photo by Chris Granger, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)
Taylor Swift brought her Reputation Tour to the Mercedez-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Saturday, September 22, 2018. (Photo by Chris Granger, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)
Taylor Swift brought her Reputation Tour to the Mercedez-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Saturday, September 22, 2018. (Photo by Chris Granger, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)
Wristbands controlled by infrared beams light up pink during Taylor Swift’s performance at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018.
Taylor Swift brought her Reputation Tour to the Mercedez-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Saturday, September 22, 2018. (Photo by Chris Granger, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)
Taylor Swift’s birthday trip to New Orleans last week was apparently a working vacation. In addition to partaking of the city’s food and music, she also put in time at a local recording studio.
On Dec. 13, her 33rd birthday, Swift posted a photo on Instagram of herself and producer pal Jack Antonoff at Esplanade Studios, a former church just off North Broad Street that has been converted to a recording studio.
For the benefit of her 325 million Instagram followers, she captioned the photo, “Thanks for all the beautiful wishes today!! I spent my 33rd birthday in the studio of course. Wouldn’t have it any other way. Love you!”
A screen grab of Taylor Swift’s Instagram post from Dec. 13, 2022, showing her and producer Jack Antonoff inside Esplanade Studios in New Orleans on her 33rd birthday. She reportedly enjoyed a birthday cake from Bywater Bakery while in the studio that day.
She didn’t specify what she and Antonoff were working on. Fans speculated that the photo contained clues suggesting Swift was possibly re-recording her “Reputation” album. She has been remaking her earlier albums so that she owns the master tapes of the recordings, instead of the masters being owned by the company that had previously signed her to a recording contract.
Fans noted that in the photo, she is holding up three fingers on each hand, which could be a reference to her 33rd birthday – or to her sixth album, “Reputation.” Fans also noticed a dollar bill positioned on a keyboard in the photo, which may also a reference to the “Reputation” era.
Or maybe Swift was inspired to create new music by her visit to Preservation Hall.
Three nights before her birthday, on Dec. 10, she attended the 6:15 p.m. show at the intimate and ancient French Quarter traditional jazz shrine. Sitting on a back pew in a room that holds barely 100 spectators, she watched a band led by drummer Shannon Powell.
During the song “My Bucket’s Got a Hole In It,” she made her way up front to put some money in the bandstand tip jar. Photographer Erika Goldring snapped a picture of the moment, but many other people didn’t seem to recognize the superstar in their midst.
Photographer Erika Goldring snapped a picture of Taylor Swift after the superstar left a tip for the band at Preservation Hall in New Orleans on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022. 
Antonoff was also in attendance at Preservation Hall, as was Swift’s boyfriend, British actor Joe Alwyn. Alwyn has been in New Orleans for several weeks filming director Yorgos Lanthimos’ “And” with a cast that also includes Emma Stone, Willem Dafoe and Antonoff’s fiancée, Margaret Qualley.
Swift and Alwyn also reportedly enjoyed a date night at Saba, chef Alon Shaya’s acclaimed Magazine Street restaurant.
While at Esplanade Studios on her birthday, she took a break to share a birthday cake from Bywater Bakery. The bakery posted an Instagram video of the “Lavender haze surprise” created for Swift. The top tier consisted of “banana mascarpone cream with vanilla butter cake.” The bottom tier was “chai chocolate cake with chocolate ganache and caramel.”
A caption with the cake video read in part, “Thanks for having us make your Birthday cake.”
Swift is currently the world’s most popular concert attraction. In November, some 14 million fans reportedly attempted to buy tickets for her 2023 Eras Tour, which spans 52 dates at North American football stadiums between March and July.
The “historically unprecedented demand” caused Ticketmaster’s website to crash, a debacle that frustrated both Swift and her legions of fans.
Despite the snafu, more than 2.4 million tickets were sold, which already qualifies The Eras Tour as the top-grossing tour ever by a female artist.
The Eras Tour concerts are clustered on weekends, with Swift spending at least two nights at every stadium on the itinerary. Stops include three nights apiece at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, (March 31-April 2), Houston’s NRG Stadium (April 21-23), Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium (April 28-30) and Nashville’s Nissan Stadium (May 5-7).
Her Reputation Tour played a sold-out show at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans 2018. But she won’t be returning to the Dome on The Eras Tour.
Taylor Swift brought her Reputation Tour to the Mercedez-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Saturday, September 22, 2018. (Photo by Chris Granger, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)
In a story first reported by WWL Radio, Doug Thornton, executive vice president of ASM Global, the company that manages the Superdome, told the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District board that Swift’s team had inquired about performing at the Dome on June 23.
However, the Superdome could not accommodate that date because of ongoing renovations ahead of the facility hosting Super Bowl LIX.
So instead of performing in New Orleans on June 23, Swift will be playing the first of two nights at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, home to the Minnesota Vikings.
Email Keith Spera at kspera@theadvocate.com.
Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour will make stops at a number of stadiums across the United States next year. But local fans won’t get to see her p…
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