Taylor Swift, 31, just made Saturday Night Live history! The singer performed her iconic break-up tune “All Too Well” at Studio 8H — but swapped out the classic fans grew up listening to with the much lengthier (and juicier) 10-minute version. The singer transported fans back to Fall 2009 with orange leaves fallen on the stage ground (reminiscent of the bundled up walk she took with Jake Gyllenhaal, 40, while holding maple lattes).
The performance began with Taylor blurred out behind a bright light, which dimmed just as she started the song. The lights then changed red mid-way through performance, reflective of both the album’s name and the feelings she had at the time. Towards the end, fake snow began to fall as she sang, “Sacred prayer/I was there, I was there — it was rare, you remember it.” Taylor’s vocals sounded better than ever as she detailed her past romance, seemingly shading Jake with one a look directly at the camera as she sang, “And I was thinking on the drive down/Anytime now he’s going to say it’s love — he never called it what it was.”
She pulled the camera glance again for the line, “You said if we had been closer in age/Maybe it would’ve been fine/That made me want to die.”
📹| Taylor Swift performing All Too Well (10 Minute Version) pic.twitter.com/4jfwZS4Fxw
— La Tia Puercaylor (Taylor’s version) (@LaPuercaylor) November 14, 2021
Her “All Too Well” short film starring Dylan O’Brien and Sadie Sink also played in the background, amplifying the live performance.
Taylor kept her ensemble simple with a black pair of skinny jeans and round neck bodysuit, adding a pop of color with her signature red lip and nail.
The performance comes hot off the highly anticipated drop of her release of her 2012 album Red (Taylor’s Version). Following the legal battle around her recordings (that also ignited a feud with manager Scooter Braun), Taylor confirmed in 2019 that she would be re-recording all of her original albums to finally own the works that she wrote — starting with Fearless (Taylor’s Version) in April 2021. Red (Taylor’s Version) is an amped up version of the original, coming in at 30 tracks compared to the original 16.
“All Too Well” was never a single from the project — that also included hits “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” “22”,” and “I Knew You Were Trouble” — but grew to become a fan fave over the years. While Taylor has never confirmed who the track is about, all signs point to her short-lived three-month romance with the much older Jake Gyllenhaal, 40 (the two dated when Taylor was just 20). In the song, she states that their “age difference” was a reason for the split.
“You said if we had been closer in age, maybe it would have been fine, and that made me want to die,” Taylor crooned, her 31-year-old voice matured but yet still filled with emotion. Shortly after, however, he rebounded with 90210 actress Jessica Lowndes, who was just 23 at the time (and just a year older than Taylor) — which the singer harshly shaded. “I’ll get older, but your lovers stay my age,” she added. Taylor also followed the epic track up with a short film starring Dylan O’Brien and Sadie Sink as a couple experiencing the ups-and-downs detailed in the track.
During an appearance on Late Night With Seth Meyers, the star also revealed what she thinks about the subject of the song’s (i.e. Jake’s) feelings. “I wonder if there are people who might think that they were the one you were singing about, if it’s easier or far, far worse for them 10 years later,” Seth Meyers said, as Taylor replied, “I haven’t thought about their experience, to be honest.”