Taylor Swift Finally Gives Us "august" Performance With Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner at 2021 Grammys

Taylor Swift, Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner made our wildest folklore dreams come true at the 2021 Grammy Awards when they reunited to emotionally perform "cardigan," "august" and "willow."

By Lindsay Weinberg Mar 15, 2021 1:32 AMTags

The Grammys might slip away like a bottle of wine, but Taylor Swift's performance will certainly linger like a tattoo kiss.

Even though her Lover Fest concerts have been officially cancelled, the superstar treated Swifties to a live rendition of "cardigan," "august" and "willow" for the 2021 Grammy Awards on Sunday, March 14. Long story short, it was a good time.

For her introspective performance, Taylor brought out her "Folklorians," aka her folklore and evermore collaborators Aaron Dessner and Jack Antonoff. Fans previously saw the trio jam out during the Disney+ film folklore: the long pond studio sessions, and their 2021 Grammys gig was just as joyous and intimate. 

The musicians performed a medley of the three powerful songs—one from evermore, as well as two from folklore that are part of Tay's "Teenage Love Triangle." 

Taylor kicked off the performance by singing "cardigan" while reclining on a mossy rooftop, wearing a rather witchy indigo fairytale gown and gold headpiece. (The custom Etro dress featured chiffon, lace ruffles and gold paisley details.)

Behind her, snow fell in the forest backdrop to fit the album's immaculate folksy vibes. 

Inside Taylor Swift's Impressive 2020

She then joined Jack and Aaron inside an orange-lit cabin, where they all played guitar during the long-awaited performance of "august"—and we never needed anything more.

However, she didn't round out the love triangle, because "betty" wasn't next. Tay instead dramatically leaned against a beam of the cottage as she launched into "willow," before strolling out onto the grass to show off those fantastic flowing sleeves. Like a barefoot fairy, she grabbed the hem of her skirt and twirled in the moonlight for the magical finale.

TAS Rights Management 2021 via Getty Image

On Thursday, the 31 year old told CBS News it was going to be "really exciting" to share the stage with Jack and Aaron after making two albums together. Taylor said, "This has been adventure that the three of us has been going on since the beginning of quarantine and lockdown."

Miss Swift shared that they were quarantined in the same hour together for a full week before the award show and got tested daily for COVID-19.

Last year, she and Aaron co-wrote the lead singles "cardigan" and "willow," and she teamed up with Jack to write "august."

As Taylor has written in the past, "There's a collection of 3 songs I refer to as The Teenage Love Triangle. These 3 songs explore a love triangle from all 3 people's perspectives at different times in their lives."

Though sorely missed during tonight's performance, "betty" recounts how James cheated on his high school sweetheart, Betty, and tries to win her back. "cardigan" describes Betty's complicated emotions after losing her love and knowing he would come crawling back to her. And finally, "august" is from the perspective of the other girl, who wishes she could be with James for real—not just as a summer fling—but she knows, "You weren't mine to lose." 

TAS Rights Management 2021 via Getty Image

The 10-time Grammy winner is up for six trophies at the 2021 Grammys: Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album for folklore, Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance for "cardigan," Best Pop Duo Performance for "exile" and Best Song Written for Visual Media for "Beautiful Ghosts" from Cats. evermore will be eligible next year.


She's expected to release her re-recorded album Fearless (Taylor's Version) on April 9 after dropping "Love Story (Taylor's Version)" last month. As fans know all too well, the new iteration of the album will feature six new songs from her 2008 era. 

Ahead of the Grammys, the songwriter treated fans to a snippet from "Wildest Dreams (Taylor's Version)" on Friday, March 12. (Though nothing compares that Bridgerton orchestral version, amirite?).

Best Dressed Stars at the 2021 Grammys

Even though Swifties have been blessed with two new albums during quarantine and, soon, the long-awaited rerecording of her masters, Taylor knows they have been holding out hope of seeing her perform live in concert. 

"I'm so disappointed that I won't be able to see you in person as soon as I wanted to. I miss you all terribly and can't wait til we can all safely be at shows together again," she shared on Feb. 26. "It's not my favorite thing in the world to have to tell you news I'm sad about. I'm so sorry, but I cannot reschedule the shows that we've postponed."

Also performing at tonight's Grammy Awards are Harry Styles, Cardi B, BTS, Bad Bunny, Megan Thee Stallion and Billie Eilish, among others legends.

See all the Grammy winners online.

Check out E! News' 2022 Grammy Awards page for a full recap of music's biggest night.