Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing to investigate Live Nation and the lack of competition in the music industry. In the process, they also flexed their Taylor Swift lyrical knowledge.
The hearing comes after after reports of significant service failures and delays on Ticketmaster’s website in November that left Swift’s millions of fans unable to purchase tickets to her Eras Tour. The Senate Judiciary Committee heard from live-industry executives and anti-trust experts.
During the hearing Senators grilled Joe Berchtold, the president and CFO of Live Nation, and listened to accounts of Live Nation’s business operations. They also brainstormed potential solutions to the issue. The hearing was announced by U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Mike Lee, chairwoman and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition, Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights, respectively, and was held in front of the full Judiciary Committee with Chair Dick Durbin and incoming Ranking Member Lindsey Graham.
Senators and witnesses alike we unafraid to wield Swift’s iconic lyrics against the monster on the Hill itself, Live Nation. Were the quotes a bit forced? Sure. But there’s no time for would’ve could’ve should’ve now. Here’s a list of every Swiftian pun made during the hearing.
1. “All too well”
“All Too Well,” Red
Klobuchar kicked things off with the first Swift quote of the hearing. She invoked the fan-favorite and emotionally devastating track “All Too Well” when she said, “To have a strong capitalist system you can’t have too much consolidation something that unfortunately for this country…we know all too well“
2. “She’s cheer captain and I’m on the bleachers”
“You Belong With Me,” Fearless
Lee made a fearless joke about Klobuchar’s position as chairwoman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition, Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights: “To be honest I had hoped as of a few months ago to get the gavel back, but once again she’s on cheer captain and I’m on the bleachers.”
3. “This is why we can’t have nice things”
“This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things,” Reputation
Sal Nuzzo, one of the witnesses and the vice president of the James Madison Institute, countered claims that Live Nation’s growth had benefitted consumers with, “A few million Taylor Swift fans would respond, ‘This is why we can’t have nice things.'”
4. “I’m the problem, it’s me”
In perhaps the celebrated quote of the hearing, Senator Richard Blumenthal told Live Nation CFO Joe Berchtold, “May I suggest, respectfully, that Ticketmaster ought to look in the mirror and say, ‘I’m the problem, It’s me.'” You have to wonder if he’s listened to the full-track which notably includes the line, “Did you hear my covert narcissism I disguise as altruism like some kind of congressman?”
5. “A nightmare dressed like a daydream”
“Blank Space,” 1989
Lee described the potential solution to ticketing issues of restricting consumer’s ability to transfer tickets as “a nightmare dressed like a daydream.”
6. “Karma is a relaxing thought, aren’t you envious that for you it’s not”
Lee ended the hearing with an acknowledgement of his Swifite daughter: “I have to throw out, in deference to my daughter Eliza, one more Taylor Swift quote. ‘Karma is a relaxing thought, aren’t you envious that for you it’s not.'”
Call it what you want, but it looks like there are some Swifties in the Senate.