Taylor Swift once dressed up as Kiss legend Ace Frehley to prank Keith Urban during a live show

Taylor Swift dressed as Ace Frehley
(Image credit: Keith Urban)

Pop icon Taylor Swift may be the music world's biggest superstar – her current Eras tour is projected to gross over $1billion, which is more than the annual GDP of Samoa – but there was a time when Swift was a mere support act.

Back in 2009, Swift supported county star Keith Urban at nine shows on his Escape Together World Tour, a 69-date affair that visited precisely three of the world's 195 countries. 

There's a long-established tradition for touring bands to prank each other as a run of dates comes to a finish, and Swift and didn't disappoint. On August 8, the tour rolled into Kansas City, MO, for a show at the 18,000-capacity Sprint Center. Swift played a 10-song song set, her last of the tour. Urban followed, mixing his own songs with covers of Bo Diddley's Who Do You Love? and Journey's Open Arms. And then, during Kiss A Girl – a US top three hit for Urban earlier in the year – Swift and her band made their move, crashing the stage dressed as Kiss

It's not a half-hearted invasion. The pop pranksters sport face paint, platform boots, spectacular wigs and the tightest of pants. Swift has come as Ace Frehley, complete with custom hair, Spaceman make-up and what looks very much like the officially licensed Love Gun costume, available now from the Kiss Replicas website.  

The musicians stay onstage for the remainder of the song, miming gleefully and aping Kiss's onstage posturing, before Swift removes her wig at the death and tosses her hair, perhaps so that those in attendance can confirm that, yes, it's actually her.    


This wasn't Swift's first excursion into the realm of hard rock: the previous year, she appeared with Def Leppard on CMT's hugely popular TV show Crossroads, which paired country music stars with artists from other genres. Joe Elliott and Co.  collaborated with Swift and her band on 11 songs on the night, including Leppard's Photograph, Hysteria, When Love And Hate Collide, Pour Some Sugar On Me, Love and Two Steps Behind.

“People were looking at us like we had three heads when we announced we were going to do this TV show with Taylor Swift,” Elliott told Classic Rock. “The point is to get two extremely opposite artists performing on it… We just saw it as an opportunity to do something different. And it was phenomenal fun.”


Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.