Last week, Taylor Swift’s record-breaking concert showcase, The Eras Tour, had its final show on the North American leg for the year at the SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. On August 24, she’ll begin the international run in Mexico City. In 2024, Swift will return to North America – no doubt stronger than a 90s trend – to the major cities she missed the first time (like New Orleans). She’ll have played a whopping 146 shows across five continents by the time she’s finished.
As the sold-out show started at precisely 8:09 pm (1989 hint!) Taylor spoke to over 70K fans, “What are you gonna do about this,” she remembered being asked, “Because I mean, that’s a lot of albums that have come out (her last tour was Reputation in 2018), and you haven’t toured on each one of them, individually. ‘What are you gonna do like do a tour where you just play like all the music, and it’s just like three and half hours long or something?'” Swift smiles big as her fans react to such a proposition. “Yeah, that’s exactly the plan. It’s called The Eras Tour.” Three hours and forty-five minutes later, as Swift takes her bow, I am envious of every Swiftie who has yet to experience what I just witnessed. By far, the best ginormous-sized arena show I’ve ever attended. Suddenly, the price I paid for a pair of seats seemed well worth it.
To be fair, my fellow Swiftie, Vikki, and I were this close…
Quick humble brag: when I got my tickets from Ticketmaster during the pre-sale, I was pretty happy to see “floor row 6, seats 1 and 2,” so I knew I would be close to the runway stage (Not the main stage). To me and Vikki’s shock and delight, row 6 was the front row. The front row. I’m just like damn, it’s 7 am…
Arriving around five pm to SoFi, the plan was to have enough time for the insanely long merch line, get food, drinks, and trade friendship bracelets (Look it up, it’s a thing). Vikki braved the merch line for hours (for those exclusive navy blue and gray shirts), waited for the signal (my text), and met me after dark (at our seats) as the show began.
Taylor Swift has ten studio albums, the last four she hasn’t been able to perform in front of audiences. Lover, which came out in 2019, was supposed to be a big tour, but then March 2020 happened, so…. yeah. During lockdown, Swift made not one but two albums: folklore and evermore. Both are more intimate, already standing as some of the best music made during the pandemic. Her latest release, last October’s Midnights, is more synthy, moody fun. “Anti-Hero,” the album’s biggest single, is 100% proof of the album’s concept as Taylor looked directly at the sun but never in the mirror. Naturally, onstage we get giant-sized Taylor Swift on a cityscape à la Godzilla while the real Tiny Taylor belts out the lyrics. Impressive.
Swift’s also been re-recording her first six albums with the added moniker “Taylor’s Version.” So far, three have been released alongside “from the vault” tracks with artists like Phoebe Bridgers and Fallout Boy. All of which is to say, when you think about it, a nearly four-hour live show is somehow modest.
Late in the show, which, as the title suggests, goes from one Era to another (starting with Lover), Swift announced 1989: Taylor Version. As the show was on August 9 (or 8/9), fans correctly predicted she’d make the announcement. It was exciting to hear, but now we all must wait until October 27 to get it.
Playing through the hefty 45-song setlist is no easy task, yet Taylor – like all the greats – sure made it look easy. Delivering all timers like “All Too Well” (the ten-minute version), “Shake It Off,” and “You Belong With Me,” the pop star never missed a beat. Witnessing new hits like “Lover,” “The 1,” “Bejeweled,” and “Willow,” all from the last four albums, displayed Swift’s incredible range both stylistically and vocally.
My personal favorite, “Delicate” (from Reputation), is even better now as fans have brought their own flavor to the live performance. Even better, fan involvement (sing with Swift, adding new slogans) deepened the experience. For one adorable fan who’s not quite “22,” this exchange happened. And really, that’s just a few highlights. Swift and the Swifties made the event feel special and inclusive. It brought all of the feels!
I never doubted Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour wouldn’t be great. However, the fact that it was able to outdo many amazing live shows I’ve seen, including Prince and Madonna, is absolutely astounding. Taylor’s version of a wildly impressive concert was not one for this Swiftie to miss.