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The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Concert Review: Taylor Swift enchants audiences with ‘Eras Tour’

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Next year, Taylor Swift will be taking the Eras Tour global. (Photo courtesy of Teen Vogue)

For many, seeing Taylor Swift perform live has been a long time coming.

Since the singer-songwriter’s last tour in 2018, Swift has released four original albums and three re-recordings. Along the way, Swift has picked up Grammys, shattered streaming records and amassed tons of new fans, leading Swifties to question how she would return to the stage after an enormous five years away.

Swift’s answer: a three-hour and 15-minute journey through each of her musical eras that is being called “the biggest tour of all time.

As a huge fan of Swift who had never seen her live before, nothing would have deterred me from going to the “Eras Tour” — not even the eight-hour-long battle for presale tickets which resulted in congressional hearings over Ticketmaster’s monopoly in the ticketing industry. 

The “Eras Tour” is separated into nine sections, each reflecting a different album in Swift’s catalog with distinct sets, costumes and special effects. Backed by sixteen dancers and a full band, Swift gives a stellar vocal and dance performance throughout the entire 44-song set. She does not lean too far into her main-stream hits or deep cuts, appealing to concert-goers who have varying familiarity with Swift’s almost 20-year career.

My favorite eras to watch were “folklore” and “Reputation.” Swift perfectly encapsulated both eras’ aesthetics. The grandness of the “Reputation” set is complete with smoke effects and snake imagery projected on the entire stage — a stark difference from the simplicity of “folklore,” which is dressed with a moss-grown house straight out of a mystical forest and features minimalistic visuals (“My Tears Ricochet” is a standout performance).

Toward the end of every show, Swift strips everything back to perform two surprise songs — just herself, her instrument and the fans. The energy in the stadium during the surprise songs is unmatched as everyone tries to figure out which under-appreciated tune they are going to hear live for the first (and potentially only) time on the tour. I may be biased, but my show had the best song combination: “Gold Rush” from “Evermore” and “Come Back, Be Here” from “Red (Taylor’s Version).” 

Inspired by the lyrics “So make the friendship bracelets/Take the moment and taste it” from “Midnightstrack “You’re On Your Own Kid,” concert-goers trade Swift-inspired friendship bracelets at every “Eras Tour” stop. Sharing in the pre-show excitement with other Swifties and knowing that each bracelet I collected was handmade by someone who loves Swift just as much as I do made this one of my favorite parts of the concert. Trying to decipher the acronyms proved to be equally challenging and hilarious (TSTEICEUTSIFMRHTYSN, anyone?)

What I love most about the “Eras Tour” is that it does not start or end with the actual concert. Making friendship bracelets, discussing potential surprise songs and putting together the perfect “Reputation” inspired outfit was almost as fun as being at the show. So much of the “Eras Tour” exists outside of any physical location and the tour has brought together a global community of fans.

While Swift has already performed the majority of her U.S. tour dates, the feeling of standing in a stadium with over 60,000 fans is emulated every weekend. On social media, live streams of the show still garner thousands of views. Ticketless fans swarm the venues to listen to the show from parking lots and document their experiences. Surprise song titles trend weekly as fans mourn the “loss” of their favorite track.

The “Eras Tour” has become an experience not exclusively for the lucky ones who secured tickets. The tour has become not only a celebration of Swift’s monumental career but a love letter to the fans.

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About the Contributor
Isabella Gaglione, Culture Editor
Isabella Gaglione (she/her) is a junior English and Film & Media Studies double major from Long Island, New York. The Lafayette's resident Taylor Swift Reporter. 

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