The Eras Tour: a rundown of the first month of Taylor Swift’s latest stadium tour


Throughout time, the students at the College of William and Mary have been endearingly referred to as TWAMPs, but recently, the title of “Swifties” has emerged as a rival descriptor, considering just how many students adore Taylor Swift. Swift’s “The Eras Tour” has been the primary subject of student chatter this semester, with students anxiously awaiting long digital lines to purchase tickets for exorbitant prices and planning to travel all across the country just to see Swift perform.

The tour kicked off on March 18 in Glendale, Arizona, or “Swift City,” and will continue through early August in arenas across the United States. Swift is rightfully ambitious, performing stadium shows that are a testament to her extensive musical career. Performing almost four dozen songs over a three-hour period, Swift takes fans on an immersive journey through time at each venue and has held audiences rapt by her commanding stage presence. Those lucky enough to have gotten tickets are witnessing a historical moment made by a woman who is fully stepping into her power and using it to reach and inspire others. 

I have thoroughly enjoyed following the event and tracking its surprises and highlights in order to prepare myself for when I attend her concert in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, so I wanted to weigh in on the almost indescribable feeling of watching Swift embrace her own art. This is the much-deserved win we all needed, and seeing it come together so beautifully is incredibly exciting. 

“The Eras Tour” marks Swift’s first major tour since her “Reputation Stadium Tour” in 2018, encompassing songs from each of her 10 albums while heavily focusing on her four latest releases: “Lover,” “Folklore,” “Evermore” and “Midnights.” Each album varies significantly in terms of genre, mood and theme, and each segment of the concert devotes special attention to each era. In many ways, this tour has been a long time coming, and Swift has not failed to deliver, once again defying expectations and proving herself to be a creative visionary. Although it would be quite easy to write a full-length novel on the intricacies of this tour, I will restrain myself and instead narrow in on the highlights that have shaped the tour so far, along with some personal anecdotes.  

Swift started the tour off strong, delivering quite the spectacle as she dove headfirst under the stage in a flowy red dress. She then “swam” across and emerged on the other side in a shimmering jumpsuit before disappearing into a cloud. The dive was the perfect notion, symbolic of her enthusiasm and excitement for the tour while also teasing the multitude of surprises that were prepared for us. In line with the theme of surprises, Swift announced she would be performing two surprise acoustic songs at each venue, much to the delight of the 70,000 fans gathered to see her.

I must admit that I have been anxiously awaiting each venue with a list of surprise songs that I want to hear, anticipating that I will have to cross them off each time. Some of my favorites have already been sacrificed, but I’m trying to remain hopeful. She has so far performed a wide variety of tracks across her discography, making it virtually impossible for me to predict what will come next despite searching through the endless theories constructed by devoted fans. 

However, I still find myself hoping for a Swift-unplugged moment because her acoustic pieces are some of my favorites. I finally narrowed my top two choices down to “Getaway Car” and “Sparks Fly,” two songs which undoubtedly shaped a large part of my childhood and teenage years. I can practically smell the Wonderstruck perfume every time I hear the opening chords of “Sparks Fly,” a nostalgic feeling that I gladly welcome. I remember the heartbreak I felt when I learned that the scent would be discontinued, so I saved the bottle and now keep it on my nightstand to preserve the memories of childhood summers. 

The tour further serves as a spectacle of sheer athleticism and aestheticism. Swift performs three-hour sets consisting of various costume changes and choreography for multiple nights in a row. She handles the event well, running and dancing around the stage until the very end and proving that her mic is, in fact, on. Her costumes and outfits delivered each night, including bejeweled Versace one-pieces, sparkly blazers, flowy dresses, ball gowns and snake-encrusted bodysuits. Each outfit pays a beautiful homage to each of her eras, and the effortless integration of her old looks with her newer ones is something to be admired. Many of the pieces worn by Swift were handmade by designers, making her even more eye-catching than she already is. The sparkles and jewels were the perfect addition as Swift sauntered across the stage and participated in the “Bejeweled” TikTok dance, reminding us that she herself is an avid TikTok user. 

Swift’s intricate outfits, combined with stunning visuals and dance choreographies, make for a transcendent night full of excitement and anticipation. The choreography for “Vigilante Shit” left me speechless; while this song initially did not resonate with me, after seeing the performance, I found myself wishing I had appreciated it sooner. “Reputation” performances were also personal favorites, as she effortlessly transitions “Don’t Blame Me” into “Look What You Made Me Do” with a gorgeous blend of angst and passion, proving just how expertly her songs adapt to the stadium setting. 

Fans have matched her energy with custom outfits and intricate makeup looks. In a way, Swift’s tour has become a fashion runway for many of her fans, who have created creative ensembles based on niche Swift references, such as Swift receiving her honorary degree from NYU in a cap and gown or even the “Fuck the Patriarchy” keychain from “All Too Well.” Even Selena Gomez and her younger sister joined in on the costume contest at the Arlington venue. Selena dressed up in a “Folklore” inspired cardigan while her sister dressed in her best “Speak Now” inspired purple halter dress. Swift was clearly thrilled to have the support of her friends, as she took her “22” hat off in the middle of the performance and gave it to Selena’s sister, prompting feral screams from the audience. In return, Selena’s sister gave Swift a friendship bracelet, completing an adorably equitable exchange that fans loved. 

Fans’ willingness to dedicate hours to crafting complex outfits and shared excitement for surprises during performances exemplifies how the tour has brought together thousands of fans from all walks of life. The tour has united fans through the universal experience of nostalgia and wonder that Swift’s music evokes; many people can recall exactly where they were when they first heard many of her hits, nodding to the power and influence of her music. In fact, I have vivid memories associated with “Out of the Woods,” a song that shaped many of my summers, largely thanks to an explosive bridge that hit way too close to home. “White Horse” is another personal favorite, mainly because it was one of the only songs I ever downloaded on my iPod (this was in 2009), subjecting my friends to it on a near daily basis and singing painfully off-key covers with my neighbor. And there’s “Ivy,” the song that I associate with walks in the woods behind my house and the scent of pine needles.

Swift’s music is disorienting in the best way possible as it grips the listener and lives rent-free in the mind as a welcome earworm. It is quite easy to see why her music attracts such a broad audience, ranging from ecstatic children to awestruck adults. There is no dispute regarding Swift’s creative vision, and despite her experimentation and flow between genres, she has created a signature sound that is undeniably hers. She has defined herself as a formidable threat to the conventionality of the music world, and I am left in awe as she continuously pushes the limits and distinguishes herself from her contemporaries. Her music truly has stood the test of time, and this tour is giving her the chance to prove it while also highlighting just how far she has strayed from her acoustic roots.

Indeed, each performance in the “Eras Tour” works in tandem with the next to display her evolution as an artist and ultimately create a masterful work of art. She blends the different categories of her repertoire into a gorgeous medley that serves as a not-so-subtle nod to her growth over the years, and she demonstrates her incredible musicality and devotion to her craft. The effort she puts into each individual moment makes the tour that much more special. 

“The Eras Tour” is making history with each passing venue, and Swift clearly has not lost an ounce of her passion. Her vocal abilities and stage presence are unparalleled, and I am incredibly excited to see it all in person. From the young girl that burst onto the music scene in 2006 to the versatile artist she is today, Swift has come a long way, and this tour is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the woman that has so selflessly shared her world with us. 


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