The Eras Tour showcases Taylor Swift‘s artistry through a performance that clocks in well over 180 minutes and on a stage that stretches nearly the length of a football field. If that’s not a deterrent, then the Eras Tour is a must-catch concert spectacle for pop music fans. Towns have given Swift keys to the city or made her an honorary mayor in anticipation of her Eras tour arrival. Fans are (possibly) paying thousands of dollars for tickets to the shows on resale markets (efforts to sell tickets swamped Ticketmaster’s buggy platform leaving many fans empty-handed and upset).
On 12 May, Swift stopped in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for the first of three sold-out hometown shows at Lincoln Financial Field. Though Swift could easily have phoned it in, the 45-song mega-musical retrospective of her ten studio albums was speckled with enough charming banter to keep the evening feeling like a personal connection.
After performing “marjorie”, from the evermore era, Swift thanked the audience profusely for swaying their mobile phone lights in unison during the incredibly personal song. Swift appeared on the verge of tears as she spoke about her maternal grandmother. She later thanked the audience for supporting her effort to re-record new versions of her old albums (since she does not own the masters), pushing back against corporate predictions that it wouldn’t work.
During the portion of the show where Swift introduces surprises (songs outside the regular tour rotation), she brought out “Gold Rush” for an acoustic number she saved specifically for Philly. The song’s lyrics reference an “Eagles T-shirt”, so here, in the home of the NFL team, Swift revealed the line wasn’t a reference to the band, “I love the band the Eagles, but guys, come on. I’m from Philly. Of course, it’s the team.” Her other surprise song was “Come Back… Be Here”, per a request from one of her tour openers, Phoebe Bridgers.
Swift’s performance was masterful, utilizing different moods, attitudes, attire, and dance steps for each “Era” and each song. Credit must be given to the backup dancers, a diverse group in terms of ethnicity and age though all were on par for talent. Their expressions gave an extra edge to drama and sometimes led to hilarity. The evermore era included more fantasy and fairy-tale-esque themes. During “Willow”, the dancers tossed around orange orbs reminiscent of pumpkins while the LED stage floor had lava-like effects, while Swift wore a Snow White-like cloak during “Champagne Problems”.
As the vengeance-tinged reputation section approached, video projections featured the snake outfit she would appear in. Swift appeared with a more powerful gait as she kicked off the explosive “…ready for it?” This and the 1989 section were two of the more fun sections of the night, as the upbeat and poppy songs had people dancing in the aisles. Given the variety of musical themes, it is impossible to identify any specific moment as a highlight of the night. But Swift is at a high mark in her career as she gives it all during the impeccable show stadium after stadium.
- Miss Americana & the Heartbreak Prince
- Cruel Summer
- The Man
- You Need to Calm Down
- The Archer
- You Belong with Me
- Love Story
- ‘Tis the Damn Season
- Champagne Problems
- Tolerate It
- …Ready For It?
- Don’t Blame Me
- Look What You Made Me Do
- We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
- I Knew You Were Trouble
- Nothing New. (with Phoebe Bridgers)
- All Too Well (10-minute version)
- The 1
- The Last Great American Dynasty
- Illicit Affairs
- My Tears Ricochet
- Blank Space
- Shake it Off
- Wildest Dreams
- Bad Blood
- Gold Rush
- Come Back … Be Here
- Lavender Haze
- Midnight Rain
- Vigilante Shit
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