By Nicole Sanchez, Staff Writer
Taylor Swift kicked off her much anticipated “Eras Tour” on Friday, March 17 at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. This is Swift’s first return to the stage in five years with a three hour concert and a 44 song setlist. Swift made sure she carefully honored each era of her career by not only singing old songs but also costumes, set designs and overall feel of each time period.
“The Eras Tour” made headlines long before Swift even hit the stage for opening night at State Farm Stadium. The demand for tickets to the tour was so high that Ticketmaster crashed when the shows went on sale, leaving a large number of fans without access to seats despite the concert giant’s prior assurances to Swift’s team that they could handle the on-sale. This prompted a national outcry that led to a Congressional investigation into Ticketmaster and Live Nation, and whether their merger and business practices constitute a monopoly.
Fans of Swift on campus shared their thoughts on the Ticketmaster situation.
“I like to call the ticket sales the trenches,” sophomore musical theater major Grace McNally said. “I got verified presale codes meaning I was able to buy tickets before it went on public sale but even then I was stressed out. Every single time I hit buy an error would come up saying, ‘Oops! Another fan beat you to it. Find other seats’ like ugh it was so stressful but it’s okay it all worked out in the end and I got my tickets.”
Swift started her concert with her “Lover” era by opening with “Miss Americana” and “Heartbreak Prince,” both tracks off the 2019 album. She then performed “Cruel Summer” for the very first time in concert. She then performed “Willow” and “Champagne Problems” from her pandemic-era album “Evermore.” Swift also performed hits from “Reputation” like, “Delicate” and “Don’t Blame Me.” The “Red” era was, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and “I Knew You Were Trouble.” and the ten-minute version of “All Too Well.”
She next performed songs from her 2020 album “Folklore” for the first time in a live concert. She sang “Invisible String,” “Cardigan” and “Betty,” among others. She later played an acoustic rendition of “Mirrorball”. The “1989” album was one big dance party. She sang “Blank Space,” “Shake it Off” and “Wildest Dreams.” She also sang through her “Fearless” era with “You Belong with Me” and “Love Story.” She also sang “Tim McGraw” at the piano, a song from her earliest era in 2006.
As the concert came to its final and current era, Swift played various songs from her new album “Midnights” like “Anti-Hero,” “Lavender Haze,” “Mastermind” and “Bejeweled,” and closed out the show with the high energy hit “Karma.”
McNally shared her excitement for the tour.
“I have been a fan of Taylor Swift for as long as I could remember. She was the first artist I listened to and loved! The way she is with her music and how every song is just a different story is so amazing! I love when she writes songs about her ex-boyfriends and subtly tells the world how badly they treated her, literally just exposing them, it’s so awesome. I’m proud I can say I’ve been a Taylor Swift fan since day one,” McNally said.
Leading up to the first show, her fans have been tirelessly dying fabric, pasting rhinestones, and fashioning handmade fringe, showing off their sewing and hot glue gun skills. Since it is “The Eras Tour,” most of their looks take inspiration from past phases of Swift’s career. Many fans dressed up as song titles, specific lyrics, inspired by outfits Swift has worn, or Swiftie inside jokes.
Her fans are called ‘Swifities’ and they are notorious for their fierce support and dedication to Swift.
“I’m not a die hard Swiftie but oh my god they can be scary. If you say one bad thing about Taylor they’ll say a whole speech about how you’re wrong or just tell you all the information about her,” freshman education major Ava Saper said.
Taylor Swift is one the first artists to have six opening acts for different parts of her tour. Her first opening act for the first two nights of the tour is Paramore. Her second opening is Beabadoobee, she will perform for 12 shows. The third opener is Phoebe Bridgers, she will also be performing for 12 shows. Swift’s fourth opener is Girl in Red who will be performing for eight shows. The fifth opener is MUNA. They will be performing for nine shows. Swift’s sixth opener is HAIM. This girl group will be the next openers for nine shows. Gayle is the seventh opener on tour and she will be performing for 15 shows. The eighth opener is Gracie Abrams. Abrams is a longtime fan of Taylor and she will be performing for 30 shows. Swift’s ninth and final opener is OWEN. Christian Owens, was a backup dancer for Taylor and is now her final opener. He will be performing for seven shows.
Although Swift will be touring for 27 days, her tour is a journey through the musical eras. Swift will be traveling across the U.S to 20 cities starting on March 17, 2023 in Arizona and ending on August 9, 2023 in California.