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The Foreword

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The Foreword

The Eras Tour: A WorldWide Phenomenon

%28CNN%29
(CNN)

Throughout pop culture history there have been superstars who have taken over the world. In the 60s it was the Beatles with Beatlemania, in the 80s it was Madonna, in the early 2000s it was Britanny Spears. Now in 2023 it is without a doubt the global superstar; Taylor Swift. From her debut album Taylor Swift to her most recent album Midnights, Swift has taken the world by storm with her songs climbing charts and breaking records. However, what might be the most notable is how deeply she speaks to young women around the world, and how intimately they connect with her songwriting and lyrics.

On September 17, 2019 Swift announced her new tour, Loverfest. This was for her most recent album at the time Lover. However, when the world shut down in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic the tour was canceled. Throughout the years in lockdown Swift released two albums, Folklore and Evermore, which are unlike her prior albums since they fall into the indie-folk genre of music and are not autobiographical. These albums visibly widened the range of Swift’s musical abilities, really capturing her different “eras” of music throughout her life. She also released rerecordings of her albums Fearless (Taylors Version) and Red (Taylors Versions) at this time. 

At the VMAs in 2022 when she announced her newest album release called Midnights, fans were thrilled. The second the album dropped on October 21st, Swifties waited with baited breath for a tour announcement. However the question asked was: What album will she do a tour for? There were several options between, Lover, Folklore, Evermore, Midnights, Fearless (Taylors Version), and Red (Taylors Versions). So on November 1st, when Swift announced that she would be doing an Eras Tour, fans were beyond excited and rushed for tickets. There was so much chaos surrounding the hunt for tickets, in fact, that Ticket Masters website had technical issues, leading to tickets becoming even more valuable.

With all this hype around the tour, expectations were incredibly high. Swifties bought cowboy boots, sparkly dresses, leather pants, and more to put their perfect “Eras Tour outfit” together. On top of that, Swifities made thousands of friendship bracelets to wear and trade at the concert due to the lyric in Swift’s beloved song You’re On Your Own Kid, where she references making friendship bracelets. Needless to say, Swift’s fans were more than prepared. 

On March 17, 2023 around 70,000 Swifties were packed in a stadium in Glendale Arizona, not knowing exactly what to expect. When a clock on the screen started counting down with the song You Don’t Own Me billowing out of the speakers, everyone stood up preparing for the moment Swifties have been waiting for for years. The screen slightly opens allowing a person with gigantic butterfly-like wings to appear and walk out to the center of the stage where several other people with the same wings gather to cover a spot on the stage. As lyrics from Swift’s songs boom across the stadium like “It’s fearless…” and “Big reputation” their wings begin to assemble. Then you hear Swift sing, “It’s been a long time coming…” and she appears from under the wings in a sparkly bodysuit and heels, and sings the first song of the night, Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince. It would be an understatement to say that fans absolutely lost their minds. 

Now every fan who attended the concert gets the privilege to travel through every era with Taylor Swift herself. The tour starts with the Lover era. Following her opener song she goes straight into her hit Cruel Summer, hyping up the audience for the exciting night ahead. She then sings The Man, which has an impressive set up with the male dancer climbing to the top of the staircase faster than the women dancers as Swift sings “ ‘Cause if I was a man, Then I’d be the man.” Then the stadium lights up with rainbow colors as Swift sings You Need To Calm Down which follows with the songs Lover and The Archer.

Then Swift appears in a new outfit, a gold sparkly dress, from an opening in the screen for the Fearless section of the tour. During this time she sings her cult classics Fearless, You Belong With Me, and Love Story

Next, Swift makes a flawless turn to her more somber songs beginning her Evermore era. She begins with Tis The Damn Season or No Body No Crime featuring HAIM (depending on the show you attended). Then she does a whimsical dance to evermore’s track 1, Willow. After, she performs a beautiful tribute for her grandmother by singing Majorie, where the stadium becomes filled with light from peoples cell phone flashlights that are held up. Swift then moves to the piano to address her audience, where crowds tend to encore for minutes expressing their love for Swift. There she plays Champagne Problems. Lastly she sings Tolerate It, at a long dining table with one of her dancers across from her, as if she is really singing it to her partner who is tolerating her love. 

Transitioning out of her calmer set of music she makes a swift turn to Reputation, her sensational pop album. Fans scream as the first beats in Ready For It..? boom throughout the stadium, and you hear high heels clicking signifying Swift about to walk out. Of course, a snake is on the screen as well since it is an essential part of the Reputation album. Swift appears in a black one leg bodysuit. After performing Ready For It..? She sings Delicate. The visual on the stage of the glass breaking every time she sings “delicate,” enhances the performance, and of course every Swifite loves to scream “One, two, three, let’s go bitch!” Swift then sings Don’t Blame Me, hitting one of her ultimate high notes at the end of the song, where some fans will even yell “Take us to church Taylor!” as she prepares to hit the note. Then Swift ends the era with Look What You Made Me Do, with her dancers in transparent boxers on stage dressed in the different Taylor eras. 

She then goes onto perform her third album, Speak Now (Taylors Version) She begins with Enchanted walking out in a beautiful ball gown, as the stadium glows purple. After the re-release of Speak Now on July 7, she added Long Live to her setlist, playing her guitar as she sings out to the crowd “I had the time of my life fighting dragons with you.”

Swift looking up at the crowd during the “Speak Now” era of the performance. (CNN)

Next she performs her Red era. A red cart is rolled out on stage by a dancer and as she opens Swift’s song State Of Grace comes billowing out of it. Then she opens once again and her other song Red begins to play. The dancer opens it once again and then the intro to 22 starts playing and Swift walks out with her iconic black hat on from the 22 music video. At the end of the song she gives the hat to one lucky fan as well. Next she sings We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together and I Knew You Were Trouble. She ends the era by asking the crowd if they have ten minutes to spare hinting at the fact that she is about to play All Too Well (Taylors Version) (10 Minute Version). This version of the song was part of the re-release of Red. It is an incredibly intimate moment with Swift and the crowd, with just her and her guitar on stage singing as fans belt out the lyrics. 

As Swift is preparing to come on stage for her next era, Folklore, the lyrics from her song Seven are echoed out into the stadium. It is read by Taylor like a poem, and as she reads “Your braids like a pattern, love you to the moon and to Saturn, passed down like folk songs, the love lasts so long…” Then she is revealed to be on top of the “Folklore cabin,” in a long flowy dress that varies night to night, and she starts singing the one. Swift then talks to the audience a bit about how this album is not autobiographical, and how she wrote these stories during lockdown, escaping into these lyrics. She then proceeds to sing betty. Following that with the last great american dynasty, telling the story of a woman named Rebekah which includes her dancers in ballgowns dancing around and in the cabin. Next she sings august, and goes immediately into the heart wrenching chorus of illicit affairs, belting it out on the floor of the stage. She then dramatically sings my tears ricochet, and ends this set with cardigan

Transitioning from indie-folk music to pop hits might be hard for some artists, but definitely not Taylor Swift. On the screen you see a visual of a city lighting up and then hear the intro to Style, beginning the era of her album 1989 (Taylors Version). Swift appears in a sparkly skirt and top (the colors vary depending on the show). The stadium is met with fans screaming as Swift sings the first lyric, “Midnight,” even some fans will scream out “What time is it Taylor?” right before she begins the song. She follows with some of her biggest hits including, Blank Space, Shake It Off, Wildest Dreams, and Bad Blood (fire even shoots out into the arena as she performs this one). 

Possibly the most anticipated part of the night is this next section which Swift calls the acoustic part of the tour. Here Swift sings two surprise songs, one on the piano and one on the guitar, that are unique for every area she performs at. She picks two songs from her ten albums. Some of these songs have never even been performed live before. Sometimes Swift will bring out guests such as Aaron Dressner, (who was her co-writer on several songs of hers and collabed on a couple as well), Jack Antonoff (another co-writer), and Gracie Abrahms.

Following her acoustic set there is an opening in the stage where she dives into it head first and there is a visual of her swimming across the stage. Clouds begin to appear on the screen and ladders with clouds on top of them are rolled out to the stage by her dancers. Then Swift appears in a short sparkly dress that is either blue, pink, or purple, and starts her final era Midnights with her song Lavender Haze. She then sings Anti-Hero, where she typically travels to all parts of the stage so every fan, even if they got obstructed tickets, can see Swift. Next she sings Midnight Rain, in which mid song she has an outfit change into her last outfit of the night, a glittery bodysuit. Then Swift begins her song Vigilante Shit, and sings the lyrics “Draw the cat eye sharp enough to kill a man,” and her backup dancers appear with chairs in the middle of the stage. Swift performs a dance on the chair as she sings, which leaves fans going crazy. She proceeds to sing Bejeweled and Mastermind, then ends with her hit Karma. Lights, fireworks, and confetti erupt into the stadium as she finished her final song of the night. Swift takes a bow with her crew and fans warmly cheer for her after her three hour performance. 

Now not only is this tour getting tons of attention due to Swifts phenomenal performance, this concert has had a shocking effect on the economy. Not only is this tour projected to make over one billion dollars in profit by next March, but it has generated five billion dollars in consumer spending in the United States alone. Not only are Swift’s fans dropping hundreds on tickets they are also spending on transportation, hotels, food, etc… Swifties are spending an estimated one thousand three hundred to one thousand five hundred dollars on their outfits for the concert, which boost local economies by hundreds of millions of dollars in just one weekend. Due to the hype around wearing friendship bracelets to the concert the bracelet economy has brought new revenue to local businesses. In fact, so much so that there have been reported bead and sequin shortages. 

  Needless to say, Swift is practically running the world at this point. Not only has Taylor Swift put on an incredible performance for thousands upon thousands of people (and will continue to), but she has also given so many people unforgettable memories that will be cherished forever. There is no doubt that Taylor Swift is the artist of our generation.

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