Review by: Maegan Grendell | Photos by: TAS Rights Management | July 23, 2023 | Seattle, WA
When requesting to cover the Eras Tour, I mentioned that it was unlike any other tour and I’d be honored to showcase that. Though I had yet to witness the magic that is Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour, I could already tell how special it was. And I was proven right.
I had the privilege of attending night two of Taylor Swift’s show in Seattle, WA at Lumen Field. I applied my glitter and made my friendship bracelets, preparing myself for what was to come. My jaw dropped as I made my way to my seats and realized that I was only ten rows from the stage. This was going to be a surreal night.
The show opened with artists Gracie Abrams followed by HAIM, all of whom Swift mentions she is close friends with. These two artists warmed up the crowd for the evening and prepared them for the show to follow. Following their sets, a countdown appeared on the screen and the crowd lost their minds.
When the countdown finished, the first notes for a song from her Lover album began to play. When I thought the crowd couldn’t get any louder, Swift popped out center stage shimmering from head to toe. You could tell she knew what she was doing, and the crowd did not calm down for quite a while.
Taylor mentioned at the beginning of her performance that this show is three and a half hours long. At first, that sounds admittedly far too long for a concert, but by the end, you’ll be wishing it wasn’t over. It was obvious her fans agreed by the uproar of cheers coming from each and every one of them throughout the entire performance of nearly all of her albums, or Eras. These Eras were not performed chronologically which kept you guessing what was next.
Swift’s set only included nine out of her ten albums, as she did not include songs from her very first self-titled album. Some found this disappointing, as that album truly set the tone for her career. Swift also only includes two songs from her second album, Speak Now, even though she recently re-released the record in July 2023. However, the rest of her extensive 45-song set list spanned through both the hits and the coveted fan favorites of her discography, leaving no room for complaints following the show.
After her graceful performance of Lover, Swift transitioned into singing a few songs from her second album, Fearless, complete with a gold sparkly fringe dress almost identical to the one she wore for her Fearless tour years ago. Her attention to wardrobe only added to the many reasons that the tour lives up to its name. Fans have taken notice of Swift’s iconic outfits throughout her career, with many fans choosing to recreate and wear those looks to the concert. Some even spent hours and hours to do so.
In addition to her attention to detail in her wardrobe, this same attention to detail was applied to the sets, production, and visuals. Each Era seamlessly transitioned into the next through the production and visuals of each. Not only did the Eras flow well into each other, but the production served as a storytelling method. While Swift and her lyrics tend to already tell their own story, she took them to the next level by providing captivating visuals, effects, including light up bracelets worn by the whole crowd, a moving stage, and even different sets for different Eras. My personal favorite was the Folklore cabin in which Swift sings from the roof. For an extra sense of dramatics, the show also included fire, fireworks, and confetti which was of course Era themed.
Swift continued to take us through her discography for the next three hours. The fact that Swift could perform flawlessly for these hours is already extremely impressive, but somehow her lyricism became even more real as you watched the songs unfold in front of you. It is rare that an artist is as personable, interactive, and as talented—both lyrically and vocally—as Swift. Perhaps that is why some fans were willing to spend far more on tickets than I have ever seen for any other show.
Seattle’s audience was particularly surprised by a new song added to the set featuring one of Swift’s openers, HAIM. You could see how all four of them performed as “besties,” clearly having fun together on stage, only adding to the enjoyment for the audience. This was a theme I saw through the whole show as Swift, her dancers, and vocalists also seemed to be having a blast while performing, adding to the already electric atmosphere of the evening. During the entire show, the whole stadium was either crying happy tears or grinning from ear to ear, often switching back and forth.
From the transitions, the visuals, the set, to the wardrobe and choreography, it is obvious the amount of thought that goes into these shows. The backup dancers particularly stood out to me. Swift and her team must have hand-picked the best dancers possible for this tour, and it shows. She also did a great job at giving them their space and time, allowing them to show off their talents. Swift even wished one of her dancers happy birthday and introduced us to her new keys player. Not only this, but I noticed a respectable amount of inclusivity and diversity in who Swift chose to perform with her on this tour. The performance was cohesive and well thought out.
Swift brilliantly adds a sense of extra excitement and suspense to each of her shows, even for fans who already know the set list, through the use of “surprise songs”. She picks two songs that she has yet to play live on the Eras tour and performs them acoustically at the show. To add to the suspense, the audience does not know which two songs will be played until Swift plays them towards the end of the show. This portion of the concert has easily turned into a fan favorite, and as Swift has mentioned, one of hers as well. Seattle night two lucked out with a performance of ‘Message in a Bottle’, a vault track from her re-released version of Red, and ‘Tied Together With A Smile’, from her debut self-titled album. This meant Seattle’s show was one of the lucky few who got to witness all ten of the Eras.
This show and experience was a crowd pleaser for all different types of fans, new and old. Not only did you experience a spectacular show, but Swift’s fans, the Swifties, truly added to the experience. The majority of the crowd was very dedicated to this concert, whether that be through hours spent on outfits, great lengths traveled to get to the concert, or energy put into screaming the songs. Swift even said herself that she witnessed a lot of fans performing as hard, if not harder than her and her team. I too recognized this and was thoroughly impressed. But one of my most favorite parts of the night was trading friendship bracelets with the other fans there. Inspired by her song ‘You’re on Your Own Kid’, fans at each show have been making friendship bracelets with references to songs and even inside jokes within the fandom, then trading them with each other at the show. As soon as I sat in my seats, the girls in my row started trading theirs with me, and because of this, these strangers turned into new friends who I danced with the whole night. A sense of community was created that I have never witnessed at any other artist's shows.
When the show came to an end, the air was filled with fireworks and confetti. Swift left the stage and fans were still in shock from the awe of the concert, many of them scrambling to collect confetti as a keepsake before making their way out of the stadium.
After leaving the concert and cramming onto the light rail to head back to where we all parked, the crowd was exhausted from all the screaming, dancing, cheering, singing, and for some, crying. I cannot even imagine the exhaustion Swift and her team experience each night after the show, though you could never tell by the way the energy with which the show is put on.
Truly, there is no show like the Eras Tour, and no performer like Taylor Swift. My experience at the show made it obvious why this concert has been so highly praised and tickets are so sought after. If you’re not a Swiftie yet, I promise you will be after her show.