I Bet You Think About… The Eras Tour

Taylor Swift’s Arlington Shows Break Multiple Records At AT&T Stadium

Taylor Swift performs a song from her Reputation album at AT&T Stadium in Arlington April 1.

Amelia Stanley

Taylor Swift performs a song from her Reputation album at AT&T Stadium in Arlington April 1.

It’s been a long time coming.

Taylor Swift kicked off the Eras Tour in Glendale, Arizona March 27 at 8:30 p.m. This is her first tour since the Reputation Tour in 2018, which also opened in Glendale, AZ. She has released six albums between 2018 and 2023, two of which are rerecorded.

The presale for the Eras Tour went live in November. The initial plan was for the presale to happen the day before regular tickets went live, but all shows sold out during the presale. Taylor fans who didn’t get into the presale complained about this and the fact that many of them were kicked off of the presale. This prompted Taylor to add additional shows to the tour. In addition to that, there have been complaints about Ticketmaster and their inflation of prices since they began working with Live Nation in 2010. Ticketmaster claimed that they were hit with “three times the amount of bot traffic,” and they blame the bots for the “terrible consumer experience.” On top of the bot issue, many of those who were part of the presale bought a large amount of tickets to resell them for expensive prices. As shows got closer, tickets reached up to tens of thousands of dollars. Honestly after attending a show in Arlington, it would be worth it to spend thousands of dollars on tickets for the Eras Tour.

Taylor describes the Eras Tour as a celebration of her musical career of the past 17 years since the release of her self-titled debut album. Taylor announced the tour in November, shortly after the release of her new album “Midnights” which she released in October. She performs songs from all of her albums, however she has only performed songs from her debut album as surprise songs, none are on the setlist. Each show receives two different songs that aren’t on the setlist as “surprise songs,” and Taylor said that the setlist will always be changing and to not get too comfortable. For example, in her first four shows she performed “Invisible String” from the album “Folklore” but replaced it with “The 1” at her first show in Arlington, Texas and performed it at every show in Texas. The setlist takes swifties (fans) on an enchanted journey through her albums, in this order; “Lover,” “Fearless (Taylor’s Version),” “Evermore,” “Reputation,” “Speak Now,” “Red (Taylor’s Version),” “Folklore,” “1989,” closing with her new album “Midnights.” So far, she performs six from “Lover,” three from “Fearless,” five from “Evermore,” four from “Reputation,” one from “Speak Now,” four from “Red (Taylor’s Version),” seven from “Folklore,” five from “1989,” then two surprise songs and she finishes with seven from “Midnights.”

The first Arlington show took place March 31, which was one of the shows she added due to the presale situation. There was an “early merch day” March 30 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. causing people to camp out starting from the time it was announced the day prior. The most sought after items, the crewnecks, were bought in bulk by resellers who then sold them for hundreds of dollars on websites like Depop and Poshmark. 

The openers in Arlington were MUNA and GAYLE March 31 then it was Gracie Abrams and Beabadoobee April 1 and 2. The openers sang for about an hour combined, and afterward the countdown began while “Applause” by Lady Gaga played. During this, Taylor entered the back of the stage in a box disguised as a janitorial supply cabinet. Shortly after, she came on stage around 7:50 p.m. As the dancers entered the stage “Miss Americana and The Heartbreak Prince” started to play, then right before she was revealed in the midst of the dancers, she sang the lyrics “it’s been a long time coming.” Once she was visible to the audience she completed the song. During the opening performances, the atmosphere seemed dull, but when Taylor entered the stage everything became surreal. As she made her way through different albums, fans seemed to sing along to her older albums more than newer ones, such as “Evermore.” When Taylor performed “22” from her “Red” album and “Bad Blood” from “1989,” the stadium filled with the sound of Swifties screaming. The “Reputation” era of the performance was arguably the most hyped part of the three and a half hour performance. 

Taylor had 16 outfit changes, each outfit matching the energy of the album or song that she was performing. At times, she even wore identical outfits that she had worn on tour before. The dress she wore while performing songs from “Fearless” was the same dress she wore during her “Fearless” Tour. Similar to how she replicated prior outfits, she also performed dances she’s done on past tours. The audience reacted differently to each era that she performed music from. Some received more uproar while others weren’t met with the same energy. Overall though, excluding the reactions for the opening performances, the crowd was invigorated. 

The response from the audience almost ruined the opener’s performances, however the openers added to the experience. The only time fans came alive during the openers was when Gracie Abrams performed her most mainstream song “21.” The only complaint I have would have to be the attitude of the audience during the openers, but regardless of that, the entire show was extremely put together. The effort that was put into the show, by both Taylor and staff members, paid off which is reflected in the special effects added to the show, such as the snake in the floor of the stage before she began performing the “Reputation” era. The graphics featured throughout the performance were enthralling. From the “Lover” house, which replicates the house the “Lover” music video was filmed in that is full of colors, to the set up used during the “Folklore” era, the entire production meshed together flawlessly.

Though Taylor and her team worked hard to create the concert experience, the full experience was also made up by fans. Many Swifties worked hard to recreate Taylor’s outfit styles or dress as different songs and albums. Interacting with fans at the stadium and trading friendship bracelets was one of the most memorable parts of the show. Swifties put in extra effort to make bracelets they would exchange with other fans. Bracelets contained names of songs, albums and references to Taylor that only Swifties would actually understand. 

The show in itself is one of the most life altering events I’ve ever experienced. This is the case for many people, as the tour has been highly successful so far and is on track to become one of the highest grossing tours of all time. According to an article published by Forbes, the Eras Tour could net Taylor $500 million to $1.5 billion. Although Taylor performed for almost three and a half hours, after the show was over, it felt like it had only been thirty minutes. Getting out of the stadium felt the longest. Whether people walked back to their hotels or waited in parking lots, it took hours to clear the stadium grounds. In the end, the entire process including getting ready, getting to the stadium, waiting in line and seeing Taylor perform felt like a fever dream. I would do it again a million little times.