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The Paw Print

Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour: Girlhood in music

Graphic courtesy of Katie Walsh and Kaylin Yagura

On November 1, 2022, Taylor Swift announced her sixth stadium tour: the Eras Tour. Social media erupted after this announcement, with tickets selling out so quickly that Ticketmaster crashed. Swift traveled to 20 major cities throughout the first US leg of her tour and plans to visit many more during the international leg. The event has evolved into an emotional experience for new and old “Swifties” alike.

Swift’s show took fans on a nostalgic journey through her career. The Eras Tour included songs from nine of Swift’s 10 albums, with each show clocking in at three and a half hours and consisting of 44 different songs. She included songs from her newer albums such as “Lover,” “folklore,” “evermore,” and “Midnights” whose songs had never been performed live before due to COVID. Each of Swift’s albums represent a distinct era in Swift’s life.

For example, “Fearless,” Swift’s second hit album, represents her blossoming career in high school and recounts the struggles of teenage love. In contrast, her fourth album “Red” serves as the beginning of Swift’s transition from country to pop as she aged as its songs discuss her changing opinions on love as a young woman.

Since Swift’s songs encapsulate universal struggles of young adult life, her albums can also reflect different eras of her fans’ lives. Many teenagers go through a “Red” phase, feeling like they don’t fit in in their world, or a “Fearless” phase, naively falling head over heels in love. Due to Swift’s extensive discography, listeners can almost always find a Swift song — if not multiple — that resonates with their experiences.

One novel aspect of the Eras Tour is the element of “surprise songs.” Since Swift performs two songs not included on the setlist every night, her fan base follows the tour closely, watching live streams of the surprise songs played each night to narrow down the possibilities for their own show’s surprise songs.

Some fans even became very upset when their favorite songs were played at shows that they did not attend. TikTok was filled with videos of fans crying over the loss of their favorite song. Even though the tour served as a very personal event for long-term “Swifties,” the tour was also a very popular attraction for influencers. Lesser-known social media stars attended shows in hopes that they would be able to create a viral video at the concert. After the news surfaced that non-fans attended the tour simply to post on social media, “Swifties” who did not get tickets felt robbed of the experience, causing online controversy such as intense TikTok comment sections flaming influencers for not deserving their ticket to the show.

I attended the Eras Tour during its second night at SoFi Stadium. I bought my tickets in November and attended the show in August, so after months of anticipation, my standards were very high. When I excitedly walked into SoFi, the stadium was filled with people covered in glitter, their arms stacked with homemade bracelets.

At every show, “Swifties” make beaded bracelets and trade them with other fans. The idea came from a lyric in Swift’s song “You’re on Your Own Kid,” that states, “make the friendship bracelets, take this moment and taste it.” My sister and I made more than 100 bracelets before the concert, and we traded every single one with other “Swifties” at the show. It has become a very sweet tradition, and the bracelets serve as souvenirs from the show. The bracelets immediately connect fans even though they are strangers and symbolize the importance of inclusivity, which Swift values.

Once we had finished trading bracelets, my heart raced with excitement for the show to begin. As soon as Swift took the stage, my standards were surpassed. Her performance elicited every emotion in my body from sorrow to excitement. I cherished every song and was devastated when the show came to an end.

The tour’s technical design and choreography were pristine and made the show an experience rather than an event. I sat in almost the very last row at the top of SoFi Stadium during one her of LA shows, yet I was still able to experience the show in all its glory because of the inclusive atmosphere Swift created in the stadium. For many, the Eras Tour was a genuine once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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About the Contributor
Piper Hart, Assistant Life Editor
Grade: 11 Years on Staff: 3 Fun Fact: I used to have bright red hair. Favorite Book: Normal People by Sally Rooney Favorite Movie: Notting Hill
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