Everything You Missed in ERAZONA
By Sarah Vincent--Eagle Staff Writer
Seventy thousand fans. Forty-four songs. Sixteen backup dancers. Fourteen outfit changes. Three hours and fifteen minutes. Two different stages. One of the best performances in music history.
Taylor Swift, award-winning songwriter, performed the opening night of the Eras Tour in Glendale, Arizona on March 17th for nearly 70,000 fans in one stadium. The over three-hour-long performance left fans and reviewers in a "Lavender Haze." The opening night earned a five out of five-star rating from The Guardian, The Independent, and The Telegraph. While Swift has always delighted audiences with shows that make "Sparks Fly,"the Eras Tour proved that Taylor Swift is, in fact, "The Man."Between amazing scenes, costumes, and a profound intimacy with Swift, the opening night of the Eras Tour is Taylor Swift’s best concert to date.
Swift opened with a clock clicking down to midnight, symbolizing her newest album release. The image of the clock faded into darkness as a nostalgic audio montage of her songs played in the background. Her backup dancers came onstage with massive flowing fans as the music slowly crescendoed. As the climax of the montage closed in, Swift’s dancers covered the center stage in fans just until the audio changed to the opening of “Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince.” Suddenly, the lights centered on Swift, who emerged from the fans as she sang the chorus of the song.
The awe inspired by Swift’s entrance carried through her entire performance with perfectly timed lights, dances, and scenic graphics. Needless to say, there was far too much content in the opening night alone to cover in one article, so here’s a carefully curated collection of the highlights.
Swift’s performance took place throughout a main stage, walkway, central diamond, and small stage at the end of the walkway. While this is pretty standard for most major performances, nothing about her use of the space was standard. The stage was filled with moving platforms that raised Swift and her backup dancers far off the stage or down below it. By far, the most genius use of this mechanism was when Swift seemingly dove into the stage as screens covering the floor and walls displayed a water scene, shocking all of her fans on the floor who could not see the lowered platform that swift had dropped into.
Scenic clips played a big part in Swift’s performance. A large screen in the back center stage changed as the eras progressed, setting the mood for each new song that Swift played. Oftentimes, the screens on the floor of the stage reflected the main screen, providing an immersive world for Swift to perform in. These were supplemented by massive props that were lifted onto stage using the moving platforms, fulfilling all of Swifties’ "Wildest Dreams." Swift’s use of sets and props were most expertly used in “Tolerate It," “Ready for It," and “Folklore”.
Taylor Swift’s outfits for the Eras Tour were equally as extravagant as her sets. Fashion has always played a key role in Swift’s performances (looking at you, Reputation). Within the Eras Tour, Taylor Swift switched costumes fourteen times to match the era or song that she sang. Most of these costume changes took merely seconds and happened onstage, while her more extensive costume changes took no longer than two minutes. Throughout the majority of the performance, Swift was "Dressed to the Nines" in Christian Louboutin sparkling heeled boots.
The sparkles of Swift’s boots carried a theme throughout the majority of her performances, including a "Bejeweled" bodysuit for the majority of “Lover", a sequined blazer for “The Man", a glittering shirt-dress for “Anti-Hero," more glittery bodysuits and suits throughout “Red,” a beaded bodysuit for the majority of Midnights, as well as some massive glittery jackets that I think I’d rock. To see Swift’s coolest costumes, watch “Enchanted”, “The Man”, and “Illicit Affairs."
The Eras Tour was clearly a major performance, but there’s a deeper reason why Swift put so much effort into the tour. Swift’s fans are beyond dedicated to the singer-songwriter, and the Eras Tour seemed to be a tribute to their continued support. Between songs, Swift spoke to the crowd as if she were having a conversation with her closest friends. The entire audience laughed over inside jokes and even sang in unison the small chants that were promoted online to compliment the songs.
Swifties showed up to the Eras Tour with as much enthusiasm as the singer. The entire audience was filled with costumes based on lyrics, songs, and even references to interviews and viral moments of Swift. Multiple fan projects took place throughout the Eras Tour, including a friendship bracelet trading system where fans made friendship bracelets and swapped them during the concerts. Fans also were assigned a color based on where they sat in the audience and were instructed to raise their phones with the specific color during certain songs. To see the cutest moments Swift shared with fans, watch her introduction to the bridge in “Cruel Summer," her prologue to “Evermore,” and her performance of “Bejeweled."
In her Netflix Documentary, Miss Americana, Taylor Swift remarked that "We do exist in this society where women in entertainment are discarded in an elephant graveyard by the time they're 35.” This theme of maturing in the music industry has been constant throughout her most recent works. Long-time Swifties have grown up with Swift and watched her mature, and many of Swift’s songs revolve around the lessons she’s learned, peaking with Midnights tracks like “You’re on Your Own, Kid” and “Dear Reader.” Swift’s music has recently shifted to reflecting on her past from a more mature perspective than ever seen before, yet while she recognizes that she’s "So Much Older and Wiser," Swift has utterly rejected the idea that her career is coming to an end.
The opening night of the Eras Tour showcased Swift’s continued talent and passion for performance. She delivered over three hours of nonstop singing, dancing, belting, and entertainment with the same fervor and excitement that she’s always boasted during concerts. While the Eras Tour may seem like a walk down memory lane for both Swift and her fans, opening the door to a bittersweet goodbye, Swift’s on-stage imagery, infectious passion for music, and previous remarks suggest that Swifties have much more to look forward to long after the Eras Tour concludes.
Given that the Era’s Tour immense success will likely push her career to new heights and bring about a whole new era for the star, the only question Swifties have to ask themselves is: "Are You Ready for It?"