HomeReviewsOn StageOn Stage: Taylor Swift – The Eras Tour

On Stage: Taylor Swift – The Eras Tour

Dateline – NASHVILLE
Nissan Stadium
May 6, 2023

Is pop powerhouse Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour the pinnacle of concert fandom? After months of build-up, it sure feels that way.

From the moment Swift’s tour was announced, her first in nearly five years, the anticipation was akin to the Second Coming. A fire of fandom developed and eventually became a raging inferno. Ticketmaster’s much-disdained website couldn’t handle the pressure of 3.5 million people attempting to get seats. When the flames died down, only 2.2 million fans walked away with tickets. Those who were left empty-handed burned down social media for weeks. Give the Swiftie community credit, many fandoms have voiced discontent with Live Nation’s ticketing empire, but only Swift’s loyal soldiers have been able to trigger a congressional investigation.

Ticketing drama aside, before arguably the world’s biggest and most powerful pop star even stepped foot on a stage, the whispered question was, “How can this tour ever live up to the hype?” Swift touted the tour as more than a simple greatest-hits show. This was to be a grand spectacle that weaved together all the eras of her music career to this point – a tall task, especially given the beloved artist’s wide-ranging and successful career.

Incredibly, from what I experienced at her second of three Nashville “homecoming” shows, she has pulled it off.

Taylor Swift on stage on the Eras Tour

A typical stadium tour would consist of tracks from the new album, Midnights, with hits and fan-favorites from her previous albums sprinkled in throughout the show. Instead, fans fortunate to get their hands on tickets get much more. Each era of Swift’s career is presented in loving detail, full of visual set pieces, callback costumes, and of course, the hit records from those eras that have made each period of the her career so memorable.

Perhaps most astonishing is the concert’s epic runtime. The May 5th Nashville show ran a staggering 3 hours and 24 minutes, and, just as she boasts in “Shake it Off,” she never missed a beat. How does Swift have the stamina to do this? She cleverly tempers her more demanding dance numbers with slower ballads, allowing her body to recover, even if her vocal cords aren’t getting the same respite.

After making my way out of Nissan Stadium for the long walk back to my car, I wondered if this was almost too much for one show. For the hardest of the hardcore Swifties, the answer would be, “Of course not!” And it’s hard to disagree. More than any other artist performing today, she’s giving the most bang for her fan’s big bucks with a show of this length and range.

Even though I’m a casual Swiftie, I still left amazed and exhausted – it’s enough Taylor for two shows. She closes the show with “Karma,” a song from Midnights that’s one of my favorites. I sang along the best I could, but my energetic body that had danced around to the 1989 era just an hour earlier was now just a sad sack of bones.

That’s to Swift’s credit, though. At the end of the day, I’m not the target audience for this show. It’s designed for someone like the teenage girl that sat a row down from me. She stood all three-and-half hours and left with the same smile on her face she had when the lights first dimmed. To her, it could never have been long enough. And this casual Swiftie smiled right along with her.

So, kudos, Ms. Swift. You’ve set a new standard for touring in more ways than one. I’m just happy I went on Saturday and didn’t need a raincoat and an energy drink. [Editor’s note: The May 6th Nashville show was delayed due to lightning in the area. It rained through most of Swift’s set, and the show didn’t finish until after 1am.]

Taylor Swift set list – Nashville, 5/6/23

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