Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour is Incredible

Breaking: Taylor Swift is not just a buzz in our ears or an abstract notion to be discussed at parties, she’s also a flesh and blood entity fond of sparkly pajamas and the stamina of a coach. All gigs are magic and make the audience’s idea of ​​an artist come true, but last night’s start of Taylor Swift’s Eras tour in Glendale, Arizona added to the bewilderment at Houdini’s escape from the cuffs and physicality. After years of shaping their inner lives through Swift’s highly mediated virtual output, 63,000 people can now confirm Taylor Swift’s vitality. Somehow, seeing him up close made him seem more superhuman.

Every aspect of the night was shaped by the breaking truth of Ticketmaster, who hasn’t aired with their mortal audience since their tour in 2018, and has released six albums in the meantime (four originals, two re-recorded). The emotional brew was overkill and gratitude, interrupted by nostalgia for time lost and made chaotic by physical conditions. The build was cumbersome but urgent: More than three hours of 44 (yes, 44) songs. Swift created the mood for an ecstatic study session, like an epic trip where a far-flung best friend visits for just one night. “So, uh, is it just me or do we have a lot to catch up on?” Swift asked early on, as she sat behind a piano whose mossy coating gave her the appearance of a long-standing sunken treasure and helped underscore her purpose.

As fans entered the night, they speculated on how Swift would base her perfectionism on the tough question of which songs to perform. Perhaps he would turn his albums into a stylish playlist, reframe an now-expanding catalog around some thematic lines. But instead he decided to segment the night by album, leaving the big lessons in his orbit to emerge from the already existing juxtapositions. And indeed, at the start of the set, when the clock on the stage struck midnight (it was actually 8:00 p.m.), expectations for a focused fireside conversation were dashed.

The hype that arose at that moment could not beat any space on earth. The opening selection was unexpected: a stunned, cut “Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince” that’s a bit of a deep slice from the 2019s. Dear (key refrain: “It’s been a long time”). Then came the highly anticipated live debut of fan favorite “Cruel Summer.” Dear‘s reckless, ominous maximalism. The overlapping sound waves—fans howling like emergency sirens, Swift’s live band, and background rumblings—turned into a terrifying roar around the Super Bowl arena. Everyone was singing along, but no one could hear Swift, at least where I was sitting.. He faced a physics problem: How do you tell a story in a real echo chamber?

The answer was that Swift slowed down and took control, as she always did with her words. At each break to appeal to the audience, Swift’s ability to focus and maneuver emotions helped to unify a mood. In those overwhelming first few minutes, his first statement was relatable: “I don’t know how to trade. all of theseHe soon explained that the show’s concept was to “adventure” in the first 17 years of its music – album by album – in an unspecified and therefore dubious order. Then came the first truly instinctive hit of the night, the ballads “Lover” and “The Archer”. For the latter, Swift stood alone, listing her weak spots with a pulsing beat until the pyrotechnic sparks fell on a curtain behind her. This It was where we all wanted to be: to feel one-on-one intimacy with magnificent three-dimensionality.

Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for TAS

The transition from one “era” to the next was like turning the page of a pop-up book revealing new colors, architecture, and story lines. Swift’s art direction remains intuitive and understated, but her detail work helps re-enchant the sharp, familiar images. For the segment devoted to comfort Folklorelazing like a cat on the sloping roof of a hut, the frame of which shimmered in what looked like starlight. Necessary giant snakes ReputationThe 2017 armored tank was suspended between an album, bare, vertically imposing scaffolding. In contrast, urban wonderland 1989 The stage was horizontal, and the stage became a fashion catwalk with Swift’s live dancers stomping on diagonal patterns. On such a long night, little visual surprises have gone too far. At one point, it caused him to be out of breath. like diving into step onto the stage as if it were a pond and then swim to the other side.

The ranking of the eras and the songs within the periods also kept the tension high. Swift’s beloved 2010 album, speak Nowappeared only for the exuberant “Enchanted,” which Swift sings in a ball gown in the middle of a flower field. His self-titled debut was also featured only once, in a modest, piano accompaniment performance of his debut single “Tim McGraw”. In contrast, the 2020 album AlwaysIt features four pieces with generous set changes – seen by some as a glorified collection of B-sides. After spending the last few years allowing his own work to speak for itself as audiences debated its meaning and benefits, he was finally putting forward a point of view on his catalog. Always, he said, “contrary to what some of you have said on TikTok, it’s an album that I absolutely love.” He cast a funny and skeptical look at the enormous room. “I see – I understand all her.”

His facial expressions were often just as strong, making up for the sound detail that the stadium’s acoustics had swallowed. In the old words that gained the cultural familiarity of folktales, Swift was play for theatrical reinterpretation. Giving a performance of “Sensitive”, which fans agitated on social media, Swift turned to comedy, saying, “You can get me a drink,” not as a come-on, impatient command. for 2010 Fearless In the episode, he hooked up his guitar and acted charmingly exasperated, inviting us “back to high school” and making half-hearted cheerleader gestures. Those first songs were still great, but he seemed to wink at saying that he’s grown so much since he wrote them. But the most striking performances were utterly serious, expressing icy resentment in sparkling eyes and a hard chin, as in the 10-minute version of “Champagne Problems,” “My Tears Ricochet,” and “All Too Well.”

Oh yes, that’s right – that giant set list 10 minute song. It was the prestige of a magic show when he put on a glittering robe and started strumming that wounded song. The audience could finally wrap their heads around the fact that it was her. really going for it, not just with this song, but with this whole marathon revue concept that he’s been dreaming of for years. Later that night, he broke away from the period format with an acoustic moment in which he said his featured song would change every night throughout the tour. Chose for this opening show Folklore‘s “Mirrorball” mission clarifies: “I’m still trying everything / To get you to take care of me.”

It did manage to keep us looking, but it has to be said until it climaxes. midnight As the era turned, the crowd—the survivors, at least—was excited and surrendered. The seats around me where people shouted at throat-scorching frequencies at the beginning of the night were now empty. Young children brought to the show were sleeping in the arms of their companions. I felt a kind of blissful slumber that usually precedes deep sleep. The concert was incredible, but so was the fact that this one human woman planned to repeat it many times the next night and beyond.

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