After months of ticketing dilemmas, new song releases and even having her name honored in the city where it all went down, Taylor Swift’s long-awaited Eras Tour officially kicked off in Glendale, Arizona on Friday night.
It was the career celebration fans had been expecting since it was announced in November — and perhaps even an extended (Taylor’s Version) of what they expected!
Swift, 33, captivated her audience with a massive, career-spanning 44-song setlist, as the show ran for 3 hours and 13 minutes — with the singer-songwriter nodding to each of her respective album eras and saving room at the end for her latest LP: Midnights.
The setlist itself featured a bit of everything, from debut-era favorite “Tim McGraw” to her latest No. 1 smash “Anti Hero,” as Swift ran through selections from all of her studio LPs, from Taylor Swift to Midnights.
During the night, which was opened by Paramore, Swift took a few moments to explain her artistic turns, too. Before performing Folklore’s “Betty,” she opened up about her decision to create characters for the Grammy-winning album.
“Sort of a running theme in my music is that I love to explain to men how to apologize,” Swift said. “I just love it. It’s kind of my thing. I love to tell them, step-by-step, here’s how simple this is to fix things. If you just follow these easy steps that I’m laying out for you in a three-minute song… Just love the idea of men apologizing. And basically, this is a song about a teenage boy named James who was trying to apologize to the love of his life, and her name is Betty.”
“Betty” wasn’t the only Folklore cut of the night, as Swift also treated attendees to “Mirrorball,” “Invisible String,” “Last Great American Dynasty,” “August,” “Illicit Affairs,” “My Tears Ricochet” and “Cardigan.” But those didn’t come until later in the set, as she opened the show with six songs off Lover, before performing three Fearless tracks, five Evermore cuts, four favorites from Reputation, “Enchanted” from Speak Now, and later four selections from Red. The Red era moment wrapped with Swift sharing her Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 single, “All Too Well (10 Minute Version).”
“The fact that you embraced [Red] the way that you did when it came out in 2012, that blew me away,” she said. “But then, I never imagined then what you would end up doing a decade later when I wanted to claim that album as my own. So, thank you.”
After her detour into Folklore, the musician dazzled with “Shake It Off,” “Blank Space” and a few others off 1989, a brief return to Folklore and her self-titled debut album with “Mirrorball” and “Tim McGraw,” and a closing run of Midnights tracks such as “Mastermind” and “Karma.”
The opening night notably marked the live debut for several of her songs, especially some off Midnights and Evermore, and gave fans a first glimpse into Swift’s elaborate on-stage set-up and outfits.
Swift didn’t just throw things back with her set list or stories on stage, either, as her performance attire also nodded back to previous eras. Lover saw Swift rock a Versace bodysuit and blazer, a stunning Roberto Cavalli dress as a nod to Fearless, a Nicole + Felicia gown for Speak Now, an Alberta Ferretti dress for Folklore and a Cavalli top and skirt for 1989. Elsewhere, she wore an entirely Oscar de la Renta fit with Christian Louboutin boots (which she rocked a few times) for Midnights, a Jessica Jones dress for an acoustic moment, an Ashish T-shirt/romper/coat combo for Red with a Gladys Tamez hat, a Cavalli catsuit and boots for Reputation, and an Etro dress and cape for Evermore.
At times, the stage included a see-through house with lit-up rooms, an enormous platform and many, many nods to her album eras — from familiar visuals displayed in the background to sequences of her diving between songs.
Swift, who wanted to look “nice” for her “guys, gals and non-binary pals,” ultimately put on the career-spanning performance for those who were able to secure tickets despite previously reported Ticketmaster hassles, where the company had to cancel the tour’s general sale back in November. And as she said Friday night, she was grateful fans took the time to help her kick of the monumental occasion.
“I’m gonna take a wild guess and say, that if you’re here tonight, there’s a pretty good chance that you went through a considerable amount of effort to be with us tonight, is that true,” Swift asked her crowd, which erupted in applause. “Well, first of all, let me say, on behalf of me and every single performer that you see on this stage — all the band, all the crew, every single person who has been putting together this tour for years — thank you from the bottom of our hearts for wanting to be with us on night one.”[via]