Taylor Swift Kicks Off Tour in Eras-zona

Taylor Swift performed I Knew You Were Trouble during the Red portion of the Eras Tour on March 17.

Logan Davidson

Taylor Swift performed “I Knew You Were Trouble” during the Red portion of the Eras Tour on March 17.

Logan Davidson, Staff Writer

During the afternoon of March 17, thousands of cars lined the freeway leading to State Farm Stadium in Glendale. However, at 6:30 the chaos would come to a halt, for the outside world at least. The inside of the stadium reflected much of the traffic situation. Nearly 70,000 Taylor Swift fans filled the seats and concessions area just before the show began. Opening acts, GAYLE and Paramore, warmed up the crowd before the main event of the night would begin.

Despite being scheduled to take the stage at 8:05, the lights in the stadium switched off nearly 10 minutes early. A timer appeared on the stage – keeping in line with Swift’s midnight/clock-themed album – counting down from 3 minutes. Once the long-anticipated sight of all zeros flashed on the screen, a roar of cheers filled the stadium. For those who could hear through the commotion, a montage of all of Swift’s album names echoed faintly through the speakers. A door in the screen at the back of the stage opened as dancers began to file out, and – to the fans’ surprise – Taylor Swift, herself would arise from a trapdoor in the center of the stage. And so began, a 3-hour and 15-minute set consisting of 44 songs, celebrating 10 eras of Swift’s music career. She began with a shortened version of her song “Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince,” repeating the phrase “it’s been a long time coming,” very suiting for the tour, considering fans have had to wait nearly 5 years since the last time she embarked on a tour. As explained in the intro to the song “Lover,” the night was split into 10, each era reserving allotted time with songs that she felt represented the spirit of all albums. Evidently, the night kicked off in the Lover era, before transitioning to the Fearless era.

Swift’s sophomore album, which earned her her first Album of the Year award, Fearless covered the room in gold as thousands of fans cheered and danced through the performance of “Fearless” (the song), “You Belong With Me,” and “Love Story.” Swift entered this section in a gold and silver fringe dress reminiscent of the original dress she wore during the Fearless tour in 2009. The set came to an end with the audience still abuzz from dancing through the Fearless Storm in their best dresses.

The screen went dark only to once again return with gorgeous bright visuals hinting at the upcoming album. While the pop star was working on one of her many swift costume changes, the audience watched as a montage of snow melted on the humongous screens in front of them. Whispers of her albums Evermore and Folklore made their way through the crowd, but the latter had a much more black-and-white theme to it than the browning autumn leaves were hinting at. Large trees arose from the stage and the opening chords of “‘tis the damn season” came through the speakers. The evermore set was graced with 5 songs as well as a speech where Swift shut down a running joke that she seemingly “hated” this album due to her lack of acknowledgment of it.

The set closed with one of the most heartbreaking songs in her discography: “tolerate it,” before transitioning to the upbeat and sassy opener of the reputation set: “…ready for it?” This set was by far one of the most visually appealing as well as a great song selection. She performed the singles from the album as well as including the fan favorite, “Don’t Blame Me.” Projected on the stage was Swift, herself, burning down the famous Lover House, an interesting cracking glass effect during “Delicate,” and, certainly the most breathtaking visual of the night, a visual representation of all her past eras locked up in glass cages. This played into the lyric in “Look What You Made Me Do” where she states that the “old Taylor” is dead, but also a lyric in “It’s Time to Go” (from the Evermore album), where she sings “he’s got my past frozen behind glass” explaining how her old label had sold her first 6 albums from under her.

From the slow tempo of Evermore to the upbeat venomous aura of reputation, Taylor Swift transitioned, once again, to a slower and more naive album: Speak Now. To many fans’ disappointment, the Speak Now set was only given one song: “Enchanted.” Still, the stage was filled with purple and glitter – her third album’s signature color – and Swift appeared through a cloud of smoke in a gorgeous sparkly gown, yet another call back to her previous tours (this time Speak Now) in which she wore a peach-colored prom dress much simpler than the one she appeared in for the Eras Tour.

Taylor Swift’s highly anticipated Eras Tour kicked off on March 17 in Glendale, AZ, and continues until August 9th in Los Angeles. (Logan Davidson)

After only one song, Swift disappeared, the stage went dark, and the audience was left in wonder once again. Fans did not have to wait long before the stage glowed a bright red, an easy guess for the next era, as a dancer ran around with a box playing various songs from the Red album. She opened with the hit song “22,” wearing a shirt with quotes from the song (the quote changed each night), before transitioning into a sparkly gradient red and black bodysuit. She ended the set with a performance of the 10-minute version of “All Too Well,” with tons of leaf-shaped confetti exploding during the line “autumn leaves falling down like pieces into place,” and snow confetti falling during “I still remember the first fall of snow/and how it glistened as it fell.”

As the stage cleared, a spoken version of “Seven,” a track from the album Folklore, played while the folklore set was being placed. As the audio faded, a mossy cabin glowed at the back of the stage (similar to the one from Swift’s Grammys performance) as Swift started with “invisible string” (with 2 golden strings illuminating the catwalk), she journeyed through this era in a flowy pink gown while playing the “love-triangle trilogy” found in the album, as well as a gilded-esque performance of “The Last Great American Dynasty,” and a mashup of “illicit affairs” and “my tears ricochet.”

At the beginning of the folklore set, there was a reference to the 1989 track “Wildest Dreams,” with the line “say you’ll remember me, standing in a nice dress, staring at the sunset,” foreshadowing the set beginning after folklore. Spotlights went wild, fire and smoke exploded from the stage, and the audience roared as everyone shook it off through the 5-song set. After the ethereal and calm nature of folklore, 1989 got all those in their seats back up again for hits like “Style,” “Blank Space,” and “Bad Blood.”

Once the energy from 1989 settled, Swift arose in a simple reddish pink dress to perform one surprise acoustic song (“Mirrorball” from folklore) and one surprise piano song (“Tim McGraw” from her debut, self-titled album).

Closing out the night, Swift began the set for her newest album, Midnights. Doing a quick stage stunt of quite literally diving into the stage, a projection of Swift swimming downstage led to the introduction of Midnights. Opening with “Lavender Haze,” the energy in the stadium was similar to that of the 1989 set. After three hours into the concert, a time in which most artists would have lost audiences to fatigue, Swift had over 69,000 people dancing and singing their hearts out for the closing of the show. Ending with “Karma,” Swift thanked the audience, the band, the set builders, and more as confetti shot out of canons, and spotlights illuminated the stadium in a huge Midnight’s

party (not to mention it almost being midnight).

After leaving Glendale, Swift is now on her journey to completing her 52-show tour, predicted to become one of the highest-grossing tours of all time.