Memories At Midnight: Taylor Swift’s “The Eras Tour”


Taylor Swift meets her fans in the pouring rain at the Eras Tour in Gillette Stadium. (Source: People)

Breaking records is nothing new for the Pennsylvania-born pop star who requires no introduction. Since the announcement of The Eras Tour, her first headlining tour in five years, online ticketing platforms such as Ticketmaster have been flooded with eager “Swifties,” shattering the record for most concert tickets sold by any artist in one day. 

According to Ticketmaster, “over 3.5 million people pre-registered for TaylorSwiftTix Presale powered by Verified Fan, which is the largest registration in history.” Despite the resulting system crash, nearly 2.5 million tickets were sold from the first presale alone. Her influence as a social and cultural icon is extensive, having been prevalent in pop culture since the mid-2000s. Glendale, Arizona, her first tour stop, was even briefly renamed “Swift City” in her honor. 

May 19 marked the first out of three Eras Tour nights at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Originally featuring 27 tour dates across 20 different cities, Taylor Swift later added 25 more shows due to overwhelming demand. The tour’s weekend in Boston were her 11th, 12th and 13th shows since the tour kicked off in March.

The opening acts featured GAYLE, Gracie Abrams and Phoebe Bridgers, with the latter having joined Swift in a duet to “Nothing New” later on in the show.  

The set production of the 3.5-hour-long performance was unmatched in its technological and visual coordination. Every detail, down to the light-up bracelets handed out by Gilette staff pre-show, were synchronized to each song, which, in the vast, dark stadium, resembled brightly-colored stars in the night sky.

Each era, or album, features a drastically different set. Some notable stage effects included air cannons, fog machines, moving pillars, a cabin for Folklore, a man-made forest and moss-covered piano for Evermore and an exhilarating fireworks display to close out the night. The singer herself underwent at least ten costume changes, bearing garments ranging from shimmering leotards and bedazzled blazers to flowy, trailing gowns. 

Swift showed true dedication to her artistry when she performed at Foxborough’s second show of the weekend under a torrent of rain. She maintained absolute professionalism and a positive attitude even as the weather impeded her ability to strum her guitar, calling it “the rainiest rain show that ever rain showed.”

Arguably the most anticipated aspect of the tour are the “surprise songs” which Swift performs outside of the regular setlist, catered to each show. Once a song is introduced as a surprise song at one of her shows, it is unlikely to reappear throughout the rest of the tour. Massachusetts’s surprise songs included “Better Man,” “Should’ve Said No,” “Question…?,” “Invisible,” “I Think He Knows” and “Red.”

Many of the costume changes feature vibrant graphics distinct to each era, creating a visually striking experience. Switching between the surprise set and the “Midnights” era, Swift is notably shown diving into a platform beneath the stage and swimming up the catwalk through the floor graphics. She later returns donning a pastel purple coat for “Lavender Haze.” 

After attending the third night, Valerie Dam-Nguyen (II) remarks, “They were able to use [costumes] to add to the storyline. Because then you could tell which era was going to come up next.”

Swift’s contribution to the economy has not gone unnoticed either. Fans from all over the United States reportedly flew out for shows, most notably for Nashvillle’s show at Nissan Stadium. Local businesses profit greatly from the surge in tourism as concertgoers rush to make hotel and restaurant reservations. Boston’s own MBTA Commuter Rail reported that all special service tickets to the Foxboro/Gillette stop sold out in less than a minute. 

With her stunning vocals and spectacular performance, Swift managed to create a memorable night for all attendees. In all of her excellence, some may say that when Swift walks into the room, “[she] can still make the whole place shimmer.”