Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour made history on May 5th, 2023, with a record-breaking sold-out attendance of 70,500 fans packing the Nissan Stadium in Swift’s hometown of Nashville, TN. The atmosphere of the stadium was simply electric as fans of all ages came together to celebrate the legacy of one of the biggest pop stars of our time.

The Atmosphere

Walking up to the stadium, the air was buzzing with anticipation and excitement. My eyes were immediately drawn to the sea of creative DIY outfits worn by the fans. I saw outfits that represented all the Eras of Swift’s discography, the music videos, and even some inside jokes that Swift has with her fans. It was heartwarming to see complete strangers bonding over their shared love of Taylor Swift, trading handmade friendship bracelets, and engaging in friendly conversations with one another.  Even if you weren’t up to speed with the latest “Swift-tok” trends, you felt welcomed into the Swiftie community with open arms. And if you happened to forget your own handmade bracelet to trade, there were plenty of people eager to share their creations with fellow fans, spreading the inclusivity, love, and kindness that Taylor Swift herself embodies in her music and activism.

The Openers

The excitement for Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour began long before she even took to the stage, thanks to the incredible performances of her two opening acts: Gracie Abrams and Phoebe Bridgers. As soon as Abrams took to the stage, it was clear the young singer-songwriter had captured the hearts of the audience with her introspective music. Her stunning vocals and heartfelt lyrics set the tone for an unforgettable evening of music. Bridgers, on the other hand, brought her signature brand of alternative indie rock to the stage, captivating the crowd with her raw and emotional performance. The real surprise came during Bridgers’ set when she brought out her fellow supergroup bandmates, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus, for a surprise performance. The trio, known as boygenius, treated the audience to an electrifying performance of their new track, “Not Strong Enough”. The impromptu appearance was met with thunderous applause. Overall, the opening acts were a perfect prelude to an incredible night of music.


The Legend

As the clock began its countdown, the anticipation in the stadium reached a fever pitch. The air was electric with excitement as fans eagerly awaited Taylor Swift’s arrival on stage. Suddenly, the arena erupted with screams as Taylor’s dancers made their way to the stage, holding giant colorful fabric pieces that billowed in the air like waves in the ocean. The lyric “It’s been a long time coming” from the song “Miss Americana & the Heartbreak Prince” echoed throughout the venue, adding to the palpable energy in the air.

The dancers came together in the center of the massive catwalk, holding their billowy pieces aloft to form a shield-like enclosure. The music continued to build, with bits and pieces of various songs woven together in a montage intro that left the crowd on the edge of their seats. Suddenly, the enclosure opened, revealing Taylor Swift herself, who appeared like the mythical goddess Venus emerging from the sea. She was resplendent in a stunning, sparkly leotard and matching boots, and the audience erupted with deafening cheers as she began her set.

The breathtaking opening sequence was just the beginning of what turned out to be an unforgettable night of music and artistry. Swift dazzled the sold-out crowd with an impressive setlist that covered an astounding 45 songs from 10 albums. Over the course of nearly 3 and a half hours, Taylor delivered one show-stopping performance after another. To take on such a marathon-style performance with such poise and grace is nothing short of awe-inspiring. Taylor managed to seamlessly weave together an incredible array of hits, all while changing outfits and executing intricate dance routines with seemingly boundless energy. Her stamina and showmanship were on full display throughout the night as she effortlessly transitioned from one era to the next without missing a beat or sounding out of breath.

Taylor loves to gift her fans with Easter eggs and surprises and one of the many surprises she had in store for the night was bringing out Phoebe Bridgers for their collab song “Nothing New”, as this was the first time the song has been played live. As Taylor was explaining the tradition of her playing two different songs every night for the highly anticipated acoustic portion of the show and how these songs are not repeated on any other tour date, she revealed an even bigger surprise.  Taylor stated, “There’s also a different reason why I’m really excited about this part of the set tonight because I’ve been planning something for a while, and you know how I love to plan things and you know how I love to surprise you with the things I’ve been planning. It’s my love language with you, you know? I plot, I scheme, I plan, and then I get to tell you about it. So, I think rather than me speaking about it, I thought I would just show you.” Taylor then directed everyone to view the big screen on the main stage as it was revealed that Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) would be released on July 7th.  The crowd went crazy as she perfectly segued the bombshell announcement into the first surprise song, “Sparks Fly” from Speak Now, and then followed with “Teardrops on My Guitar” from her debut album as the second surprise song.

As the show approached its grand finale, Taylor Swift delivered a high-energy performance of some of the biggest hits from her recent album, Midnights, including fan favorites like “Lavender Haze”, “Anti-Hero”, “Bejeweled”, and “Mastermind”. The crowd sang along, danced, and waved their hands in the air, creating a magical atmosphere that filled the stadium with infectious excitement. As the final notes of “Karma” echoed through the venue, Taylor took one last walk down the catwalk, and the stadium erupted into a dazzling display of pyrotechnics and fireworks, illuminating the faces of the ecstatic crowd. It was truly an unforgettable experience, one that left every fan grateful to have been a part of this historic night in Nashville and we can’t wait to see what Taylor Swift has in store for her next era.