Liner Notes: Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour: Are fans “Ready For It?”


Illustration by Joanne Haner

Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour comes to Chicago June 2-4. Some NU students plan on attending her concert at Soldier Field.

Emily Lichty, Assistant Illustrations Editor

Capturing the entirety of Taylor Swift’s discography in one evening is no small feat. 

Throughout her nineteen-year career, Swift has sung about everything: from the magic of young love in her country-tinged pop album “Fearless” to the sting of betrayal in her dark and moody album “Reputation,” the singer’s got range. Swift is currently attempting to cover all ten of her beloved albums in her highly anticipated Eras Tour, set to take place in 20 U.S. cities over the course of six months.

It would be an understatement to say her tour announcement caused chatter among the Swiftie community. Tickets remain in the wildest dreams of millions of fans even now that the tour has started, according to Business Insider, as Ticketmaster was overwhelmed by demand for tickets. 

Swift revealed her tour’s jam-packed setlist after it started in Glendale, Arizona on March 17. It seems the set will live up to its hype and take its listeners through the nostalgic roller coaster ride that is Taylor Swift’s career. 

One of the first things that I noticed about the setlist is its length. Flying from Miami to Dallas over Spring Break took me less time than listening to the entirety of Swift’s tour setlist —  which made me scared the three-hour setlist would be boring. But the mood changes of the show, coupled with the flashy energy and the stunts performed by a megastar like Swift, helps eliminate redundancy.

The show starts with songs from Swift’s upbeat, dreamy album “Lover.” Her hits “Cruel Summer” and “You Need To Calm Down” celebrate her highly anticipated return to performing; “Lover” sets the stage for the busy night ahead. 

The transition into the “Fearless” era keeps the momentum going, appeasing fans of Swift’s classics like “Love Story” and “You Belong With Me.” The tribute to this golden-hued album nods to Swift’s early years and likely marks the true “start” of the concert.

Swift surprised the crowd by dedicating a chunk of time to what some call her “forgotten album,” “evermore.” The time given to this cozy, melancholy album gives the audience a chance to catch their breath and enjoy a more intimate moment with Swift. 

Still, concert attendees won’t be sitting for long. Swift follows “evermore” with songs from her  revenge-fuelled album “Reputation,” reminding the audience of her power as an artist and hinting at her darker side. 

The variety in the show is one of its biggest strengths. Recognizing that Swift’s life isn’t confined to a singular era is what makes the tour compelling to so many fans.

“Reputation” is followed by the biggest tragedy of the tour, as Swift performs only one song, “Enchanted,” from her album “Speak Now.” While the noticeable absence of many songs from the album could hint at a re-recording in the near future, the addition of more “Speak Now” songs to the setlist would help round out the tour. The ghost of the album will linger in the back of concert attendees’ minds and leave them wanting more, even after an hourslong performance. 

Following “Enchanted,” Swift transitions into her album “Red.” With songs like “22” and “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” Swift recognizes that her classics are what draw audiences to her show. Fitting for a three-hour production, Swift plays the ten-minute version of her song “All Too Well.” While this might seem excessive, the choice nods to Swift’s ambition not only as a songwriter but as a performer.

“folklore” is up next. While the album has been recognized for its strong songwriting, it takes a slower pace. But Swift’s choice to follow “folklore” with her pop album “1989,” will have the audience “shaking off” the length of the tour. The album represents a rebirth for Taylor, following her emergence into the world of pop music; her songs “Blank Space” and “Wildest Dreams” are a rebirth of the show’s energy, as well.

Swift performs two different acoustic surprise songs at each stop of the tour, allowing for each concert to maintain its intrigue. Part of what makes Taylor Swift such a hit are her secrets, so these two songs are integral to maintaining her fan’s obsession with decoding her surprises. 

The show ends with her most recent album “Midnights,” with attendees finally reaching the late hours of the night the album describes. While the album doesn’t hold the same status as veteran albums, “Midnights” provides a finish that holds a little piece of every album and leaves fans wondering what is next for Swift.

Overall, the tour does not disappoint –– it provides a three-hour long embodiment of what makes Swift a superstar: her dedication to her fans and wide array of hit songs. Since obtaining a ticket to the tour is costly and difficult, Swift gives her fans the show they were hoping for. And for those who aren’t lucky enough to have a tour date on their calendar, the setlist is still a way to revisit Swift’s evolution and remember what really makes her a mastermind.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @emilymlichty

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