- Karlee Skipper
Concert Review: Taylor Swift Eras Tour- Glendale Night 2
Taylor. Alison. Swift. I don’t even know how to fully put into words how phenomenal this woman is. She truly outdid herself, once again. Every single tour, she never fails to give fans a bigger and better show. Even with this in mind, Eras Tour was still nothing I expected in my wildest dreams. Going in, my friends and I expected her biggest hits and some of her non-single fan favorites, like “august” and “Cruel Summer.” Yet, she sent fans into a whirlwind with deep cuts that none of us would have ever expected. By the end of the show, we had been blessed with a total of forty-four songs in the span of a little more than three hours. In typical Taylor fashion, the show began with a dramatic intro, complete with mesmerizing visuals and flashy lights. As the anticipation builds, fans are hit with the lyrics: “It’s been a long time.” I remember looking at my friends and sharing the same puzzled look as we began to connect the dots and realize— this woman was starting the show with Lover track, “Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince”. From that moment on, we knew we had absolutely no idea what the night was going to hold.
Taylor is truly a mastermind in her own right. She is notorious for her meticulous details and infallible ability to know what fans want— even if we don’t know it yet. The brilliant artist organized every act of the show into each individual era, separated by unforgettable transitions with special effects that assisted with the outfit and set changes. Through “Miss Americana”, Taylor kicked off the show with her 2019 album, Lover. This was a sentimental choice as it is a nod to Lover Fest, her unique tour for the album. The tour was unfortunately canceled due to the pandemic. Starting off with this selection of songs, Taylor was sending a heartfelt message to fans that she was devastated that she had to cancel it. Now, she used this as an opportunity to give us a taste of what she had planned. It was particularly special for me because I attended the show with my two amazing best friends, Caitlin and Lizzie, who I was supposed to go to Lover Fest West with. We met at a Taylor Swift dance party in California the week Lover was released, and we have been best friends ever since. Taylor kicking off the show with this era was a full circle moment for us, and we finally got to see the artist that brought us together.
Speaking of bringing people together, Taylor is the expert at hand-picking artists from all genres of music to open the show. Throughout the entire tour, there will be a great selection of incredible musicians that will be there to hype up the crowd. For the Glendale dates, we were blessed with the presence of badass new artist, GAYLE, and legendary pop-rock band, Paramore. GAYLE kicked off the show with her fiery new single, “everybody hates me”. For me, this was even more special because I had to honor of writing a review for the song just two days before the show. I have been following GAYLE since last summer, and seeing her open for Taylor brought tears to my eyes. She blew away the crowd with her powerful vocals and commanded the stage like the natural-born rockstar she is. After her set, Paramore took the stage. The band was only set to support Taylor for these two Glendale dates, making it even more meaningful for the audience. Personally, I have never seen a crowd more enthusiastic over an opening act. For years, Hayley Williams has been the queen of pop-rock, and she further proved her rightful title with her performance. Her vocals were outstanding, and she had a contagious energy that spread to every single person in the stadium. It was the perfect way to set the mood before Taylor took the stage.
It is well known by now that Taylor does not just go on stage and sing, but that she puts on an entire spectacle of a performance. Even if you are a casual fan who only knows the biggest hits, or you were dragged there by your significant other or children, you will have the time of your life. There is not ever one dull moment at a Taylor Swift show. Along with her flawless vocals, she astounds the audience with exceptional choreography and special effects. Between the haunting elements of the witch coven in “Willow”, and the “frozen behind glass” Taylors during “Look What You Made Me Do”, we were not just watching a concert; we were watching an entire movie live. The background screen and the real-life props were not the only thing enhancing this creative storytelling. The stage was even a screen itself that tied together the rest of the set. For example, when singing “Delicate”, the floor would ‘crack’ when Taylor stomped at certain beats in the song, signifying the fragility of the new relationship described in the song. Perhaps one of the most shocking moments was between the surprise song act and the Midnights final. The stage floor turned into a rushing river and the audio mimicked a water flowing sound. At the end of the catwalk, the floor opened, and we all expected she would just walk in. We were wrong. Taylor Alison Swift did a perfect swan dive straight into the hole, causing the entire audience to gasp. The stage screen then showed a digital Taylor swimming up the stage as the set transforms to the final act. I have been to many, many concerts and have virtually attended so many shows online. Yet, this was the most astonishing,
unpredictable transition I have ever seen at any show put on by any artist.
Taylor genuinely curated this setlist with long-time, dedicated Swifties in mind. She performed many of her massive hits, like “Blank Space” and “Love Story”, but the setlist was saturated with deep cuts than fans would have never expected. Perhaps the most talked about one is “marjorie”, her touching track from evermore about her late grandmother. I remember looking at my friends and my husband with a look of utter shock. This is one of Taylor’s most heart wrenching songs, and she decided to perform it live. There were six of us in our group, and not one of us had a dry eye. Not even Taylor herself. In the background of “marjorie”, her grandmother’s vocals from when she was an opera singer can be heard. Fans came to realize that Taylor chose to include the track so she could essentially perform with her grandmother. This conclusion only made the performance even more powerful and emotional. Another deep cut that surprised me was the folklore track, “invisible string”. This song packs a lot of meaning for me. When I got married, I walked down the aisle to it, and my husband often plays it for me on his guitar. It is our song, and his favorite track on the album. With this being his first Taylor concert, I was beyond ecstatic that we got to experience this together.
Not only were there songs that were sung on the previous night, Taylor performed two surprise songs with just her and an instrument. The first track she performed was “this is me trying” on the guitar. This was one of the last songs from folklore that I was expected, but also one of my favorite tracks from the album. Then, she turned to the piano to finish out this section by performing a stripped-down version of “State of Grace”. As a Red album stan, this filled my heart with absolute joy. These two songs will be changed out with a different track at every show, making not one concert the same. This is what makes Taylor concerts unique. You can go to as many as you can and not get bored once. She always puts on an incredible performance and there is always something new that you can discover. Getting tickets this time around was difficult, but if you are lucky enough to snag one, you will have the best time. If you do not have tickets yet, do not lose hope. Continue to check SeatGeek and Ticketmaster—prices usually drop a week before the concert. This is definitely a show you will not want to miss!
Eras Tour Setlist— Glendale Night 2
Written By Karlee Skipper