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Taylor Swift by Karli.jpg



a concert review 

WORDS by  Karli Bennett

Taylor performed “All Too Well” on Friday, May 5th in Music City. This highly sought after show broke the attendance record in Nissan Stadium by surpassing 70,000 attendees. In addition to the show goers inside the stadium, Nashville’s support for Taylor overflowed to crowds that gathered outside filling the parking lots and the Cumberland River Pedestrian Bridge to catch a glimpse of the show.

Outside of Taylor’s performance, fans have come together to establish numerous traditions that have followed the Eras Tour from one city to the next. As the fans eagerly count down to the start of the show, you can find audience members trading handmade friendship bracelets among one another. You may even find that many come prepared with hundreds of handmade bracelets that boast creative “Swifty'' taglines to trade and give away. Along with the typical traditions established, the Nashville fans also had a few tricks of their own. When Taylor played “Marjorie” from the Evermore album, fans held up photos of Swift's maternal grandmother, Marjorie, whom the song was inspired by. Taylor was overcome with emotion in response to this act of kindness and shared her gratitude at the close of the song.

Taylor is known for being rather cryptic by planting “easter eggs” that tie in the past and hint to the future of her career. It was no surprise to hear Taylor confide in the audience that despite her lack of physical sleeves, she still managed to have a few tricks up her metaphorical ones. A key part of each Eras Tour show thus far has been the incorporation of two surprise songs that are performed just before Taylor dives into her last ‘era,’ Midnights. With the numerous songs Taylor has under her belt, she has aimed to never repeat a surprise song. Each show has their own, unique capstone memory of these special songs to share with one another. Undoubtedly, fans have their own “wishlist” of song predictions and work with other attendees to predict which songs they believe Taylor will choose for each show. (With the help of Taylor’s easter eggs and personal connection to each city, of course).

"It was no surprise to hear Taylor confide in the audience that despite her lack of physical sleeves, she still managed to have a few tricks up her metaphorical ones."

As a “hometown” show, Nashville was fortunate enough to have three nights with Taylor. As most good things come in threes, Taylor surprised Nashville night one with not two, but three surprise songs. The first of which was truly a surprise when Taylor altered her normal setlist (which you can find below) midway through the show to play her song titled “Nothing New” from the Red album. This surprise song was a little different than those performed previously. Taylor brought out a special guest to perform with her, opener Phoebe Bridgers. As for the two surprise songs promised, Taylor first surprised the audience with “Sparks Fly” from Speak Now. This song was extraordinarily special because Swift accompanied it with the announcement that she has finished re-recording the album and is releasing it on July 7th. This announcement comes as fans have been impatiently awaiting the rerelease of the album. With the release, the stadium lit up in purple hues and Nashville itself was illuminated in violet. Fans watching from the upper levels and Pedestrian Bridge were in awe to find that the Pedestrian Bridge connecting Nissan Stadium to Broadway lit up in purple as Taylor made her big announcement. The second surprise song performed was “Teardrops on my Guitar” from Swift's debut album. Taylor attributed this song to commemorate her time growing up in Nashville.

Each song from Taylor’s Eras were performed to perfection, all the while unveiling a new layer to the songs we hear on the radio. Many performances were accompanied by dancers, actors, props, and in some cases full dynamic sets. This extensive stage presence would make one nearly overlook the full band that is tucked far into each corner of the stage. The sheer attention to detail portrayed throughout the entirety of the show was unmatched by any current touring act. From the screens around the stadium to the microphone in her hand, everything was specific to the era in time or even the particular song. Each moving part, including the stage itself, was seamless. Taylor seemed at home on the stage and commanded a crowd of 70,000 fans with ease. Although the intricate sets and backup choreography enthralled the crowd, it was clear that Taylor put on a show that became a core memory for thousands even all alone.

"Nashville was illuminated in violet."

Taylor shared that she concocted the idea of an “eras” tour after spending her years of pandemic isolation writing as much as possible to feel connected to her fans. When the world slowly morphed back to normal and live music was back on the table, Taylor was faced with determining how her live performances would catch up with the albums since her last Reputation tour. The eras tour was born. The concept of an “eras'' tour is sure to catch on with other artists who have the portfolio to support it. The immense success and constant online chatter that has followed the ongoing Taylor Swift Eras Tour evidences the overwhelming fan support for artist, rather than album, specific concert tours. The “eras” structure provides fans the opportunity to experience the music that they have either loved since their childhood or recently discovered in the past few years of isolation. Artists such as the Jonas Brothers have already started to hop on the “eras tour” trend by announcing their “Five albums. One night” tour. I anticipate that many others will soon follow suit. 

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