Taylor Swift – The Eras Tour

Show Review By: Lori Smerilson Carson and Lindsay Carson
Photos by Sean McCloskey

The moment we entered the Acrisure Stadium in downtown Pittsburgh, it was clear this would be a concert like no other. Fans were in ruffly dresses and cowboy boots. Sequins and glitter were in abundance, all in support of their favorite era for their favorite artist and her The Eras Tour. Not only were we greeted with light up bracelets that matched the light show, but one friendly fan ran up to my daughter to give her a bracelet that by chance had the title of one her favorite songs written on it. Other fans were also giving Taylor Swift ‘friendship bracelets’ out and trading them with each other. People were so kind and generous, which leant itself to the positive atmosphere where fangirls felt free to be their authentic selves. This energy continued with openers Gracie Abrams and girl in red, gearing up the crowd for Taylor Swift’s three hour and twenty-minute show.

Then, it was nearly time for Taylor Swift to take the stage. The city also must have known this was the moment by the level of cheers, screams and clapping as the audience anxiously waited with abound excitement. We sat in row 13, Taylor’s lucky number, watching the countdown begin (literally, with a giant clock appearing on the jumbotron) and then with a huge explosion of flying pink, purple, and orange fabric, there she was! TAYLOR, the crowd yelled and joined in singing with her as she opened with “MISS AMERICANA & THE HEARTBREAK PRINCE” from her Lover album. She sang a shortened version, but nobody cared as they were jumping and singing with her right into her second song “CRUEL SUMMER”. She paused before the bridge, showing how aware she was of her fan’s adoration of her bridge writing skills by introducing the ‘first bridge of the night’ before she sang it, and her fans screamed along with the heart wrenching lyrics.

After that, she addressed the audience with her signature walk and skip. “Pittsburgh you’re making me feel so incredible!” Then she continued to bring the Lover Era to life with an office set up filled with dancing employees, Swift joking and making muscles as she sang “THE MAN”. She displayed her theatrical talents with amazing facial animation and performance skills. After her next song which was a shortened version of “YOU NEED TO CALM DOWN”, she said to the crowd of around 72,000 fans “delighted to say, Pittsburgh, welcome to The Eras Tour! Pennsylvania is my home state. You guys are the absolute best! I’m so proud to be from here!” As the crowd roared with cheers, the smile on Swift’s face beamed with appreciation. She then praised her opening acts and said she’d be hosting tonight’s event by, “doing one era at a time,” then began to play her song “LOVER”. She strummed along on her pink guitar as two of her performers danced to portray lovers. “THE ARCHER” ended this era and then the set moved to a screen of fire sparks falling with Swift appearing in a glitter sequin fringe one piece with a matching glittery guitar (which her Instagram followers know was decorated by her parents) for a shortened version of “Fearless”. She addressed the crowd with her signature creation of a heart with her hands (which the audience reciprocated) and said, “ready to go back to high school with me?” Then with her backup singers/dancers she walked the length of the extended stage and sang “You Belong With Me” and then ended this era with “Love Story” and an audience jumping, screaming and singing along.

Next there was a scene of a forest with trees growing, referencing her evermore era and Swift changed into an orange and gold flowing dress to sing a shortened version of “tis the damn season”. As the crowd was cheering, she sang with a huge, humbled smile on her face and she spoke with the audience so honest and sincere as if she was having a personal conversation with everyone in the stadium.

In the next scene, she wore a cape to sing “willow” with her back up crew creating an enchanted (reference intended) scene with crystal balls as she danced and performed like an enchantress. Here she displayed her grace and dancing talents. Removing her cape and returning to just her dress, she performed “marjorie” which is a song she wrote for her grandmother who passed away in 2003. Fans showed their support for her by turning on the flashlights on their phones and lighting up the stadium.

Between songs, the entire stadium lit up with changing-colored lights and as Swift walked into the scene of winter woods, she commented on how pretty it looked. She sat at her piano, and before she sang “Champagne Problems”, she revealed the story of the first time she played at the stadium and that it wasn’t her show, it was halftime at a Steelers game. She said, “tonight is even better,” which of course received approval from the crowd. She explained that she put out four albums during the pandemic and her goal was to “make as many albums as musically possible. Red (Taylor’s Version), folklore, evermore, and Midnights.” The entire stadium screamed along to “champagne problems” and again, she humbly smiled and laughed. She said, “I love you so much. Its good to be back in Pittsburgh.” Then she introduced her new keyboard player Karina DePiano who played an extended version which led to “tolerate it”.

Fans went wild once they saw a snake appear on the screen, which meant the reputation era per her album reputation was beginning. A scene of her walking with her shoes clicking enticed the crowd to clap along to instrumentals that led into “…Ready For It?” As the performers danced, there was an incredible light show (which included the crowd’s wristbands), and smoke was released stage side. “Delicate” was next, followed by a short version of “Don’t Blame Me” which she displayed her still powerful belting ability. Then, with robotic dance, a gigantic screen showed her performers dressed in outfits from Swift’s eras, and she sang “Look What You Made Me Do” as she addressed them all.

The Speak Now era was introduced by purple lighting and Swift dressed in a glittery, gold ballgown gown to sing her meet-cute themed song; “Enchanted”. That era was short lived, but that might change after she releases Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) in July.

Fans automatically knew what was coming when a red box appeared on stage. They cheered, welcoming in the Red Era. Bracelets once again lit up to match the lights, and dressed in the same outfit she wore in the music video circa 2013, Swift sang “22” and “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” as the audience enthusiastically sang along. A drum intro led into “I Knew You Were Trouble” which she again displayed her theatrical facial abilities. The crowd went nuts when she played her ten-minute version of “All Too Well”, screaming every single lyric as she sang them. She was wearing a red dress and showing how much emotion went into writing this song by displaying it with her facial expressions and hand motions.

Swift entered her folklore era with a spoken word version of “seven” and her dancers performed an interpretive dance. When the poem mentioned Pennsylvania, the crowd went wild. Then she played “the 1” wearing a green dress with cape, lying on green grass on top of the folklore cabin built on the stage. She explained that she “started writing two days into the pandemic as a method of escapism” and that the album is “really story driven.” She then mentioned the infamous “teenage love triangle” before she sang “betty”. Taylor brought up the protagonist of the song ‘James’, then sang about the rumor starting ‘Inez’ in the story. As many fans know, those are the names of two of the kids of her good friends; Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively. The song “the last great american dynasty” was acted out by a male and female dancer while she sang and danced again in animated style. “august” showed the audience once more the strength and range of Swift’s amazing voice, and after a shortened version of “Illicit affairs” and then the song “my tears ricochet”, she sang emotionally walking to the outer stage and dropped to the floor with her backup singers revealing the emotion of the song. She ended this era with “cardigan” which the crowd, many of whom were wearing cardigans, was very pleased with.

The 1989 era began with a shortened version of “Style” which then led into the song “Blank Space” where Swift swung around a light-up golf club as she sang the chorus. With the audience still somehow having working vocal cords allowing them to sing along, Swift went into “Shake It Off” displaying more of her belting ability, before she skipped, walked back up to the main stage to perform a shortened version of “Wildest Dreams”. She ended this era with “Bad Blood”.

She swiftly (pun intended) changed, appearing in a yellow dress. She walked to the end of the extended stage to perform the Surprise Songs social media goes crazy over. She told the audience about her journey to owning her own work which they strongly supported with cheers and clapping. The crowd continued to explode with joy when she played the live debut of “Mr. Perfectly Fine”. Then, sitting at her flower painted piano, she gave “The Last Time” it’s tour debut; playing it for the first time since 2013. Then she dove into an opening in the water decorated stage floor and climbed into a cloud to begin her most recent era – Midnights.


She started with the first track on the album; “Lavender Haze”. She was wearing a pink fur jacket, sequin silver dress with black sequin boots. “Anti-Hero” had a screen of her in her music video outfit behind it while she and her back up dancers performed, which then rolled into “Midnight Rain” where she changed into a black bodysuit. “Vigilante Shit” was a spectacular chair and dance performance, reminiscent of the one done in “Cell Block Tango” from the show Chicago. Everyone put up their shimmering hands as she sang “Bejeweled”, then they screamed about being Machiavellian as she sang “Mastermind”. The grand finale began with Swift returning to her pink jacket, ending the song with a bang, and reminding everyone why she has such a big stadium tour as she sang “Karma.” She gave the song an extended outro where she and her back up performers took graceful bows and she asked the audience to give them a hand as they were also from Pennsylvania.

As we watched the fireworks go up in the air and confetti fall to the ground, we waved Swift and company goodbye, and left with a feeling of true amazement. To say this show was phenomenal just touches the surface. It was a true display of talent, commitment and sincere authentic performance which sparked wonderful memories to last a lifetime. Or at least until Taylor Swift’s next concert tour!

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