The Eras Tour: Chronicle to Taylor Swift’s Brilliance


Natalie Burdine, Reporter

Lines of Taylor Swift’s hit song, “Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince,” from her album, Lover, fuse with echoes of infamous quotes and song lyrics from the last decade, all culminating in this moment. Performers bearing giant, flowing fabric structures glide across the stage. Excited fans roar while others sprint to their seats. Swift, adorned in a custom-made “Bejeweled” bodysuit appears on stage on the beat drop. “It’s been a long time coming.” 

Taylor Swift took Houston by storm this April where she was the first musician in history to perform three consecutive shows at NRG Stadium or as it was known that weekend “NRG Stadium (Taylor’s Version)”, a clever play on the titles to Swift’s re-recorded albums. 

First announcing the tour in November, Swift described her vision for each show as “a journey through the musical eras of [her] career.” Since the Ticketmaster scandal that followed its release, fans around the country, myself included, anxiously awaited Swift’s arrival. On Friday, April 21, I was lucky to walk into stadium alongside 62,000 beaming fans and make my way to section 747 for the show. 

The show commenced with her 2019 album Lover in which she played some of her biggest hits and established the motif of a many-roomed multicolor house, a symbol from her “Lover” music video. From here, Taylor went back to her country roots and entered the yellow room which to “Swifties” is known as her Fearless era. Throughout the concert, Swift executed flawless and thoughtful transitions and almost instantaneous costume changes, creating a clean blend of all of her albums, both new and old. 

Perhaps the most emotional moment of the night was when she performed the 10-minute version of “All Too Well,” a fan-favorite track from her 2012 album Red that she expanded and re-released in 2021 under her own ownership, titled Red (Taylor’s Version). The song, which chronicles a past relationship in vivid detail, left many fans in tears and served as a poignant reminder of Swift’s incredible songwriting ability. 

From the stunning visuals to Swift’s pitch-perfect vocals and emotional renditions of all her past singles from “Enchanted” from her 2010 album Speak Now, to hits from her most recent album Midnights. “The Eras Tour” was a masterclass in performance. But what truly set it apart was the sense of community that Swift fostered throughout the night. 

One particularly touching aspect of the concert was Swift’s acknowledgment of Houston’s significance to her and her family. As Swift shared with the audience, Houston is her mother’s hometown and where her parents got married. This added a layer of emotional depth to the concert, making it clear that it was a special night for her, as well as, everyone attending.

This sense of community was not limited to the concert venue, but it extended to the digital realm as well. In the months leading up to the tour, fans from all backgrounds took to social media to share outfit details and travel plans, creating a sense of camaraderie and excitement leading up to the big event. Fans of all different ages prepared for the concert by dressing in one of Taylor’s 10 iconic “Eras” and many attending made friendship bracelets to trade with other fans.

The technical aspects of the concert itself were also noteworthy, with every guest receiving a light-up bracelet that synched with the show to create elaborate lighting designs which in the words of Swift also allowed her to see every attendee from the state. The concert also stood out for its stunning visuals, with intricate choreography and vibrant costumes that perfectly complemented each era’s distinct vibe. 

Fans ensured that Swift, herself, felt their love with heartfelt gestures like a three minute applause after her performance of “Champagne Problems” from her 2020 album, Evermore. Other moments of intimate connection between the audience and Swift were carefully built in throughout the night, specifically the highly anticipated acoustic section where Swift plays two unique songs for the night that will not be repeated for the rest of the tour. 

Before performing these two songs, Swift doted the center section where I happened to stand as “the party zone” revealing her unceasing ability to guarantee that everybody, even folks like me up in the nosebleeds, felt seen and was having a good time. For this particular concert day, Taylor performed “Wonderland” from her Grammy award-winning album 1989 and “You’re Not Sorry” from Fearless, once again matching songs from different parts of her life to create one distinct experience. 

This was the first time that Swift has performed live since she began reclaiming ownership of her music and started re-recording her past albums. As a fan lucky enough to attend one of the shows, I can attest to the dazzling nature of Taylor’s new-found confidence as she shared her creative vision and expertise with the masses: something she has continuously done for the last decade, but now fully has autonomy over. 

Overall, Taylor Swift’s Houston series was a testament to her artistry and her ability to create a sense of community and connection through music, one that she graciously thanked her fanbase for allowing her to construct. Swift’s ability to seamlessly transition between each era and share personal anecdotes from each chapter of her life made for a truly immersive and captivating experience. It was a night that will undoubtedly go down in history, and one that fans will cherish for years to come.