Taylor Swift stood on stage at State Farm Stadium, lights bouncing off her dazzled jersey, absorbing the sound of the approximately 70,000 fans in front of her.
“I don’t know how to process all this and how I’m feeling right now,” she said. “I can’t even get into how much I’ve missed you because there’s no way to put it into words.”
What speed could On Friday night, as she kicked off the Eras tour — her first roadshow since 2018, since the pandemic began, since the release of four separate studio albums (and re-recorded versions of two older LPs) — in words, that’s how it was going . “Tonight we’re going to have an adventure,” she told the audience. “We’re going to explore the last 17 years of music that I’ve had the good fortune to make and you’ve been kind enough to take care of it.”
What, OK, sure – that’s how touring for famous and well-loved pop acts works. And yet this show actually felt like a novel experience, with a whopping 44 songs from all 10 of Swift’s studio albums broken into distinct chapters over three hours and 15 minutes. Each section had its own costumes and color schemes: for example, this sparkly pink leotard (and matching boots) for 2019’s Lover, and a voluminous ball gown for 2010’s fairytale-obsessed Speak Now. For the part of the concert that was “Red.” dedicated to the 2012 breakout hit that launched her to superstardom, Swift, 33, donned a version of her t-shirt from her ’22’ music video, only instead of ‘NOT BUSY UP RIGHT NOW’ This one read, “BIG THINGS UP AT THE MOMENT” – a subtle but meaningful change meant to garner the attention of the many sharp-eyed swifties in the house.
In fact, the Friday production ran like a fan service of the most thorough and elaborate kind. “We’ve got plenty of time for me to sum up how I’m feeling, how much I’ve missed you and how lucky I am to see you,” Swift once told the crowd, doing what she could to repay such strong demand, that Ticketmaster crashed just as tickets for last fall’s 52-date tour went on sale. (Swift is expected to wrap up the tour with a five-night stand at Inglewood’s SoFi Stadium in August.)
But the concert was also a showcase for the breadth and versatility that have made Swift the most successful singer-songwriter of a hip-hop-dominated era. She offered wistful acoustic ballads like “Lover” and “Enchanted,” her voice high and winning; she taunted through sarcastic electro-pop tracks like “Look What You Made Me Do,” “You Need to Calm Down,” and “The Man,” the last a sneaky comment on restrictive gender roles playing out on a set that was like this an office should look like.
Accompanied by a band that included four backing singers, she dove into the intricate bedroom-folk sounds of her two pandemic LPs, Folklore and Evermore, singing “Invisible String” from a replica moss-covered woodland house. Flanked by dancers, she grew tall and shiny for the one-two punch of “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” in I Knew You Were Trouble, then got even taller and shiny for the section of the show devoted to “1989” , their most exuberant release. “Midnights,” which broke a slew of sales and streaming records upon its October release, received one of the longest sequences of the night as Swift stringed together seven of his darkest R&B-esque tracks, including “Lavender Haze,” “Midnight Rain,” . and the Hot 100 topping “Anti-Hero”; on each she blurred the edges of her voice, using them for both structure and narrative.
Her photo album approach inevitably played on the nostalgia of an audience who grew up with Swift. “Ready to go back to high school with me?” she asked before a sweetly strumming rendition of 2008’s “You Belong with Me” “Fearless” – one of the early LPs she recently re-released in a clever campaign, to reclaim the financial rewards of music that has changed hands a few times. She later went further into the story for the lovesick “Tim McGraw,” her debut single as a teenage country phenomenon, here performed at a flower-painted piano. (The piano was on a small side stage at the end of a runway that jutted out onto the stadium floor, where Swift also played an unplugged version of “Mirrorball” in a slot that she said would feature a different song each night Trip.)
At best, however, Friday’s show complicated the emotional draining that comes with performing a great pop song. The climax of the concert came almost halfway through in a passionately determined run through the epic 10-minute version of Swift’s song “All Too Well,” which appeared on her 2021 re-recording of Red. On the album, “All Too Well” carefully sifts through the wreckage of a teenage love affair with the wisdom of a few years back. Yet here on stage, while pounding an acoustic guitar in a glittering, floor-length robe that gave her an almost magical vibe, she turned the song into a sort of treatise on youth itself — on the illusions one indulges in striving for a happiness that never lasts.
Talk about being busy at the moment: She had promised a trip back into her past and instead delivered a dismantling of it.
Source : www.latimes.com