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Politics and Pop Culture: Taylor Swift is back on the road and more enchanting than ever

Taylor Swift kicked off her long-awaited The Eras Tour on St. Patrick's Day in Glendale, Arizona – or should I say, Swift City. 70,000 fans gathered at State Farm Stadium for the show, surpassing the 60,000 who were in the crowd during the opening night of her 2018 Reputation Stadium Tour, the highest-grossing tour in U.S. history. The Eras Tour is expected to break that record. To say there has been great anticipation of The Eras Tour would be an understatement. 

On opening night, Swift performed a three-hour setlist that spanned the entirety of her discography. During those three hours, she played an astonishing 44 songs and had over 15 costume changes.

I was pleasantly surprised to see Swift open with her "Lover" era. The 2019 album was released just months before the COVID-19 pandemic, so with the shutdown of the country came the cancellation of the planned "Lover Fest," a worldwide tour set to begin on April 5, 2020. Starting The Eras Tour in this way gave Swift and her fans a sense of closure (pun intended) and was the perfect way to end the "Lover" chapter. 

Since her last tour, Swift has released four new albums, two of them being "folklore" and "evermore." I was curious how many songs from these sister albums she would perform. Fortunately, she sang various songs from each album, including one of my favorites, "marjorie." Swift wore beautiful flowing gowns during these sets while a forest appeared on the screens behind her. I was a bit sad that "the lakes" didn't make it onto the setlist, but my disappointment vanished when Swift segued from "august" into the gut-wrenching "illicit affairs" bridge. 

I must say, Swift's transition from the "evermore" track "tolerate it" into the iconic "... Ready For It?" was unexpected. Fans didn't even have the chance to dry their tears before they were bombarded with hissing snakes, flashing lights and thumping base that can only mean the beginning of the "reputation" era, during which she played one of her biggest hits, "Look What You Made Me Do." Although, I would have preferred "Call It What You Want" or "King Of My Heart."

The crowd roared when Swift entered her "Red" era dressed in an outfit reminiscent of the famous outfit from her "22" music video, a black bowler hat and a white t-shirt adorned with the phrase, "A lot going on at the moment." I was extremely shocked that she didn't perform "I Bet You Think About Me," but rather her radio hits like "I Knew You Were Trouble." But I was ecstatic to find out that she performed the 10-minute version of "All Too Well."

Swift outdid herself when she entered her "Speak Now" era wearing a sequined ball gown. Sadly, she only performed "Enchanted" from her beloved third studio album. Nonetheless, she made up for it with the fairytale-like aura and purple stage lights, which are the very essence of "Speak Now." 

Swift revealed that she would be performing two surprise songs at every show, with the goal of never repeating a song. One surprise song on opening night was a piano rendition of Swift's debut single, "Tim McGraw." The second one was the "folklore" track "mirrorball." Since opening night, there have been more shows, during which Swift surprised fans with acoustic versions of "State of Grace," "this is me trying," "Our Song," "Snow on the Beach," "White Horse" and to my own dismay, "cowboy like me." These performances are bittersweet to me because it means Swift will not be performing them at future shows. 

To close out "The Eras Tour," of course, is the "Midnights" era. Swift performed seven "Midnights" tracks, ending the concert with "Karma" while dressed in a beautiful sparkly fur coat and bodysuit. Looking happy as ever, Swift circled the stage one last time before bidding farewell to the 70,000 people in the crowd. The Eras Tour is a huge success in my books. One thing is for sure: no matter how much time passes, Swift can still make the whole place shimmer.

Brianna Tassiello is a sophomore studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the opinions expressed in this article do not represent those of The Post. Want to talk to Brianna? Email her at

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