Words and Photos by Jose Serrato
Taylor Swift – The Eras Tour
On Friday night Jerryworld was turned into Swiftyworld as Taylor Swift performed her first of three sold out nights at the stadium. The city of Arlington even temporally renamed Randal Mill Road to Taylor Swift Way and declared the weekend as Taylor Swift Weekend. The most anticipated tour of the year was finally here and DFW, and beyond likely, were ready for it. A merch station was set up outside of AT&T Stadium on Thursday morning that had hundreds of Swifties line up to grab their tour gear a day early. If that wasn’t an indication of what was to come the next three days, then I don’t know what is. As expected, Arlington traffic was insane hours before the start of the show. As I walked in, you can feel the excitement from the thousands of fans pouring in and I knew this would be a special night.
Days leading up to the concert, I started listening to Swift’s massive catalog. From her self-titled album from 2006, to 2017’s ‘Reputation’ and up to her recent release ‘Midnights.’ We all know some of her most popular songs, but I didn’t know everything I wanted to know before seeing her live. A deep dive into her music and I started to understand how she became the biggest artist of our time. Maybe even ever, right? But it wasn’t until I was sitting on the floor of Cowboys Stadium, surrounded by thousands of fans, that I really understood. For three full hours and 40+ songs, fans around me were singing every single lyric from every single song. That is not an exaggeration at all and I’m using the word literally for it’s true meaning. Literally singing every single word. I honestly can’t say that I can do that with some of my favorite bands.
The crowd was massive and they were LOUD! As soon as the giant screen behind the stage changed to a countdown, the roar of the crowd was unbelievable. The decibels from the screams tripled when Swift emerged on the center stage and a memorable night began. You can look up the hundreds of cell phone videos on YouTube of the show, but it is not even close to sitting in that stadium. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a production this massive for any artist. The three huge video screens behind the stage were impressive to say the least. Crystal clear, sharp and so much depth that it made the projected images look like they were actually there. I was fooled a couple times I’ll admit. The sound was the clearest I’ve ever heard in AT&T Stadium. Both the end stage and center stage had high platforms that would rise to form multiple levels. Architectural Digest called this production as the “most ambitious sets ever.”
The show consisted of 10 acts that spanned the different eras of her career. Think broadway. From ‘Lover’ in Act I to ‘Folklore’ in Act VII and ending with the ‘Midnights’ era in Act X. Each act consisting of a different stage setup and, of course, different outfits. My favorite look would probably be for the ‘Folklore’ era which had her in an A-frame cabin wearing a gown. Mixing performances with her full band and solo guitar or piano songs, TSwift covered every style of music that has made her one of the most successful music artists of all time with over 250 million albums sold. Fans of all ages were not disappointed. Even the dad sitting next to me who took his teenage daughter was getting into the show by singing along to songs I’m sure he’s heard over and over in the car or blasting from her bedroom.
I really wasn’t sure what to expect going to a Taylor Swift concert. How will she sound live? How will the thousands of Swifties act? How can a solo artist hold a sold out stadium in the palm of her hand? It didn’t take long to have all these questions answered. She sounds amazing live. Her voice was nearly flawless and she was funny while talking to the crowd. Swifties came to have a good time with their favorite artist. Fans singing out loud with people sitting behind them and becoming best friends for the night. At times I can get annoyed when I hear the person next to me sing louder than the band on stage, but I didn’t feel that way this time. Singing at the top of their lungs with so much joy in their eyes was a great thing to witness. The scale of this production with so many set changes kept you attention the entire time. Look away for a second and you’ll miss the transition into the next act.
Am I a Swifty now? I don’t know. Maybe? What I do know is I have so much more respect for Taylor Swift. For her songwriting, her live performance and for the genuine love she has for her millions of fans. Well done, TayTay, well done!