My Personal Experience With Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour

It’s been a long time coming. Taylor Swift has once again taken the stage by storm with her record breaking ‘The Eras Tour.’ I was lucky enough to attend the show not once but two times. Join me as I take you through the best night(s) of my life.


Moreen Massillon

Seeing Taylor Swift with my best friends was the best night of my life.

Drop everything now.

After five long years, Taylor Alison Swift has returned to the stage.

Taylor Swift is one of the most well known names in pop culture to date. Since her self-titled debut album in 2006, Swift has taken the music industry by storm. With 10 original albums spanning across several genres, she is renowned for her songwriting and cultural influence of the music industry as a whole. Swift is notable for her widespread popularity, and her domination of music charts. 

The singer-songwriter currently stands as the most streamed female artist on Spotify and one of the best-selling musicians, in addition to being named in Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 greatest songwriters of all time. Swift has received many awards throughout her career, earning twelve Grammys, three of which tie her for the record number of most Album of the Year awards.

One noteworthy quality of Swift’s work is her ever-changing style. As you listen from album to album, you can see Swift constantly evolving in all aspects, from the type of music she writes, the sound of her voice, and the clothing that she wears. Each album tells a different story and represents different times throughout her life. Fans have separated these different periods of her music and life into different ‘eras,’ correlating with the type of music she was releasing at the time. 

Taylor Swift takes the stage for her Reputation set in a Roberto Cavalli catsuit, reminiscent of the bodysuits she wore throughout her original tour. (Photo Credit: Ronald Woan from Redmond, WA, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)

Swift last took the stage during her 2018 Reputation Stadium Tour in support of her sixth studio album Reputation. With 53 shows from Glendale, Arizona to Tokyo, the world tour quickly broke records, becoming the third highest-grossing female artist’s concert tour of all time and the highest-grossing tour ever in the United States and North America. Ticketing site Stubhub claimed that it was the best selling female artist’s tour they had seen in the United Kingdom. The tour was immortalized on Netflix later that year with a concert film, documenting the final show of the U.S. leg of the tour. 

Two years later, Swift announced a world tour commemorating her seventh studio album, Lover, but the show was ultimately canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. In lieu of performing, Swift spent her time in quarantine writing and releasing two brand new albums, Folklore and Evermore, within five months of each other. Folklore went on to bring Swift her third Album of the Year award at the 2021 Grammys. In the next two years, not only did Swift release re-recordings of her albums Fearless and Red, both featuring several unreleased tracks, but she also released an entirely new album titled Midnights, which broke a slew of records. 

All together, Swift has released six separate albums, four of which were completely original, since her last tour. Due to the popularity she has amassed over the past four years, on top of her previously massive fanbase, high demand was anticipated for the next time she went on stage. 

All expectations were exceeded when Swift announced her 2023 Eras Tour. Her ever growing acclaim paired with the success of her previous tour enabled many to predict that the Eras Tour would stand to break numerous records. Taylor Swift first told fans of the upcoming show on Good Morning America, on November 1st 2023. Swift described the tour as a “journey through the musical eras of my career (both past and present).” The original tour schedule consisted of 27 shows across the United States, and a promise of international dates soon to come. Only three days later, Swift expanded the tour by eight more dates, and by the following week added 17 more, bringing the U.S leg of the Eras Tour to a total of 52 shows, equivalent to the number of shows for her entire world-wide Reputation Stadium Tour.

Unfortunately, the eventual sale of tickets proved to be a colossal failure. When the tour was originally announced, Ticketmaster allowed for people to sign up to be a ‘verified fan,’ giving them a chance to earn a code for the tour’s presale. According to Ticketmaster, about 1.5 million codes were sent out, and of the lucky recipients, those who had ordered from Swift’s website would receive a supposed ‘boost’ in the queue. When the day of the first sale came, an alleged 14 million people entered the site, causing the website to crash and many fans to be kicked out of waiting rooms. By the end of the day, most fans found themselves without tickets and prices of those still available skyrocketed into the thousands. Fans nicknamed the debacle as ‘The Great War,’ in reference to one of Swift’s songs. By the end of the week, the general sale was canceled as Ticketmaster and Swift scrambled to clean up the mess. 

The fiasco sparked mass controversy surrounding Ticketmaster. Public criticism of the corporation grew tremendously as consumers started attacking Ticketmaster’s outrageous fees and their power in the ticketing market. The outrage led several state attorney generals and the United States Department of Justice to begin investigations into the company. Many are calling for the revert of Ticketmasters 2010 merger with Live Nation, which enabled the corporation to become a monopoly amongst the ticket market.

Unlike many others, I was lucky enough to score multiple tickets to Swift’s East Rutherford shows. Both my mother, uncle and I received presale codes for the original sale in November 2022. The three of us spent all day in queue, and while my uncle and I were both kicked out several times, my mom was able to claim us tickets. By the end of the ‘Great War,’ I was a lucky possessor of four upper bowl tickets to see Taylor Swift at Metlife Stadium on May 27th, 2023. Although my tickets were only a side view, I was blessed to get them at a semi-reasonable price and face little conflict doing so. At the same time, at around $135 each with fees, the tickets were almost over double what they were originally valued; yet, compared to how much most tickets went on to cost, mine were relatively cheap. 

Since the general sale was canceled, there were many tickets left unclaimed, so over the next few months Ticketmaster sent out opportunities to request a purchase to verified fans. If you received one of these e-mails you were able to give Ticketmaster a price range and they would try to find two tickets for you within that range that you were then obligated to buy. 

A little over three months after the presale my personal Ticketmaster account was sent one of these elusive e-mails. This allowed me to claim two lower bowl tickets at face value for around $250 with fees. Unfortunately these tickets were for the same date that I had originally planned on attending. Luckily for me, fellow Bronx Science student Ava Conner ’24 had similar tickets for the 28th and was open for trade. That is how I ended up attending the Era’s Tour two days in a row, first with three of my closest friends and once again with my mother. 


During the crowded train ride to Metlife, I spent my time working on making friendship bracelets to trade at the show. (Sophia Markens)

Despite my stress, getting to the show was nowhere near as hectic as I thought it would be. Both nights I took the subway to Penn Station where I boarded a train to Secaucus and got on another train to Meadowlands that lets you out right next to MetLife stadium. Although the New Jersey Transit trains were decently crowded and you were not guaranteed a seat, it was an easy ride being only one stop on each train. At Secaucus, the station was prepared with workers that helped direct everyone to the right trains. As long as you followed the sea of glitter, you were sure to be on the right path.   

Once I stepped foot off the train, it was easy to find the nearest gate by following the hoard of other concert goers. Once I found my way through the crowd, I was able to sort myself into one of the lines through security. On Saturday night, I arrived right around when the gates opened so my friends and I had to wait in line for a while, but the next night when I arrived about half an hour later, we only stood in line for a short period of time. There were workers spread throughout wherever you went, so it was easy to get instructions, if needed. 

The first step of getting into the stadium was security. They had the typical metal detector setup with a table to check everyone’s bag. They were pretty thorough in checking that no open bottles of water were taken inside. After this you simply scanned your tickets, and then received your complimentary light up wristband on your way to enter the stadium.

Getting through the stadium was utter chaos. It was fairly easy to get up to the third floor by escalator, but both nights getting to my seat was a complete hassle. The stadium was crowded with food and merch lines, along with others trying to find their seats. At certain points, I was unable to move as there were so many people. This might have been one of the most stressful parts of the night, as everyone was packed together, constantly bumping into each other. 

The halls of Metlife stadium were filled to the brim as people attempted to find their seats. (Sophia Markens)

There were several merchandise trucks outside the stadium, along with the flagship store that was setup as a merchandise site and was available for early sale as of the Thursday before her Friday concert. Unfortunately, all of these lines were incredibly long and took about an hour to get through. Luckily, my mother and I noticed the line speeding up, and she was able to get into the flagship store in about 15 minutes. By the time she got through, the store was out of stock for most items, but my mother was lucky enough to find the last medium of an item they claimed to have ran out of. Unfortunately this caused us to miss parts of the opening acts. Although I’m glad I was able to get the sweatshirt I wanted, I can’t say with confidence that it was worth missing out on this part of the show. 

The merch lines inside weren’t much better, and even if the lines were slightly shorter, they had a smaller supply, and were more likely to sell out. On all three tiers of the stadium, the merch stands had lines that went on too far to know how long they went. Once again, my luck came through when I bumped into a friend who helped me skip an hour long line, by letting me join her. This allowed me to secure merchandise for me and my friends also attending that night, Jaiden Hirsch ’24 and Daniella Ginberg ’24, even though once again most items and sizes were already sold out. 

The fastest way to get merch was my friends’ strategy the first night I went, which was to go while Taylor Swift performed. This took only about 15 minutes, but required them missing an entire era each. Personally, I could never give up any part of the show, but they both were able to get what they needed and later buy some of Phoebe Bridgers’ merch with no wait on the way out of the stadium.

One of the many amazing aspects of this tour, which Swift proudly bragged about during the show, is that this tour has an incredible lineup of openers. Throughout the U.S. leg there are nine different openers for the tour, two performing at each performance. This line up includes bands Paramore, MUNA, and Haim, along with artists Gracie Abrams, Phoebe Bridgers, OWENN, girl in red, GAYLE and beabadoobee. 

Here is the view from the upper bowl as Gracie Abrams performed. (Sophia Markens)

The first opener on May 27th, 2023 was Gracie Abrams. Abrams is a singer songwriter whose debut album ‘Good Riddance’ came out earlier this year and who is also known for her EPs ‘minor’ and ‘This is What it Feels Like.’ Abrams began the show with four of her most popular songs, bringing life and excitement onto the stage. Abrams has been adamant about her love for Taylor Swift in the past and has become popular amongst the Swiftie population. One of the best parts about her set was during her song ‘21’ when she pointed the mic towards the crowd for us all to scream ‘sorry’ along with the song, a tradition she has done throughout her own tours. Abrams can only be described as radiant, exactly what you would imagine when thinking of a sweetheart. It was truly inspiring to see the young artist shine in a stadium full of fans. 

The first opener for the 28th was Owenn. Sadly, I was still getting food and merch when he went on stage and missed it, but it is something I immensely regret, especially since this was Owenn’s first night on the Eras Tour. Owenn is not new to working with Taylor as he was a backup for Swift during her Reputation tour and starred beside her for her ‘Lover’ music video. Owenn has worked with a long list of stars including Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Lil Nas X, Alicia Keys, Demi Lovato and Megan Thee Stallion as a dancer and choreographer before starting his own music career in 2021.

For the second opener, I was blessed to not only see THE Phoebe Bridgers twice, but also witness her last show on the Eras Tour and for her album Punisher. I cannot describe the excitement that filled my body as she entered the stage. Bridgers was one of the most favored openers for the tour, as the two fanbases regularly mix. In 2021, the release of Swift’s rerecording Red (Taylors Version), included a brand new song “From the Vault,’ featuring Bridgers, making her the first female artist to have a full verse while featured on one of Swift’s songs.  

Bridgers opened her set both nights with one of my personal favorites, ‘Motion Sickness,’ and immediately drew in the crowd. She radiates talent and has such a warm energy to her. The second she took the stage, I was immediately taken into a trance; even going back to watch videos of her performance later gave me a euphoric feeling. I struggle to find words to adequately describe Phoebe Bridgers; she is truly a wonderful artist. She was able to sing the most heartbreaking lines while still bringing joy through her beautiful melodies and immense talent. She so easily connected herself with the crowd, always speaking out to the dads in the audience before performing the catchy yet deep song relating to her relationship with her now deceased father, Kyoto. Her final song of her set, ‘I Know the End’ ensured that the audience loses their voices before Swift even goes on, as Bridgers encouraged the entire audience to let out a therapeutic scream towards the end of the song. 

Finally, as Jewish and lesbian icon Leslie Gore’s ‘You Don’t Own Me’ fills the stadium, a timer displayed on the large screen begins to count down and build up the anticipation of Taylor Swift’s entrance. Then, as the countdown ended and the crowd grew louder, the back wall of the stage began to open up, letting out several backup dancers who were carrying some flowing tapestries, waving them up and down. The speakers began to blast the iconic “Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince,” repeating the lyric “it’s been a long time coming,” the perfect opening for the show we’ve been waiting for five years. Throughout this you could hear clips of Swift’s different album titles playing, setting up the scene for the trip throughout her career that was about to begin. Eventually, as the dancers reached the middle of the stage, they all put their pastel tapestry together, opening up to reveal Swift who had risen from underneath the stage, reminding me of the Birth of Venus

After finishing up Miss Americana, Swift led into “Cruel Summer,” preparing her fans to sing the chorus with her. Fans have often expressed that the song should have been released as a single, and have never been shy of their love for the song, especially the bridge. Swift knew exactly how to hype up the crowd, showing how she really knows her fans.  

Taylor sings to the audience in one of her four custom Alberta Ferretti designed for her folklore set (Photo Credit: Ronald Woan from Redmond, WA, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)

For the next three-plus hours, Swift took us on a journey throughout her career. The event was truly magical with her elaborate sets and 16 costume changes, featuring outfits from designers such as Versace and Oscar de la Renta. Each piece perfectly embodied the eras they represent and are truly astounding to look at. Along with her costumes and physical sets, the stadium also featured beautiful visuals on the screens and colorful lights, some of which came from the fans’ wristbands that were handed out as we entered. Depending on how high up in the stadium you are, you could also see visuals on the extended stage floor itself, such as a massive guitar during Fearless or the appearance of glass shattering during Delicate. The physical stage itself added to the show, moving up and down, lifting Swift throughout the show. Swift’s performance had a wonderful mix of intricately choreographed songs, to her just roaming the stage, singing directly to the fans before her. Every moment of the show was a well thought out delivery. 

The entire show was mesmerizing and well put together, guaranteed to entertain even those who aren’t huge Swifties. The concert could be described as one huge dance party. You don’t need a great view of Taylor or the stage in order to enjoy the experience, all you need is the people around you. The Eras Tour is a show where the fans are encouraged to sing along with every line and have fun with those around you. It was empowering to yell along with 74,000 strangers, all of us connected by the show. Part of the experience depends who you are there with. Although I think it would be amazing no matter what, having my three best friends with me the first night helped make it one of the best days of my life. There is nothing like sharing something like this with the people you love most.

Even though you know this is her career and she’s put on this show dozens of times, there was just something about the way she presents herself that just felt so genuine. Her general attitude and expressions when on the stage makes you feel like she can hear every clap and cheer, and despite all her fame and success, all her fans matter to her. 

During the song ‘Marjorie,’ fans shine their flashlights in tribute to Swift’s grandmother. (Sophia Markens)

Although I could give a thorough review of every second of the concert, I will only deliver a few highlights. The most heart-wrenching part of the show was Taylor’s performance of Marjorie. For those who don’t know, the Evermore song is dedicated to her late grandmother. One of the most beautiful aspects of the song is that they were able to include a clip of her grandmother’s opera singing, allowing her to sing alongside her granddaughter in sold out stadiums. Fans have taken to lighting up the stadium with flashlights in tribute to Marjorie. This song easily brings tears to the eyes as it elicits so many different emotions. Directly after this, Swift performs Champagne Problems, which fans then fight to give it record breaking applause. I am honored to have been part of the longest standing ovation after the song, at almost four while minutes. As much as I don’t want to only focus on the Evermore section of the night, I must praise the performance of Tolerate It. This was easily my favorite display of the show, as Swift simply knelt on a long dining table singing directly into the heart of one of her backup dancers. A more joyous part of the night was during the Red era, where Taylor chooses a new fan every night to give her hat too during 22. One lovely moment that was unique to my specific concert was when Swift brought out Phoebe Bridgers to sing their duet Nothing New for the final time as it was Bridgers’ last night on the tour. 

Confetti filled the stadium as Swift and special guest Ice Spice performed the final song of the night, ‘Karma.’ (Sophia Markens)

One of the most talked about moments of the Eras Tour is Swift’s surprise songs. At every show, Swift plays two different songs every night acoustically, one on guitar and one on piano. Fans from all over will tune in from live streams to see what songs are played. My first night I was graced with the songs Holy Ground and False God from her Red and Lover albums respectively. The following night Swift ironically sang Welcome to New York on her final night at Metlife, and then went on to sing her first repeat surprise song, Clean, both from 1989. This set is just full of anticipation and excitement and really makes every individual show unique. For the final surprise of the night, Swift brought out young rapper Ice Spice to sing their remix of Karma as the final song of the show. 

In terms of how my two different nights differed, I can honestly say that where I sat barely mattered. On the first night, I was at the front of the highest tier of the stadium and sat partially behind the stage. This meant that I mainly had to follow Taylor Swift through the screens around the stadium, and at times, she was completely obstructed from me. The biggest downside of being behind the stage was missing the beautiful visuals on the main screen. Other than that, I think my seating played a small role in my experience. On my second night there, I was lucky to have third row tickets in the lower bowl, right around where the stage jutted out, meaning that I was only 50 feet away from Taylor Swift at times. It was obviously slightly more thrilling being able to actually see her and be so close. I think the biggest perk of being so close to the stage was that I was able to collect some of the confetti released during the end of the show and during Taylor’s performance of All Too Well (10 minute version).   

On my second night, it felt as though I was right next to the stage. (Susan Markens)

I believe that this show was perfectly crafted. With that said, one part in which I was disappointed was the Speak Now era of the show. For this, Swift only performed one song, Enchanted, off her third album. This may just be because it is one of my favorite albums, but I feel like there are so many songs off her only self-written album that would be perfect for the stage. It is also hard not to want more from the Reputation section of the night. While her act for this album was impeccable, it is hard not to want every song to be performed as Reputation was made to be played on stage. She also fails to sing any songs of her debut album, Taylor Swift, which feels dishonest to the idea of a tour exploring her entire career. That my only complaint about the three plus hour concert was that I wanted even more, speaks to how spectacular Swift’s Eras Tour truly is.

It was empowering to yell along with 74,000 strangers, all of us connected by the show.