HOLLYWOOD—Is it front page news? Taylor Swift and Matty Healy are rumored to be dating, but neither of them have confirmed it. Just last week their were reports linking Taylor to F1 racer Fernando Alonso. Why are people obsessed with who she is dating or isn’t dating? While Taylor’s songs are incredibly personal and she’s seen a lot of us through heartbreaks, new relationships, situation-ships and crushes.
Taylor’s famous for leaving Easter eggs and hidden messages about her life in her songs and fans spend hours deciphering them. Regardless business comes first. It’s been five years since Taylor Swift last went on tour, during which time she’s released four albums, including the Grammy Award-winning Folklore.
Obviously, the pandemic hurt a lot of celebrities-which clearly was a source of frustration, because her first show back was a 3 hour and 15 minute extravaganza, including 44 songs from across her career.
”I can’t even go into how much I’ve missed you,” Swift told fans, as she took to the stage for the opening night of her Eras tour. The star promised the show would be “a journey through all of my musical eras” and the appetite for tickets was so great that it caused Ticketmaster’s systems to fall over. Despite that, the tour broke the record for the most concert tickets sold by an artist in a single day, at 2.4 million. About 80,000 of those fans attended the first show at Arizona’s State Farm Stadium, where they were treated to a trawl through Swift’s hugely varied back catalogue.
The set was split into sections, one for each of her 10 albums, tracing her journey from country ingenue to chart-topping pop star to lockdown-era folk singer. She opened with “Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince,” a cherished fan favorite from 2019’s “Lover” album, before segueing into the dreamy pop of “Cruel Summer.” Dressed in a diamond-encrusted leotard outfit and surrounded by dancers with elaborate peacock tails, she soaked up the crowd’s applause, declaring: “I don’t know how to process all of this and how it’s making me feel right now. But let me start by saying you’re making me feel fantastic.”
The show is a massive production, with 16 dancers, multiple set and costume changes and a long, illuminated catwalk leading to a second stage. At one point, she appeared to dive into the stage and swim to the middle of the stadium, before emerging on a rising platform to play her recent single, Lavender Haze.
“Look What You Made You Do” was performed against a giant video wall showing Swift in various personas from her 17-year career, while “Blank Space” featured dancers riding blue neon bikes, straight out of Tron. For the more pastoral songs of “Folklore,” Swift appeared inside a moss-covered country shack, first seen in her 2021 Grammy Awards performance.
Later, on the cutthroat revenge fantasy “Vigilante,” she performed a Fosse-inspired chair routine. However, the highlight for many was the full 10-minute version of “All Too Well,” the song she allegedly wrote about actor and ex-boyfriend Jake Gyllenhaal-which was performed in a flowing red overcoat as snowflakes fell across the stage. Throughout, the audience sang every word in devoted adoration. The feeling was very clearly mutual. Swift interrupted her own stage patter to deadpan: “I’m trying to tell you I love you and I’m babbling.” The reviews for the concert have been enthusiastic, highlighting the extensive setlist and cinematic production values. The queen of Pop has reclaimed her throne.
Swifties are enchanted, the only criticism, from fans and reviewers alike was that Swift’s third album “Speak Now” was given short shrift, with only one song on the setlist, the understated ballad “Enchanted,” performed in a ballgown. Rumors are circulating that the “Speak Now” section will be expanded during the tour, with Swift expected to release a re-recorded version of the album as part of her ongoing campaign to regain control of her masters. The 52-date tour is basically in the US, it’s unknown whether the extravagant production will come to the rest of the world-but fans are living in hope.
Rose’s Scoop: Wishing all the Mothers, a very blessed, safe Happy Mother’s Day!