I went to the Eras Tour and the only thing more impressive than Taylor Swift was her Swifties

Swifties are at the heart and soul of Taylor Swift’s success and the Eras Tour.

After a frantic 24-hours involving last minute travel plans, packing and not enough sleep, it finally sunk in that I was seeing Taylor Swift only as she started to sing.

That’s when I started to cry. Rather predictable.

I’ve been a fan of Taylor Swift for years and hadn’t thought I would be able to see the Eras Tour live. Even so, I’ve never had quite that reaction at a concert before – especially one that’s been plastered all over my social media feeds for more than a year now.

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But none of that mattered there in that moment as the crowd enthusiastically screamed along to Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince.

Thousands of fans had a night to remember as the American icon dazzled in EdinburghThousands of fans had a night to remember as the American icon dazzled in Edinburgh
Thousands of fans had a night to remember as the American icon dazzled in Edinburgh

The atmosphere felt electric and at times I had to stop singing just to take in the sheer volume of the audience – something which Taylor also had to do.

While on stage she shared: “The volume of singing. The dancing. You guys are performing on another level. I can’t stop looking at the crowd. Like, I’m captivated.”

Swift shouted out a couple who got engaged during the show, and after she sung champagne problems - which I sobbed along with - she received a three minute long standing ovation.

And while many of those in attendance will have already familiarised themselves with the 45-song set list and placed their bets on which tracks would be included in the surprise acoustic section, you wouldn’t have known it from the response she was getting.

Following Paramore’s set – which I only managed to catch a couple of songs from (though it was, in fact, my third time seeing the American band) – I was mulling around the crowd as the excitement built. I offered to take a group picture for a fan and as I handed back her phone after she remarked: “If only the entire world could be like Swifties.”

LISA FERGUSON

I’m sure many would disagree, but considering how dreadful the crowd was at the last stadium show I attended – for a certain British singer who sang all about treating people with kindness – the presence of Swifties certainly felt like a gift.

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Friendship-bracelet swapping aside, it was certainly one of the most welcoming audiences I’d ever been part of and that’s even without considering how happy everyone seemed to be there.

I ended up chatting with people while we commiserated over the wait for food, one all the way from the States and another there with his pregnant wife, and even through my frustration at the wait and missing Paramore, they were a silver lining in the experience.

The sense of community from Swifties made the Eras Tour special

Away from online discourse about Taylor Swift – whether it’s fights between stans or outsiders bemoaning how she’s a cult leader and we’re all being brainwashed – the communal enjoyment was a genuinely pleasant surprise.

Everyone knew all the words, everyone screamed along and for all that it was everyone’s first time seeing The Tortured Poets Department era in full – as well as the amazingly cool mirrored roomba-like set piece Taylor rolled around on – the words were just as naturally flowing from people’s lips as they were for hits like 22 or Shake It Off.

Seeing The Tortured Poets Department live was unreal. Seeing The Tortured Poets Department live was unreal.
Seeing The Tortured Poets Department live was unreal. | NW

A highlight of the entire night for me was definitely screaming along to the full, luxurious 10-minute version of All Too Well, but the best part of the evening had to be witnessing TTPD and her tracks But Daddy I Love Him and I Can Do It With A Broken Heart.

I avoided all spoilers online. I wanted to see nothing about TTPD as an Era.

But these two songs in particular, which felt like thinly veiled retorts to her more vocal fans, were engaging to witness live.

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Swifties didn’t care about being called out, they just screamed along with her. But the staging for I Can Do It With A Broken Heart in particular tickled me.

Taylor Swift during her folklore set at Murrayfield. Taylor Swift during her folklore set at Murrayfield.
Taylor Swift during her folklore set at Murrayfield. | NW

It may be a piece of personality produced on a pop stage but I don’t care. The hammy musical quality of her collapse to the ground and then subsequent revival with the crowd obediently cheering her on was another highlight.

We were indeed chanting more.

On top of that, while Swift is undoubtedly the star of the show, at times I couldn’t help but pay more attention to her band and backing dancers. I had a great view but, as with most concerts, my height works against me. When that happened I enjoyed watching their interactions with each other and the crowd who they would bemusedly wave to and make faces at whenever they spotted us peering their way.

Swifties were treated to an incredible three-hour showSwifties were treated to an incredible three-hour show
Swifties were treated to an incredible three-hour show

They were all just as switched on as Swift, and served as a reminder that events like these don’t happen in a bubble.

This has to be the best shows I’ve ever seen. The sheer scale and theatricality of it all helps the three hours pass by like it’s nothing and I’ve been to many far shorter gigs that have had me checking the time to see how long is left.

But the real experience wouldn’t have been complete without the Swifties who surrounded me. So, in case any of you are reading this, thank you for a great night.

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