The first time I saw Taylor Swift I was seven years old. I discovered Taylor through the song "You Belong With Me", and a week later, I knew the lyrics to all of her songs. In 2010, when Swift released Speak Now my mom took me and my best friend to see the Speak Now tour at the Tacoma Dome. Now, 13 years later, Taylor’s songs are still as appealing and perceptive as they were from the first listen. As I grew up, the lyrics captured new meanings and the new songs narrated my childhood through my early adulthood, where I knew what I was feeling because of how Swift wrote about it. I share this feeling with many Swifties who have all grown up with, through, and alongside Taylor’s music.
The Eras Tour brings me, and my fellow Swifties, right back through that journey, As Swift traverses through all of her albums, she takes us all on a journey through her past, which is inevitably tied to ours. The tour coincides with Swift's commitment to rerecording and releasing albums 1-6 in order to own her own masters, calling them “Taylor’s Version”s and adding in cut songs from the vault. This makes the show even more personal, as we know that she is actively reclaiming much of the songs she is singing- with "Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)" having been released just two weeks ago. As Taylor revisits each album, one at a time, we journey through high school hallways, remote cabins, soaring castles, and vast cityscapes that characterize the eras. Throughout the concert, Swift gives speeches and tells stories of how the albums came to be, and adds cheeky lead-ins to favorite songs. Swift invites her fans to feel everything with no shame. When she sings about heartbreak, we scream along, as the songs rip us apart and comfort us all at the same time. When she sings about love, we yearn to feel how she does, and when we do, we hold on tight to our partners. When she sings about youth and childhood, we relate to and remember those moments. Even non-fans who have found themselves at the concert with friends or family find themselves moved by the outpouring of emotion in Swift's lyrics, performance, and fanbase. As much as Taylor Swift is seen by her fans (72,000 a night), her fans are seen by her through her music, and the way she looks out into the crowd, as if she knows everyone else’s story like they know hers.
Photo Courtesy of the Author