The Eras Tour has been one of the largest tours in the world. For those who had the privilege of attending, the journey often involved paying loads of money to see Taylor Swift and a fight in the TicketMaster War of 2022. For this, Taylor made sure that every single one of her fans got what they paid for. She gifted the attendants with three hours of live music, as she took the audience through each era including an acoustic set prior to the Midnights era.
The coveted acoustic set is unique to each show. Each night, Taylor comes out in the same style dress but a different color (which we later learned was an homage to the color variants of the 1989 vinyls) and sings two songs that aren’t part of the setlist. Each night she plays one song acoustic on guitar, and the other on her piano. Most show it as a moment just between Taylor and the audience, although on a few special nights, Taylor brought a guest to join her for a song. This section is stripped down of all the background dancers and visuals and creates an intimate atmosphere, where fans connect with Taylor as she sings to them in this raw moment.
At the first show, Taylor laid out her ground rule for these famed “surprise songs.” The songs were not meant to be repeated, with only a few exceptions:
- She can repeat a song if she makes a mistake
- She can repeat a song on Midnights
- She can repeat a song if she wants to change the way she performed it (Ex. different key)
The surprise song pool has not been reset yet now that she has begun to tour internationally, but many fans suspect it will reset once she goes to Europe so she does not run out of songs.
Even if a song has already been performed, it is never performed quite the same. The duos will become interchangeable, and every single performance is a different experience. For example, Metlife Night Two had a “religious experience” featuring “Holy Ground” on the guitar and “False God” on the piano. On nights like these, Taylor has created a unique experience for every single show she performs on this tour.
This is a universal language amongst Swifties. When you find out someone went to the Eras Tour, the very first thing you ask them is what their surprise song was. It is an easy ice breaker and conversation starter, and it is one that I used to help develop a handful of friendships during my first few months in college. I wore my crewneck I purchased at the show one of my first nights, and at least four people asked me what show I was at (Metlife Night One) and what were my surprise songs (“Getaway Car” with Jack Antonoff and “Maroon”, as well as an Ice Spice feature and music video release). Usually those who ask you what songs you got, also went to the Eras Tour. A bond is created that Taylor Swift fostered. Everyone has some pride in their surprise songs, and getting to discuss them created excitement for most. Even my professor was excited to tell us what surprise songs she got when she noticed another student wearing an Eras Tour hoodie.
Taylor has not only made an experience where no single show is the same but created grounds for bonding amongst people with common interests.