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‘The Eras Tour’: My Experience and Advice

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at TCU chapter.

Well folks, I’ve finally done it — I’ve peaked in life. Now, you may be thinking, “Abby, stop being dramatic. You’re literally 19 and it was just a concert.” And to you, I would say: No. It was not just a concert. The Eras Tour is a theatrical, emotional, and musical experience like no other. I never thought I would admit it, but it was actually worth the blood, sweat, and tears shed on ticketing websites last fall. I went to Arlington on night two last weekend, and I’m here today to give you a quick overview of what to expect if you too emerged from Ticketmaster triumphant.

The Show

First up, I’m going to give a quick rundown of the logistics of the show as well as my personal highlights. Warning — if you’re trying to avoid spoilers, skip this section for now and come read it after your show. Okay, let’s get started.

Five hours. Two openers. Nine eras. T-Swizzle did not half-ass this tour, and that means neither will you. In Arlington, doors opened at 4:30 p.m., openers started at 6:30 p.m., and Taylor came on around 7:50 – 8:00 p.m. This schedule will likely be very similar at your venue. Even if you’re not planning on getting to the venue early to get merch and talk to other Swifties, expect that this concert will take up your entire afternoon, adding time for transportation, dinner, and parking. My friends and I arrived and parked at the venue around an hour before doors opened, and we walked to a nearby fast food place for a cheap, quick, and early dinner. This left us with ample time to stop at Walgreens and return to our car before doors opened. We even waited until around 5 p.m. to actually go into the venue, take pictures, and find our seats since we weren’t fighting for standing room seats or specific merch. However, if you are concerned about those things, all bets are off. Swifties arrived crazy early to secure standing spots or the iconic blue crewneck, so you should plan to arrive at your earliest convenience.

Logistics aside, when the openers began, I knew it was going to be something special. My openers were Gracie Abrams and beabadoobee, who both had incredible sets (keep an eye on them, they are doing amazing things). After they left the stage, a countdown appeared on the jumbotron as “You Don’t Own Me” by Leslie Gore blared from the speakers. The room was electric as the clock ticked down and the entire stadium screamed the words, “Don’t tell me what to do / and don’t tell me what to say!” I’m getting chills just thinking about it. From the moment when the clock hit zero and started to fill the screen, the crowd went absolutely wild.

If you read my last article, you know that I predicted that the Lover House from the “Lover” music video would be a major visual of the tour, and I was right. As the clock dissolved from the screen, excerpts of iconic Taylor Swift songs played over the speakers as the various era-themed rooms floated across the jumbotron. From then on, that was about the only thing I was right about. The show was organized by era, beginning with Lover (full of fun, energy and vulnerability), followed by Fearless (allllll the nostalgia), evermore (shocking that Taylor remembered it exists — iykyk), reputation (absolutely iconic), Speak Now (too short but so sweet), Red (happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time… miserable and SO magical), folklore (beautiful and theatrical), 1989 (such a party), and finally Midnights (fresh and bittersweet).

The costumes were full of frills and glitter, complimenting the vibe of each era perfectly while being callbacks to some of Taylor’s most iconic looks (i.e. the “22” music video, the gold dress from the Fearless tour, the fringed & sparkly matching sets of the 1989 tour, etc.). Her dancers were flawless as always, killing it by enhancing the theatrical elements of the more chill songs (i.e. “Lover,” “The Last Great American Dynasty,” and “Willow”).

Taylor’s classic light-up bracelets gifted to every attendee turned the crowd into yet another engaging visual element, so don’t worry if you’re sitting in the nosebleeds — you’ll still have an excellent view. What stood out the most to me about the tour was the transitions between each era. From mashing up two songs to playing animations on the screen, to spoken poetry, to literally diving into the stage, Miss Swift created transitions that were almost as engaging as her performances.

But of course, no transition can quite match the allure of Taylor’s incredible stage presence, her dancing skills (much improved from her early days), and her connection to her audience. Only Taylor can make a sold-out stadium feel intimate, and she did so notably during “All Too Well (Ten Minute Version)” when she took the stage alone with her guitar and a gorgeous snowfall lighting effect. The audience grew even closer to Taylor during her acoustic set where she played “Death By A Thousand Cuts” on guitar and “Clean” on piano (btw, I am never shutting up about the fact that I got to see those songs acoustic and live).

Overall, the show was engaging, moving, and downright magical, and somehow three hours still didn’t feel like enough. The Eras Tour is truly something special, and for those with the incredible opportunity to attend, I have no doubt that you will have an amazing time. For those who don’t currently have tickets, don’t give up! Prices can go down the closer your show date gets, so keep looking for friends and fellow Swifties who might be selling their tickets.

My Advice

There are definitely a few things to note about The Eras Tour that I wish I’d known beforehand. Luckily, I’m here to offer my advice after experiencing it myself and watching countless TikToks of other Swifties who have also attended. Let’s get into it!

First up, be early. You don’t have to go crazy, but be sure to account for extra traffic, lines, last-minute trips to Walgreens, parking, photo ops, and finding your seat. If you want to get merch or good standing-room spots, get there even earlier.

Next, check all the policies of your venue. Most require clear bags and prohibit battery packs for light-up costumes and posters. Also, check what food places are nearby if you want to avoid expensive stadium food. See if you can reserve a parking spot beforehand, or have someone drop you off and pick you up a few blocks away from the venue. Ridesharing and parking on the day of the concert will be expensive and scarce.

The day before and the day of your show, HYDRATE. You can buy a water bottle at the stadium, but make sure you are drinking enough water beforehand so that you can dance your way through the entire show safely. Speaking of dancing, wear comfortable shoes. The stilettos are a slay, I know, but if you’re planning on standing for all or even most of the show, wear cute sneakers or cowboy boots. Your feet will thank you later.

Some things to put in your bag besides your phone and wallet: sunscreen (if you’ll be waiting outside for a while), a portable charger, any medication you may need, extra cash in case of emergencies, and earplugs (seriously, I wish I’d brought some. My ears were SHOT).

If you’re not as deep into Taylor Swift TikTok as I am, you may not know that many fans are trading friendship bracelets! This is an amazing way to meet people and make friends in your local area. If you’re interested, make some bracelets to trade, and even consider attaching a small piece of paper with your socials on it so you can get in touch with your new friends after the show!

Finally, have FUN! The Eras Tour is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I truly hope that everyone attending has the BEST time and cathartically screams the words to their favorite songs. Sure, it may be the peak of your life and nothing else might ever compare… and coming from TCU’s resident Swiftie, it is so. Worth. It.

I am currently a Graphic Design major at Texas Christian University. I love reading, making art, being outdoors, and Taylor Swift!