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The 13 Best Surprise Song Combos From The Eras Tour

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCLA chapter.

It’s the most anticipated moment of every Eras Tour show, when Taylor Swift is alone on stage with just her guitar and piano and a trick up her sleeve: the surprise songs set. Beginning with her Speak Now World Tour in 2011, Taylor has dedicated a moment in her setlist for an acoustic surprise song meant to ensure that no two shows she plays are the same. For The Eras Tour, she’s raised the antics of this tradition, now playing two surprise songs — one on guitar and one on piano — and sticking to a months-long “no repeats” rule that she abolished to mashup her favorite songs. Whether they’re in the stadium with Taylor or watching at home from a grainy TikTok livestream, Swifties never miss a surprise song, and will flood to social media to declare/scream/cry that they “lost” their favorite song. While Taylor’s surprise songs never fail to impress, these combos are the biggest “losses” so far — or the 13 best surprise song combos of the Eras Tour.

“Death by a Thousand Cuts” and “Clean” — April 1, 2023, Arlington, TX.

“Death by a Thousand Cuts” is undoubtedly a fan favorite and a Taylor favorite, judging by how many times she’s repeated the song since its debut in Arlington. It was also her first surprise song mess up on the tour, meaning she had to play it again — the exception to her former “no repeats” rule. “Clean” also made its Eras Tour debut in Arlington, but she later repeated it because she thought she “could have done it better in a higher key, so that’s technically a mess up,” which she commented on a fan’s TikTok.

“The Great War” with Aaron Dessner and “You’re on Your Own, Kid” — April 14, 2023, Tampa, FL.

“The Great War” was the first time Taylor was joined onstage by her beloved producer, Aaron Dessner. He’s made six total appearances for surprise songs, and Swifties know they’re about to “lose” one of their favorites when he steps out. “You’re on Your Own, Kid” debuted in Tampa and has returned eight times since, never to the complaints of Swifties who can’t get enough of it.

“The Other Side of the Door” and “Coney Island” — April 28, 2023, Atlanta, GA.

For the first time in her career, Taylor played “The Other Side of the Door,” a quintessential Fearless era jam complete with lyrics about rain, throwing pebbles, and a little black dress. She paired it with “Coney Island,” a great example of how she loves sticking to a theme with her surprise songs.

“Getaway Car” with Jack Antonoff and “Maroon” — May 26, 2023, East Rutherford, N.J.

Known as the fan favorite from reputation and the bridge written in under 20 seconds, “Getaway Car” was played alongside producer Jack Antonoff. It was paired with “Maroon,” which having never been played live before, exceeded fans’ expectations of a song referencing New York.

“Holy Ground” and “False God” — May 27, 2023, East Rutherford, N.J.

Taylor loves to play songs referencing cities in those cities so much, that she’ll do it one, two, three times. For another night in East Rutherford — which fans have adopted as her New York City stop — Taylor played “Holy Ground” and “False God.”

“Dear John” and “Daylight” — June 24, 2023, Minneapolis, MN.

“Because I am proud of it as a song, I am going to play ‘Dear John,’” Taylor said before resurrecting the iconic track five she hasn’t played since 2012. She then counteracted the angry heartbreak track with a soft rendition of “Daylight” on the piano.

“I’m Only Me When I’m With You” and “evermore” — June 30, 2023, Cincinnati, Ohio

“I’m Only Me When I’m With You” has become the ultimate love song for Swifties who have been around since the beginning. “I wrote this before I even thought I would have a first album,” Taylor said, “I was like, 13 when I wrote this and didn’t think I’d ever get to play a show for you.” She followed it with a vocally stunning performance of “evermore,” another song she didn’t think she’d ever play live, having written it during the pandemic.

“Ivy” with Aaron Dessner, “I miss you, I’m sorry” with Gracie Abrams, and “Call It What You Want” — July 1, 2023, Cincinnati, Ohio

Aaron Dessner returned to the Eras Tour stage for “Ivy.” Taylor was then joined by opening act Gracie Abrams for a duet of her song, “I miss you, I’m sorry,” as a make-up for her set being canceled due to a storm. The set finished with “Call It What You Want” on piano, making Cincinnati the only crowd to hear three separate surprise songs.

“Our Song” and “You Are in Love” — Aug. 4, 2024, Los Angeles, CA.

This night of The Eras Tour was taped for its concert film, and it’s clear what Taylor’s prompt was when choosing surprise songs that night: pick two fan-favorite songs that would best represent her 18-year-long career on the big screen. “Our Song” and “You Are in Love” were the perfect picks.

“Dress” and “Exile” — Aug. 7, 2023, Los Angeles, CA.

“Dress” saw a new life being played acoustic for the first time ever. “Exile” which features Bon Iver in its recorded version, was performed solo by Taylor and is a standout vocal performance from the entire tour.

“Getaway Car”/”August”/”The Other Side of the Door” and “This Is Me Trying” — Feb. 17, 2024, Melbourne, Australia

When The Eras Tour started back up in 2024, Taylor introduced the mashup to her surprise song set, allowing her to repeat songs and keep them unique, as done with “Getaway Car”/”August”/”The Other Side of the Door.” After an exciting mashup, she toned it down with “This Is Me Trying,” a folklore tearjerker.

“Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve”/”Ivy” and “Forever & Always”/”Maroon” — Feb. 26, 2024, Sydney, Australia

If Swifties love one thing, it’s a Taylor Swift bridge you can scream your lungs out to. With “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve”/”Ivy,” Taylor mashed up two of her most iconic, scream-able bridges. She brought back “Maroon” to pair it with its lyrical younger sister, “Forever & Always.”

“Eyes Open” and “Electric Touch” — Feb. 8, 2024, Tokyo, Japan

“Eyes Open” and “Electric Touch” are the ultimate combo for country rock-loving Speak Now era fans. They were performed in Taylor’s yellow dress, which Swifties joke is the dress she wears when she knows she’s about to perform an unbeatable surprise song combo.

Hanna is an English major at UCLA, from Los Angeles, California. She loves traveling, attending concerts, and writing about her favorite music.