I KNOW! The title is not clickbait -- I was one of the few fortunate souls who managed to nab tickets to Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour. And oh my god, was it incredible. I will never be the same, ever again. I took, I’m not kidding, over 500 videos and photos during the three-hour show, and I ruined alm
ost every single one with my a) inability to hold the phone still, b) very bad singing, or c) both. But honestly, I don’t even care, because I witnessed something historic on that night.
Let me paint you a picture. It was a Friday, the first day that Taylor would be at Gillette Stadium. School ended and I power-walked home as fast as I could. From there, I got into my Eras getup (I dressed as Evermore, mostly because the only thing I had at my disposal was flannel) and got in the car to go to the concert.
Twenty minutes later, my family was stuck in some of the worst traffic I’d ever seen. It wasn’t even that horrible, except that it was on a very narrow road with few places to escape. Luckily, I managed to reroute us back onto the highway, and we drove at a pretty nice pace until we got to Gillette.
I thought the traffic before was bad -- it was nothing compared to the few miles before the stadium. The crawl of cars had my mother suggesting several times that we just get out and walk the rest of the way. Nevertheless, we persevered and managed to get close enough where doing so was actually reasonable.
Oh boy. The anticipation was so thick you could smell it. As we approached the stadium, we came upon an incredibly long line. “Good evening, dame!” I approached a tall woman in Reputation Era clothes. “What, pray tell, is this queue of people for?”
“Ah!” I declared. The infamous merch line. The one people had arrived at 4 am the previous day for. I was just about to mount my horse and gallop away, but my sister took her place in line and decided we should wait.
Okay, I have to talk about this line. Oh my god, this line. What was going on? We wouldn’t move for like six minutes, and then all of a sudden we’d move forward five people. How on earth were they selling the merch? What line moves like that? Did they have small groups enter a dark room and bid for Eras apparel? To this day (2 days after the concert) I have no idea what was going on.
We were getting to about the middle of the line, but the show was starting in 15 minutes. Mind you, we’d been in the line for an hour, and at this point, I was 50/50 on whether or not we should just give up on getting the merch. The end was in sight, but I was very hungry, and if I didn’t get to a bathroom, let’s just say there’d be some Midnight Rain running down my leg. Sorry, couldn’t resist. I kept flip-flopping, but my sister made the decision for us. She, who insisted we stay in the line for an entire hour, now wanted us to leave. How vexing -- we could have been seated 40 minutes earlier!
We got to our seats, got some food, etc. etc. Then the opening acts came out -- GAYLE and Phoebe Bridgers. And they were great, but like, next up was Taylor Swift, so not much to say about them.
Finally! A timer came up on the screen, people were cheering and screaming and crying. In Ha Mood by Ice Spice had just played, and now Applause by Lady Gaga was blaring as the on-screen clock struck midnight (actual time was 7:30). It was so surreal -- this was my first ever concert, and I don’t think I will ever forget Taylor Swift walking out on stage singing Miss Americana and The Heartbreak Prince. She was incredible, she was stunning, it was everything. I’ve always been a Taylor Swift fan, but I think that was the day I really went, “Okay, I understand the obsession now.” I’ll never “stan” anything or anyone, but after seeing that show, Taylor Swift can steal my firstborn if she wants it. So do with that what you will.
I could talk about Taylor’s galactic slaying for literally ever, but I’d like to shift focus to the audience members. The screaming of every single word, and it was unbelievably loud. Like, don’t get me wrong, I was screaming too, but I practiced restraint. The girls behind me, I cannot say the same. Taylor wasn’t even halfway through Cruel Summer (which is THE SECOND SONG), and they already sounded like they’d been smoking for 50 years. It was absurd how quickly their voices transformed from your average teenagers to Harvey Fierstein, Joan Rivers, and Kurt Cobain.
Now, on my left were my sister and father. But on my right was a young couple that was very enamored with each other and could not chill out with the PDA. They kept whispering sweet nothings into each other’s ears, like “You’re my Lover…” and “No, I was Enchanted to meet you.” Plus, the girl, who was right next to me, kept whipping her hair during the Reputation era. And I get it -- those whip cracks and thudding basses made me want to whip my hair too, but again, I showed restraint. This girl was utterly oblivious, and I cannot tell you the amount of times I’d be like, “YESSSS OH MY GOD YEE-” and then her ponytail would fly into my mouth.
Okay, back to Taylor -- the Evermore era, I did not expect to live as much as I lived for it. Genuinely, and I’m not a person who cries easily, Champagne Problems had me and everybody else SOBBING. There was like a five minute applause afterwards, it was incredible.
And the Reputation era was just… I cannot even begin to describe… I give up, there are simply no words to describe it. The LEVEL of slayage that occurred. Not only did she eat and leave no crumbs, she chewed up all that sickening mush and regurgitated it back into our mouths, feeding the children like a mother bird.
So anyway, the concert ended, and we got out to the parking lot, where we proceeded to sit in a traffic jam without moving ONE INCH (I am not exaggerating, we genuinely did not move) for over an hour. Keep in mind, this was 11:30 at night. Don’t get me wrong, it was all worth it, but that traffic jam was wild. I had never been in a situation like that, where the cars physically could not move. My sanity at that point was like Lana Del Rey’s feature in Snow On The Beach -- nonexistent.
At some point, I fell asleep, and awoke to the sound of my mother and aunt making farm animal noises so that my mom could stay awake at the wheel. This was around 2 am, and it felt like a fever dream. You haven’t been truly confused till you wake up in the dead of night on I-95 with two people you love dearly, one of whom you have entrusted with your life at that moment, going “baaa, baaa…moo. Buck-buck-buck-buck bu-CAW!”
But luckily, we got home safely, no one was hurt, and it was quite a fine time. Taylor Swift has changed my life forever, and if by chance someone is reading this who has tickets to an upcoming Eras show, you are in for a real treat! Mwah!