One of the biggest summer weekends in Minnesota finally arrived in the form of two very much sold out shows headlined by the one and only Taylor Swift. As it seems to be a tradition of the Eras Tour, Minnesota followed suit in the celebration of welcoming Taylor to the Twin Cities, lovingly nicknaming Minneapolis Swiftieapolis (Google Maps even made it official), the Governor naming June 23 & 24 Taylor Swift Days, and US Bank Stadium commemorating her visit with a rebranding of The Land of 10,000 Lakes to The Land of 10,000 Lakes (Taylor’s Version). There was no shortage of excitement as the time moved closer to doors and the opening act: pop up friendship bracelet exchanges were happening in and out of the stadium, fans were taking selfies nearly everywhere, dressed in their Taylor best, and the excited chatter didn’t die down for a second, even with the first opener taking the stage.
First to take the coveted stage for the evening was Gracie Abrams, to a wave of cheers from the eager crowd. There was no shortage of appreciation from Abrams; at nearly every moment she was connecting with fans with smiles and friendly waves, and nothing but good vibes about opening for the Eras Tour. Her fans were trickled all around the stadium and it was fun to catch pockets of them getting lost in the moment, dancing and singing along to the short but sweet five song set. I have found myself more and more drawn to a more ethereal and musically wondrous sound matched with powerful vocals that I thought Abrams completely nailed. True to myself, I hadn’t heard her music prior to catching her set, but I’m sure I am one of many who will be paying attention after seeing her perform live.
Next up was one of my personal favorites, girl in red. I’ve only had the pleasure of seeing Marie Ulven once before on her headlining tour when she sold out First Avenue, and I was more than excited to see her on a significantly bigger stage. The aging person in me appreciated the insanely fast set change (right around 10 minutes), and before I knew it, girl in red hit the stage to the sounds of her opening track “You Stupid Bitch.” Even though I miss the complete chaos that comes along with a small room girl in red show, I was happy to see and hear that her on stage banter stayed very much the same. She cracked jokes in between her two October themed songs, saying her newest single “October Passed Me By” was based on an older song because she ran out of ideas. Even though she is playing the largest venues of her career to date, girl in red completely seized the opportunity and owned the stage, proving that she deserves the spotlight. girl in red’s performance was charismatic and charming, and left me yearning for her next album and headlining tour.
Soon enough, the big screen in the back of the stage went from Eras Tour general promo to a countdown clock that immediately got the attention of what felt like every single person in US Bank Stadium for the two-minute countdown. Once the countdown reached zero, the screen changed and dancers set the stage for the Lover Era, making way for Taylor Swift to get right into “Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince.” From this point on and throughout the entire three-hour, 40-plus song set (which is one of the longest sets I’ve ever seen one artist play at once, if not the longest), Taylor Swift completely had every single person in the stadium in the palm of her hand. One stunning glance in any direction or point to a section of the crowd led to a deafening uproar of screams and cheers from extremely excited fans, most of which have waited a long time for this experience.
The Eras tour was truly a perfect Taylor Swift experience for not only longtime fans that have seen her perform before, but for first timers like myself. The set, which started shortly before sunset, moved beautifully from one highlighted album to the next, complete with stunning visuals, choreography, pyro, confetti, fireworks, and one surprise setlist song that really got the crowd going. To follow the mission Taylor Swift put forth to incorporate two surprise acoustic songs each night, before going into the Midnights era, she played the very highly requested “Paper Rings” and “If This Was A Movie.” Taylor Swift has more than a few hits in her repertoire, but the crowd reaction and sing along to “”Paper Rings” was arguably the loudest of the entire set. From my personal favorite eras (folklore, Reputation, 1989 and Midnights) to the ones that highlighted her rise to a household name (Fearless, Speak Now, and Red), Taylor Swift put on a career spanning highlight reel that fully captured her musical talent, intuition, and overwhelming gratitude for her adoring fans. Her return to US Bank Stadium for the first night of the Eras Tour was an overwhelming success, and honestly, the leading contender of show of the year for me and I’m sure many others.
I was still recovering from the Idles show that happened on Thursday night and honestly almost completely forgot about the fact that there was another killer show in town on Friday night. I’ll be honest, […]