Taylor Swift needs no introduction, but that doesn’t stop the singer from announcing “My name is Taylor and I was born in 1989” to kick off her first night of two sold-out shows at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.
The singer’s Eras Tour, which has been taking the nation by storm all summer, finally arrived Friday night in Santa Clara before the U.S. leg of the tour wraps up in Los Angeles.
Eager fans started filling the stadium as soon as the gates opened at 4:30 p.m., with many fans who could not score tickets congregating outside to enjoy the music alongside other fans.
The Eras Tour is a celebration of the singer’s career, spanning over 17 years and 10 studio albums. Through the night, Swift revisited her “eras” by playing songs from nine of her studio albums — her self-titled debut album did not make the cut.
Swift takes the stage
Swift made her entrance with “It’s been a long time coming,” a lyric from her song “Miss Americana & the Heartbreak Prince,” repeating over and over. It has been a long time indeed, since the singer’s last time performing in the Bay Area was in 2018 during her Reputation Stadium Tour. She played two sold-out nights at Levi’s Stadium then, as well.
The singer did her best to make up for the missed time with her show, which included 45 songs and lasted well over three hours, without taking into account the two opening acts she brought alongside her — rock band HAIM and singer-songwriter Gracie Abrams.
The first act of the show was based on the singer’s 2019 record “Lover,” an album she was originally scheduled to take on the road in 2020 with a summer music festival tour, which was postponed and later canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite being cut short, the album’s promo campaign produced multiple hit singles including “Cruel Summer,” which is currently dominating the music charts.
The crowd erupted into a loud cheer following the singer’s performance of “champagne problems,” a piano ballad taken from her ninth studio album “evermore.” Swift appeared overwhelmed by the response, taking in the applause for a few minutes. Right before she played the song, she declared she has “no plans of stopping” her autobiographical songwriting, for which she has been adored and scrutinized, anytime soon.
The highlight halfway through her performance
The show peaked around the halfway mark, when Swift brought out her guitar to perform fan favorite “All Too Well (10 Minute Version),” a heartbreak ballad that appeared on the singer’s 2021 re-release of her fourth studio album “Red.” It’s tough not to think this tour will go down in history books after hearing thousands of fans sing along to the entire ten-minute song in unison.
Following sets from her blockbuster albums “folklore” and “1989,” Swift performed two surprise songs that she switches up for every single show of her tour. Santa Clara concertgoers were wowed by a performance of “right where you left me” with her co-writer Aaron Dessner, a member of the alternative rock band The National, and a show stopping performance of “Castles Crumbling,” a song Swift released earlier this month on her “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” album.
Swift’s version of an encore consisted of seven songs from her latest album “Midnights,” including hit singles “Anti-Hero” and “Karma,” which made for an incredibly high-energy exit.
Production was perfect through the performance
The production design of the show was stellar. From the visual elements displayed on the screens, to the incredible pyrotechnics that heated up the stadium in bursts of flames, there was a lot of thought put into making this show memorable for all the fans in attendance, regardless of where they were seated.
The pacing of the show allowed for Swift to take “breaks” singing ballads and acoustic songs in between more intense and choreographed dance-heavy performances. In this way, the singer was able to keep her energy levels high throughout the entirety of her three-hour set.
Taylor Swift takes the stage at Levi’s Stadium again tonight, before heading to Los Angeles for six sold-out shows at SoFi Stadium, which will conclude the U.S. leg of the tour.
In honor of Swift’s shows in the Bay Area, the Santa Clara City Council named her the ceremonial mayor of “Swiftie Clara” during the Eras Tour weekend.