Taylor Swift wowed 70,000 fans on the opening night of her Eras Tour with elaborate sets, costumes and choreography — most notably with a transition in which she appeared to jump and then fall off the stage at State Farm Stadium and swim beneath it.
In one of many viral videos taken at the Glendale, Arizona show on Friday, the star made a splashy exit between songs “Tim McGraw” and “Lavender Haze.” After a piano performance of the hit song from her self-titled debut album, Swift strutted off the stage in a red sparkling dress and appeared to dive into the cave below, disappearing from view with the sound of a cannonball. (A fan can be heard screaming “What the hell?” in the background.)
Seconds later, footage of Swift swimming in the dress materialized on the backdrop and catwalk before a huge tidal wave consumed the screen. The digital wave revealed Swift in full “Midnights” mode, sitting on a purple bed in a T-shirt and leggings. She then climbed a ladder that disappeared into a rising cloud. Below, a door opened and out marched backup dancers, rolling out more clouds. As they reached the edge of the catwalk, Swift rose from a platform offstage and began singing “Lavender Haze,” the first track from her newest album, “Midnights.”
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State-of-the-art – one might even say astonishing – production values were the norm at the concert, which spanned a whopping 44 songs from all 10 albums in her discography. (At three hours and 11 minutes, this is her longest tour time after “Reputation’s” 19 songs in two hours, according to fans.)
Other sets fans captured on social media included a moss-covered house reminiscent of her 2021 Grammys performance, a long dining room table for “Tolerate It,” a mystical forest, and elaborate scaffolding for her rendition of “The Man.” Many of the sets seamlessly intertwined digital and practical designs, although Swift also performed acoustic versions of some songs on the piano or guitar.
After a second night in Glendale — which temporarily changed its name to “Swift City” — the national tour will hit Las Vegas before traveling to the South, East, Midwest and finally the West. She concludes the 52-show tour with five nights at Los Angeles’ SoFi Stadium. No international dates have been announced.
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The tour crashed Ticketmaster after a record two million tickets were sold on the first day. Citing “high demands” and “insufficient” inventory, the online platform canceled the second day of sales, prompting a congressional hearing and calling for an investigation into Live Nation and Ticketmaster’s joint monopoly over the live music industry.
Swift later posted on social media that it was “excruciating” to “see mistakes happen with no recourse.”
“I’m not going to make excuses for anybody because we asked (Ticketmaster) several times if they could handle this kind of demand and we were assured that they could. It’s really amazing that 2.4 million people got tickets, but it really annoys me that many of them feel like they went through multiple bear attacks to get them,” she wrote. “And to those who didn’t get tickets, I can only say that my hope is that provide more opportunities for us all to come together and sing these songs. Thank you for wanting to be there. You have no idea how much that means.”
Watch the clip from Friday night above.
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