Last weekend, on two enchanting Friday and Saturday evenings, I attended Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour in Arlington, Texas!
If you would have told me back in November–following the infamous Ticketmaster debacle–that I would get tickets to two of the three nights that Taylor Swift was set to play in Arlington, there is no way I would have believed you. The days and weeks following that insane presale were filled with me trying to find peace with the fact that I was not attending the tour despite highly anticipating it. I attended Taylor’s Reputation Stadium Tour back in 2018 (I got nosebleeds about two days before the show), and ever since then I’d been dying to see her live again. However, I was ready to just let it be and consume all the tour content on YouTube.
Then, in December, I got an email from Ticketmaster about a new opportunity to request tickets. A few weeks later—during my college graduation dinner, no less!—my tickets were confirmed and purchased for Saturday, April 1…and they were floor seats! The second request option didn’t allow you to choose your seats at all. Instead, you chose a price range you were willing pay, and the rest was up to the ticket gods. So the floor seats were a huge surprise to my friend and I, and we were ecstatic. When my friend was given the same opportunity in February for the Friday, March 31 show, we jumped on it and ended up with upper bowl seats. Somehow, all the stars aligned and we ended up in the same room, at the same time as Taylor Swift two nights in a row. And those two nights were the experiences that dreams are made of.
Night One – March 31
On the first night, we sat in the upper bowl seats (specifically section 224 row 1 for those familiar with AT&T Stadium). It was a perfect center and aerial view of the giant stage, and since we were in the first row there was no one directly in front of us which was a huge plus.
I took the liberty of looking up the set list weeks before the concert (partly because it was nearly unavoidable if I was using the Internet and social media and partly because I find concerts to be way more fun when I know every single song!). But Taylor had a few tricks up her sleeve for the Arlington show. She did her first live performance of the song “the 1” during her folklore era in place of the song “invisible string” which she’d played during the first two tour stops. “The 1” is one of my favorites from folklore, so I was beyond excited to witness its live debut. My other favorite performance from night one was the first surprise song, “Sad Beautiful Tragic,” a track that became one of my favorites off of her Red album after she re-recorded it.
I loved seeing all the intricate graphics on the stage from the upper bowl, and how each of her nine eras felt so distinct in their aesthetics. During the opening Lover era, Taylor describes how this tour is meant to be a walkthrough her musical career, and that’s exactly what it feels like. Some of the changes of pace and style are jarring (we transition from her whimsical evermore era straight into the snake motifs of her reputation era). But the entire spectacle felt so authentic to her and all the sounds and genres she’s tried on throughout her career, which I loved. Simply put, The Eras tour is quintessentially Taylor Swift. It’s more than just a three hour “greatest hits” concert; it’s a sincere homage to her 17 year career, as well as a nod to how she can continue to evolve and outdo herself each and every time.
Night Two – April 1
My experience watching the show from the floor on night two is truly something I’ll never forget. Even though I’d just seen the show a mere 24 hours before, seeing Taylor pop out of the stage for the “Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince”—and then go straight into “Cruel Summer”—with my own two eyes, and not only a Jumbotron, was beyond amazing.
Our floor seats were in section J, row 23 which is situated at the end of an enormous catwalk. So while I enjoyed each era, the songs that Taylor performed in this vicinity of the stage (The Archer, Love Story, 22, Style, Karma) will be forever seared into my brain.
The biggest standout on night two was the first surprise song, “Death by a Thousand Cuts.” Since its release, DBATC has been in my top five Taylor Swift songs. She’d only performed it once before at City of Lover Paris, and I am forever grateful to have witnessed its second live stage. As well as the fact that said second live performance was the one where Taylor messed up on the bridge! Haha. She played it perfectly almost all of the way the way through, but said that she had no much fun singing the bridge with the fans that she wanted to play it a second time. If you know DBATC, then you know its bridge is a mouthful, so she got a little confused on which lyrics went where, and it was most endearing and adorable mess-up ever. When she finally got it down, the crowd screamed the lyrics even louder than before. It was perfect.
The overall vibe on the floor, even before the show, was a ton of fun. Lots of Swifties came up to my friend and I to trade friendship bracelets, and so many fans were dressed in clever costumes (I wore a handmade Junior Jewels shirt from the iconic “You Belong with Me” music video). I honestly felt like I was in great company when I inevitably shed a few tears as the white confetti fell like snow during “All Too Well” (10 Minute Version).
I returned home without a voice, but with an extremely full heart. I was beyond lucky to witness this show, as Taylor, her dancers, and her backup vocalists gave it their all. I’ll cherish this magical weekend forevermore.