Breathless, Remarkable and Beyond Awe: Bath Time takes on Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour

My blessed friend Megan acquired our Eras tour tickets exactly almost a year ago.  My second year of university was golden, gruelling and long and I impatiently waited for this day to arrive, long enough for Taylor to release two re-recordings (Speak Now TV, 1989 TV) & a brand new album (TTPD). It was also a long time to consume the myriad of Swifties content for Taylor’s first tour in five years, from serious guidance extending to must-have ear plugs to fancy bow-shaped bracelet tutorials (I was looking at phone lanyards on Etsy, unironically). Nevertheless, 11 months later I was finally going to see Taylor Swift on her sixth, record-breaking, & still ongoing tour, The Eras Tour at London’s Wembley Stadium. 

All bases were covered on the morning of June 21st. Water, pads, snacks, power banks, & lip gloss. We were prepared for the apocalypse. We had everything in check, including our outfits. You could not have guessed that any of us were headed to the same event. Megan wore a dark red top & a tight little skirt that she paired with some very sparkly tights. She was sparkling through those femme fatale colours. Aamira was on a full-blown Lover vibe with a high-low coral pink dress that we found just 12 hours ago. She did this gorgeous pink and purple eye tint. Sehar paired a scarlet red tube top with a pecan brown skirt. Her outfit really came together when she put on her awesome 1B60 knee-high Docs. The girls looked amazing. I went completely white with an ivory lace top & long skirt. Gold was the colour of the rope that was wrapped around my skirt, intertwined with warm white string lights. It was entirely inspired by girls I found online and our mutual love for folklore, more specifically the track invisible string. That was my favourite part of the day, looking at the multitude of people proudly integrating a facet of the Swift persona within themselves, whether it was her entire reputation set bodysuit or just a simple ‘13’ glittered on their hands. Everyone put in so much effort & creativity into their look; I guess you MUST when the musician you’re seeing perform has 11 distinct albums, 61 music videos, and a 20+ year career in pop culture. Post-Lasik Taylor was my backup option.  

After queuing for about two hours, we made our way inside Wembley. It was at that moment I realised that I left my earplugs at home, but more importantly, how lucky we were to get front-standing tickets! The opening act of the evening was the incredibly talented actor, dancer and now singer METTE, also known as Mette Towley. The rising star came to the stage with high energy and a wonderful sound, and alongside her team of dancers set a racy, powerful atmosphere in the arena – you couldn’t help but sway to her club-ready dance music. METTE put up an effortless performance for her very first show. 

Shortly after, the crowd raised their voices as Paramore made their way to the stage. Lead singer Hayley Williams had the ability to make the stage her own. On a platform so enormous in stature but also very much in size she was literally everywhere. It was uplifting to see the rock star constantly smile through her singing. Paramore sounded incredible live. They performed a total of 10 songs, with popular hits such as Hard Times and Still Into You, as well as some others I hadn’t heard before such as Decode. This was my first live rock set. Although, I must admit I was most looking forward to Williams and Taylor York performing The Only Exception. Hayley was hitting some unbelievable notes towards the end of the song. 

At quarter past seven, after Paramore graciously made their way out, the clock had now appeared on the screen. While it counted down the moments before the superstar was to perform at Wembley for the first time this tour, Ice Spice’s In Ha Mood and Lady Gaga’s Applause channelled the entire stadium’s long-awaited excitement into a whole-hearted sing-along. As soon as Lesley Gore’s You Don’t Own Me reached its closing notes, the phones were out to record the clock running out of time and the coolest introduction to a concert to ever begin. I’ve seen it countless times on grainy live streams but when you hear It’s Been A Long Time Coming and the little snippets of Swift singing the names of her albums, you can feel that the time really has come for this unbelievable experience. The shell-like flags attached to her talented dancers marked the first ‘era’ or album of the show, Lover. As they circulated to the centre, the flags accumulated over each other for the Archer to bloom and finally reveal herself to the stage. She was literally shining. All four of us were freaking out over how close, clear, and real Miss Americana was to our vision. It was a beautiful start to a sparkling summer night. 

Transitions between the eras were remarkably rapid, and the three-and-a-half-hour-long show barely had any breaks between all the splendidly designed and executed performances. As we advanced through the packed performance of The Man & beloved classics of Fearless and Red, I was already out of breath by the last five minutes of ATWTMVTV. I am beyond awe for Swift‘s dedication to the Eras Tour. You could see how much she loves to perform, and how incredible she is at it. 

I put my phone in my bag as soon as I saw the folklore cabin being set up on the stage. For the Eras Tour, folklore and its sister album evermore were a combined set. During the bridge of ‘my tears ricochet’, a little girl next to me was screaming her heart out. She had tears in her eyes, and I knew why. I was trying my best to hold it in during ‘betty’ too. We exchanged bracelets right after. It was a very sweet exchange. 

Feeling breathless, I needed water at this point. Megan and I decided to surrender ‘willow’, leaving the other two safe & stranded while we headed out to bring and gulp down some water. A big thank you to the tall guy rocking the Paramore bucket hat who became conveniently easy to spot, and with him my short friends. The sun started to set around 1989 & I could see the lights magically fill the stadium. It felt like a separate experience from the initial two hours. With a quick flip on the battery box hidden in my skirt, I was now glowing too. Wembley’s staff was now handing out water everywhere. 

For every show, Taylor plays two surprise songs to make the show unique to that night. Halfway through the US leg, she started mixing her discography and singing at times two separate mashups, possibly giving a total of four different songs. I don’t mean to brag but for night one in London, we got Hits Different and Death By A Thousand Cuts with an unimaginable mega-bridge with The Black Dog, which has never been played before as well as Maroon and Come Back…Be Here. The stadium went completely dark when Taylor sang the surprise songs, but there I was, glowing on the floor because of my thread of gold. I turned them off for this part of the show – I did not want anyone to see the faces I was making when she played a song I love dearly on the piano! 

We were now experiencing the last set of the show, Midnights. Her team of dancers and band members were every bit as remarkable as the singer. It seemed like they were having as much fun as we were. The stage was luminously electric blue, and then out of the same blue, it softly started to drizzle during the second half of Midnight Rain. Mouths were wide open, collectively questioning her abilities of sorcery and rooting even louder for the Anti-hero. As Karma came to an end, confetti fell to the ground and Taylor Swift & her team waved us goodbye. 

After inhaling our meal deals, it took us almost three hours to get out of Wembley. It was a long way back home, but it was all worth it. Except for my forgotten earplugs, which I very specifically bought for the show.

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