Why the ‘Eras Tour’ isn’t just a cult meeting


Yness Martinez

Taylor performed her 13th show on April 23rd, her last night in Houston. 13 is her lucky number.

Yness Martinez, Editor

There are different tiers of Swifties, music and album memorization being the most basic, the next up being frequent merch purchasers and theory believers, then the ‘Easter Egg’ hunters and fan account holders. I’d say I fall in the first category with a touch in the second depending on the day.

I woke up late Sunday morning for a calm and peaceful breakfast with my family, before departing for Houston’s NRG Stadium around 1pm. The doors would open around 5pm, and the openers would perform at 6:30. Why did we need to leave so early?

With drive time, makeup and prep time, food and traffic: the online Swifties recommended an up to 3 hour early arrival. We were able to park around 4:30 with our Raising Cane’s in our laps. After donning the final touches, album coded bracelets and a glittery ‘13’ on my right hand, we made our way to security. 

On the drive up, my friend and I made it known to her mother that not knowing the album names and in correct order not only invalidated her possession of a ticket, but also would incur surrounding Swifties’ wrath.

While waiting in the security line we scanned our parade-like surroundings. Countless women in cowgirl hats, boots, sometimes in sequin unitards, and even dressed like characters from the song music videos spoke animatedly around us. A guy next to us was dressed as ‘The Man’ from the iconic music video from the ‘Lover’ era.

“Nobody understands your costume bro.” His friend said.

“Nope, just you.” ‘The Man’ responded.

I’d scored our tickets in the luck of the draw when I received a message from ticketmaster, claiming there were some leftover tickets held for a discounted release. I ended up getting three in the first row of the middle ring for $99 each, about $130 with fees. Considering my neighbor tried to sell me a nosebleed for two grand; this was a highway-robbery level steal.

Finding our seats was difficult to say the least, the maze of food and merch lines made a straight path impossible, but when we made it; the magic was electrifying.

Before scoring last minute tickets, I had spent the months post ‘Ticketmaster-shutdown’ listening to the possible setlists, merch ideas, and outfit-inspo Tiktoks. I was devastated by the major ‘FOMO’. 

Walking up the ramp to our seats in section 546, I was electrified, mentally photographing the creative outfits around me as the first opener of the night rattled the stadium’s structure with her voice. Gracie Abrams only played a few songs to make way for the, arguably more popular, ‘Beabadoobee’. Despite barely hearing a word she said. The young artist from England was a wonder with an electric guitar in her hand.

Taylor making a heart with her hands on Sunday April 23rd, her last night in Houston.

Soon the spaceship-like countdown came on, and the groundlevel concert goers rushed out of the bar line for their seats. The lights dropped and the dancers slowly walked out with beautiful floating flags painted in pinks, purples and whites. Then Taylor rose from under the stage as the music came to a head and she broke into ‘Miss Americana (And the Heartbreak Prince)’ for her opening performance.

The idea behind the ‘Eras Tour’ was to represent each album of her discography as its own ‘era’. We started our journey in the ‘Lover’ Era. Not depending on chronological order,Taylor danced up and down the stage all night under an array of multicolored sets and costume changes. It was like being at a ceremony of some kind; a celebration of being welcome with so many people. In many ways it was; Taylor expressed her joy at the shows even being possible after the horrors of Covid, and how all this seemed so far away. It was everything we’d dreamed of. Our eardrums bleeding, legs quaking, I felt the entire stadium hanging on to her every word as she sang all 10 minutes of ‘All Too Well’; as if we,too had lost our virginity to a young and toxic Jake Gyllenhaal. She surprised us with Begin Again from, my personal favorite, Red Era. And she sang my name for all to hear in the Folklore Era when she performed ‘Betty’. Soon we reached the final and most current era, ‘Midnights’. She closed the night with the popular ‘Karma’ and a moments’ applause for her amazing dancers and band.

I left a little piece of myself in that stadium as we ran to our meeting place by the first aid station. The rush in my ears from hours of screaming and crying was probably my favorite souvenir, or maybe it was my $75 sweatshirt thatI have zero regrets over. Only time will tell.