As a non-Swiftie who just went to her first Taylor Swift concert, I’m convinced ‘Eras’ is a farewell tour

As a non-Swiftie who just went to her first Taylor Swift concert, I’m convinced ‘Eras’ is a farewell tour

The trail of beads, glitter and feathers paved the way as little girls and their friends squealed with excitement, their arms waving to the jingle of beaded bracelets. Liverpool’s Anfield Stadium, longtime home of the Reds, had been transformed into the home of another star for whom ‘Red’ is also a defining characteristic. I had, of course, left the real world behind and entered what has become a very real reality for members of the Swiftiesphere.

Taylor Swift obviously needs no introduction. She’s the girl next door who has reached stratospheric heights thanks to her sweeter-than-pie aesthetic, lyrics that read like they were taken straight from a teenage diary, and the fact that she has a very real talent for melodicizing her moods. . She’s the girl who grew up on a Christmas tree farm in America with boy problems and the slightly dorky personality who could very well be your girlfriend, or your friend’s boyfriend. Her story reads like a Hallmark movie. As a non-Swiftie, there’s nothing about her that screams “once-in-a-generation talent” until you see her swinging onstage, guitar in hand, singing to her 70,000 adoring fans as tears flow from their eyes swiping and shouting out the text back to her.


Swift has provided a soundtrack to these people’s lives, her music has given lyrics to their pain, and together, in orbit around their patron saint, they have become a community. In an age when stardom can seemingly be anyone with the swipe of a finger and the click of a camera lens, Swift belongs to a different class of celebrities who have earned their stripes, their fame, and their prestige the old-fashioned way, by honing their craft and dedicating themselves to being the best in the world. This is someone who has been a star longer than she’s been alive. Which is why her groundbreaking, record-breaking, billion-dollar Eras tour — all three and a half hours of it — feels like a farewell, like the closing of a chapter. It feels like she’s saying goodbye, if only for now.

Liverpool, England June 13 Editorial use only No book covers Editors Note: Image was created using a starburst filter Taylor Swift performs on stage during Taylor Swift The Eras Tour at Anfield on June 13, 2024 in Liverpool, England Photo by Gareth Cattermoletas24Getty Images for Tas rights managementliverpool, england june 13 editorial use only no book covers editor's note image was created using a starburst filter taylor swift performing during the taylor swift the eras tour at anfield on june 13, 2024 in liverpool, england photo by gareth cattermoletas24getty images for bag rights management

Gareth Cattermole/TAS24

Let me explain myself. Swift continuing to write, produce, and make music or live her life freely in the eyes of the public, which is to say, the storm, has no bearing on my life. I came to this conclusion independently and objectively. Yes, I spent a pleasant evening dancing in chorus with dozens of screaming girls and woke up with a voice that sounded like I had a 40-a-day Camel Blue addiction. But I was just a member of an audience who noticed the metaphors peppering the show without viewing them through the rose-colored glasses afforded to those who are part of a fandom. There are figurative deaths and rebirths throughout Swift’s show, which, yes, correlate to her music, but have you ever heard of an artist performing the greatest hits of an 18-year career only to do it again a few years later? If that were true, then Swift would be setting a precedent among her fan base that this is what every tour of hers will look like from now on. Only an artist who has exhausted himself or his creative canon could treat the public to such an exhibition of his work. The only question I had after seeing her work was: ‘What now?’

Swift has redefined boundaries that no other artist in history has ever reached. She has rewritten the rules of what is possible for female musicians, and it feels like this tour, which she has announced will run through December 2024, is Swift’s way of thanking her fans for their love, loyalty, and devotion to her. She’s playing their favorite songs from her oldest albums. They’ve shown her loyalty through the mudslinging and misogyny she’s been subjected to over the years, but there’s no reason for an artist to perform albums released over a decade ago unless it’s to show gratitude and say “So Long.”

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John Shearer/TAS24 – Getty Images

The vague sense of wonder about where her star should rise after the Eras tour was a question even on the lips of the Swifties I attended the concert with. There’s the original film that she’s confirmed to write and direct for Searchlight Pictures; there’s her relationship with NFL player Travis Kelce, who has called her the “biggest and best thing possible” and is rumored to be planning a proposal for once her tour ends. She has given her fans what few others in her position have: a community, a soundtrack to their lives, and the hope of what can be achieved with hard work and perseverance, even in the face of adversity. In return, they made sure everything she touched turned to gold. Perhaps the greatest and most transcendent “love story” for Swift is the one she has with her adoring fan base, who have and will continue to support her through every chapter of her life. But the best and greatest era of her career is undoubtedly the one that lies ahead, once the dust settles on the current cloud of high-octane publicity that surrounds her. The way she exhausts herself is not sustainable for anyone, superstar musician or not.

Taylor Swift Eras TourTaylor Swift Eras Tour

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