Taylor Swift, Phoebe Bridgers, Owenn
MetLife Stadium – East Rutherford, NJ – 5.28.2023
Words By Brittany Isaacson
Photos by TAS Rights Management

Taylor Swift brought her highly anticipated Eras Tour to East Rutherford, N.J. for three memorable nights at MetLife Stadium (Taylor’s Version). The record-breaking tour kicked off in March and is vigorously making its way across the country. This weekend’s run of sold-out shows broke MetLife’s weekend attendance record as over 217,000 Swifties poured into the stadium.

As her first tour in five years, it’s no surprise that tickets for the Eras Tour were in high demand. Since 2018’s Reputation tour, the singer has released multiple albums, including Lover, Folklore, Evermore, and Midnights, which Swift released in 2022. Swift has also released re-recorded versions of previous albums, dubbed “Taylor’s Version.” Each of her albums brings fans a new distinct “era” unique from the one before it. The Eras Tour is a celebration of Swift’s iconic discography thus far.

Fans of all Taylor Swift “eras” arrived at MetLife stadium early Sunday afternoon for the final show in New Jersey. The Eras festivities commenced as fans exchanged friendship bracelets, snapped photos, and bought merch at the merch trailers. By the time doors were set to open, a sea of fans had lineup up at the numerous stadium entrances. Many of them were anticipating seeing Swift live for the first time. As far as the eyes could see, Swifties waited anxiously in their creative outfits, spanning from a marching band uniform referencing Swift’s “You Belong With Me” video, to sparkly dresses and cowboy boots.

Phoebe Bridgers and Owenn kick off the evening

The stadium filled in as Owenn opened the show. The R&B artist dazzled the crowd with his resonant vocals. Owenn might have looked familiar to some fans, as the singer previously performed as one of Swift’s backup dancers. 

Shortly after Owenn’s performance, indie rock artist Phoebe Bridgers arrived on the stage to the tune of Disturbed’s “Down with the Sickness.” Her atmospheric vocals filled the stadium, as fans sang the haunting lyrics back to her. Bridgers’ set included popular tracks like “Motion Sickness” and “Kyoto.” The singer performed “Waiting Room” as her surprise song, announcing that she is re-releasing the song on Bandcamp with proceeds going to charity. 

During Bridgers’ performance, she noted that it was the bittersweet end to her time on the Eras tour. She thanked Swift for having her along. Bridgers’ set came to a gripping end as she screamed the final note of “I Know The End.”

Taylor Swift Eras Metlife

The Lover Era

Shortly before Swift’s set commenced, a clock appeared on the huge screen, replacing the collage of album graphics. Fans chanted along as the countdown neared zero. The magic began as dancers emerged from the screen, donning larger-than-life fans printed with pastel colors. 

Anticipation built as the dancers converged in the middle of the stage. A roar of screams permeated MetLife Stadium as the fabric pulled away to reveal Swift rising above the crowd, marking the start of the Eras show. The singer was gleaming as she sang the first lines of “Miss Americana & the Heartbreak Prince” in a blue and gold bejeweled bodysuit.

The opening Lover era continued with songs like “Cruel Summer” and “The Man.” Fans waved their arms in the air as Swift performed a shortened version of “You Need To Calm Down.” Swift took a moment to thank the crowd and jumped into the title track and “The Archer.” Considering 2020’s “Lover Fest” was canceled, fans took every opportunity to sing the lyrics to their favorite Lover tracks for the first time.

The Fearless Era

Swift reappeared on the stage with a sparkling silver dress for the Fearless era. Long-time fans were transported back in time as she played the title track on her matching guitar marked with her lucky number 13. The Fearless era continued with “You Belong With Me” and “Love Story.”

The Evermore Era

Another album getting its tour debut, evermore’s era was next. The panoramic screen displayed an enchanting forest scene as Swift emerged from the floor. The singer dazzled in a gold floor-length gown as she performed “’tis the damn season.” Swift’s backup dancers joined her for a choreographed performance of “willow,” complete with capes and fiery globes. 

The fairytale continued as thousands of cell phone lights illuminated the singer for “marjorie.” In an emotional moment, Swift noted that the song is about her late grandmother. “She was an opera singer and…I’m pretty sure it’s a fact that she would have loved to have gotten to sing at MetLife Stadium,” Swift shared. “Her voice is actually on that song, so technically she just did.”

Sitting at her piano, Swift shouted out the “new members of the family,” the four albums released since her last tour before diving into “champagne problems.” The audience’s voices echoed throughout the stadium and erupted in a standing ovation after the song. Swift beamed and her eyes glistened as she soaked in the seemingly endless applause. 

The singer-songwriter is known for her artistic ability to tell vivid stories with her lyrics. Swift carries her dramatic storytelling style into her live show, as seen in the closing evermore song, “tolerate it.” Swift transported fans into the emotive song as she set a dimly lit dinner table and performed the choreography alongside her backup dancer.

The Reputation Era

As the lights faded out, a captivating visual appeared on the screen once again, this time depicting an ominous, slithering snake. The thumping bass and hair-raising synth of the reputation era filled the stadium. Fans’ wristbands flashed a rich shade of red. Swift, surrounded by her backup dancers and guitar players, performed “…Ready For It?” on the elevated stage. 

The era continued with “Delicate” and “Don’t Blame Me,” during which Swift towered over the audience and belted out one of the most powerful notes of the night. The reputation era came to a close with a smooth transition into “Look What You Made Me Do.”

The Speak Now Era

The reputation snake animation slithered away as the screen radiated purple, hinting at the shift into the short but sweet Speak Now segment of the show. Swift emerged from clouds of smoke wearing a stunning gown, perfect for the whimsical aura of “Enchanted.”

The Red Era

Swift returned backstage for another outfit change while one of her dancers opened and closed red musical chests, teasing the crowd with fragments of nostalgic songs from 2012’s Red album. The magic act culminated in red balloons soaring across the screen. Swift appeared, this time wearing her iconic shirt that reads, “Who’s Taylor Swift Anyway? Ew.” The singer dove into a cheerful performance of “22,” during which she gave her hat to an excited young fan.

The concert’s Red era also featured a heartwarming acoustic duet with Bridgers. For the final time on the tour, the two singers performed “Nothing New,” a “vault” track that debuted on Red (Taylor’s Version). Swift kept things mellow as she closed out Red with the poetic verses of the 10-minute version of “All Too Well.”

The Folklore Era

Marking the progression into folklore, Swift appeared sitting on a moss-covered cabin on the stage, setting the scene for the album. The era served as a more tranquil portion of the show. It featured songs such as “the 1,” “august,” and “cardigan.” Swift twirled around the stage in a flowing purple gown as the crowd’s white lights swayed back and forth. Waves crashed and an eerie forest panned on the screen behind her, creating an ethereal ambiance fit for folklore. 

The 1989 Era and surprise songs

The high energy picked up once again for the vivacious tunes of 1989. Swift strutted down the stage in a sparkly orange two-piece outfit as she sang “Style,” certainly living up to the name. “Blank Space” saw the singer swinging a neon golf club while belting out impressive vocals. The infectious beats and impeccable choreography continued through “Shake It Off,” “Wildest Dreams,” and “Bad Blood.”

Finally, the moment many fans were anxiously awaiting was at their fingertips. Swift, dressed in a flowing yellow dress, grabbed her acoustic guitar for the first surprise song of the night. The singer has a tradition of playing surprise songs at each of her shows, unique from the ones before them. Little did fans know, Swift would be breaking one of her own “rules” for this show.

The first song was a stripped-back version of the first track on 1989, “Welcome to New York.” The choice was fitting for New York-adjacent MetLife Stadium. Swift then sat at her piano, anticipation building among fans eager for the reveal of the second surprise song. She shared that one of her rules allows her to repeat songs if she “messes it up” the first time. In this case, Swift said she wanted to perform a previously performed song in a higher key. She shared, “I wanna do it again because I love you…This crowd is really special,” noting that they always show up “113%.”

Screams echoed as Swift began playing “Clean,” the closing track on 1989. A sea of lights illuminated Swift, who serenaded the crowd with impassioned vocals. The serene performance drew to a close as Swift dove into the stage and “swam” away.

The Midnights Era

The night concluded with none other than Swift’s newest album, Midnights. She opened the final era of the tour with “Lavender Haze,” wearing a shimmering purple dress and enclosed in a ring of dreamy clouds. Playing seven tracks from the album, Swift continued with the mega-popular track “Anti-Hero” before transitioning into “Midnight Rain.” Swift emerged from a shell of umbrellas wearing her Eras midnight-blue bodysuit and matching crystal garter. The electropop beats vibrated through Metlife Stadium.

Swift followed with “Vigilante Shit,” sending fans into a frenzy with her alluring vocals and choreography. Her next track, “Bejeweled,” made “the whole place shimmer.” The crowd’s bracelets flashed vibrant colors to the beat of the music. Her 45-song set neared the end as Swift performed “Mastermind” before diving into “Karma.”

Last week, Swift released a deluxe version of Midnights, dubbed the Late Night Edition. The album includes a remix of “Karma” with Ice Spice. Fans in attendance at MetLife had first dibs at purchasing the album. So, it was only fitting that she brought out the New York rapper to close out the already extraordinary night.

Dancers dressed in the colors of each of Swift’s eras surround Swift and Ice Spice as they walked the stage. Fans cheered and took in the final moments of the show.

Our thoughts on the Eras Tour

The Eras Tour will undeniably go down in history, and it’s no surprise why. Swift intricately crafted every second of the fan experience during her live show. From stunning visuals to intricate choreography and unfathomable production, our attention was captivated from start to finish. The 3.5-hour performance is unparalleled and truly beyond our “wildest dreams.” The Eras experience goes beyond the music, as Swift’s die-hard fanbase came together at MetLife Stadium to share in the special experience.

With every live show and every release, Swift proves to be an unstoppable force in the music industry, blazing through any obstacles put in front of her. Recently, Swift announced Speak Now (Taylor’s Version), the next chapter in her journey of reclaiming ownership of her music. Follow along with Swift’s journey here. If you can score tickets to see her phenomenal live show, we highly recommend it.