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The news site of Robert Morris University

RMU Sentry Media

The news site of Robert Morris University

RMU Sentry Media

Taylor Swift and the Eras Tour Make History

Emma Malinak, Pittsburgh Magazine
Fans at Acrisure Stadium watching the Taylor Swift concert

Attendees flocked from far and wide to see the generational performance, clogging the streets and metro en route to the stadium. Lines from anything to merchandise to food to the bathrooms stretched to the edges of the arena. With the gates opening at 4:30 on both nights, and with each night being sold out, the crowds were close to maximum capacity.


Each concert came equipped with a sharp group of openers. Gracie Abrams and Owenn, both lifelong Taylor fans and collaborators, held their own as openers, bringing the early crowd to their feet with mesmerizing vocal performances. The Norwegian artist girl in red, who opened both nights at Acrisure, was the fan-favorite. Her renditions of “we fell in love in october” and “bad idea!” set expectations high with an incredible prelude performance.


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Those expectations would quickly be blown out of the water. As the blank stage lit up with vivid colors of a sunset sky, the stadium erupted with cheers as Taylor Swift began to sing. Leading off with an elaborate rendition of “Cruel Summer,” Swift began the long and winding journey of the Eras tour.


Pittsburgh is a familiar stop for Swift in her tours, with performances in the Pittsburgh area dating back to the 2000s, and performances at Acrisure, formerly Heinz Field, first taking place in 2011.


As the night progressed, Swift transitioned between her different “eras” of her life, each represented by a different album from her discography. Taylor started the night with the 2019 album “Lover,” with dazzling hits like “The Man” and “You Need to Calm Down.” As the “Lover” era surged into the Pittsburgh sky, the energy quickly frosted over as Taylor transitioned to a more subdued era, 2020’s “evermore.”


Each transition brought an entire change of scenery and costume from Swift and her back-up dancers. The snowy visage of “evermore” melted into the pulsating and threatening “reputation” era. Swift belted out “…Ready For It?” in a glittery, snake-patterned bodysuit, while giant digital vipers slithered across the stage. The brief but vibrant “Speak Now” era saw the stage bloom into a lavender field, with Swift in a matching billowing purple dress. The most impressive set piece was the “folklore” era’s giant cabin and accompanying cast of characters.


The technology used with the performance was top of the line. Each ticket included a bracelet handed to each attendee, which would shine in time with the show. While showstopper performances in the “Red” era sent shockwaves of red light through the crowd, other eras used the technology more creatively. The “reputation” era saw the bracelets used to animate snakes throughout the crowd, and the “folklore” era saw the audience’s bracelets turn into fireflies in the night sky. The stage itself shifted as well, opening up and elevating the performers, both literally and figuratively.


The fans themselves put in a good amount of effort themselves. Costumes matching each of the different areas littered the crowds, with many as ornate as some of the costumes worn by Taylor Swift herself. Even simple outfits had some ties to Swift, often making Swift-related jokes or Swift references.


Each song that Taylor performed immediately clicked in the minds of the audience. As the “1989” era began, which included some of her most iconic songs, the roar of the crowd singing along nearly overpowered the singer-songwriter.


As the night slowed down, Taylor Swift performed a few of her trademark “surprise songs,” renditions of less popular songs unique to each stop on the tour. It should be no surprise that the song “seven,” which dealt with her upbringing in Reading, Pennsylvania, would be enormously popular in her home state. Swift was ultimately drowned out by her own fans singing over her. Each “surprise song” was performed completely acoustic, with one lone spotlight to accompany her.


After that, one era remained: 2022’s “Midnights.” The lights, music, and energy overflowed out of the arena with the closing performance of “Karma,” her latest viral hit. With one final, fiery send-off, Taylor Swift thanked the crowd for attending with fireworks shone overhead.


Ultimately, the Swifties broke the record for the most attended event in Pittsburgh, with 73,117 attendees total, eclipsing Garth Brooks’ record from four years earlier. With such a large crowd, the streets were once again flooded with fans as they made their ways home, whether that was around the block or hundreds of miles away.


The sheer size and gravity of the tour was something to behold, and very few times does a generational talent like Taylor perform up to a level such as this. The Eras Tour not only made memories, but made history in the city of Pittsburgh.


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About the Contributor
Jesse Mccullough, Assistant Arts and Entertainment Editor
Jesse McCullough is a sophomore News and Sports Communication major from Cochranton Pa.  He is the Assistant Arts and Entertainment Editor. He can be found hosting Sports talk in the Burgh. One of his major interest is E-sports as he is part of the team here at RMU.