Jun 12, 2023
Taylor Swift Eras Tour’s Best Moments: Surprise Songs, Guests and More
Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour is a cultural phenomenon. With unprecedented demand, smashed world records and a staggering 44-song setlist, the Eras tour spans Swift’s entire discography, chronicling all
Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour is a cultural phenomenon. With unprecedented demand, smashed world records and a staggering 44-song setlist, the Eras tour spans Swift’s entire discography, chronicling all the various eras and albums of the Midnights singer’s career.
From the mad scramble to buy tickets that crashed Ticketmaster’s website to guest appearances from the likes of Taylor Lautner, Joey King, Haim and Phoebe Bridgers, Swift brings new surprises for her fans at each stop.
As the first round of Swift’s Eras Tour approaches its last dates in Los Angeles, The Hollywood Reporter has compiled the biggest highlights from the tour so far.
Before the Eras Tour even began, it was making history. During the rush to buy tickets after five-plus years of waiting, the retailer site Ticketmaster crumbled, with many experiencing multiple hour-long waits and the majority of fans not being able to secure tickets. According to Ticketmaster, the demand was unprecedented and led to no tickets being available as a part of the general sale. Ticket prices soared above $1,000 for the cheapest seats on the resale market, leading to congressional hearings that included more than a few tongue-in-cheek Swift references.
It’s a nightly ritual at the Eras Tour for Swift to gift her black fedora hat to one lucky fan in the audience during her performance of Red hit song “22.” At an Arlington, Texas, show on April 1, Swift stopped to say hello to Selena Gomez’s 9-year-old sister, Gracie, who was in attendance with the Only Murders in the Building star, to exchange the hat for a friendship bracelet. Similarly, during her Thursday night show at Los Angeles’ SoFi Stadium, the Eras performer shared a sweet moment with Kobe Bryant’s daughter Bianka Bryant. The pair hugged as Swift placed the hat on Bianka’s head.
In 2015, the late Lakers legend joined Swift onstage at the then-Staples Center during her 1989 tour, surprising her with a championship-style banner in honor of her record-breaking 16 sold-out shows at the arena.
At her first Nashville stop on May 5, Swift treated fans to the highly anticipated announcement that album rerelease Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) would drop on July 7. As expected, the artist teased the announcement days before the show, posting a purple heart emoji on social media. Before launching into Speak Now track and surprise song of the night “Sparks Fly,” Swift debuted a first look at the album cover on the big screens of Nissan Stadium, while purple lights lit up the Nashville’s Cumberland River bridge.
“You know how I love to plan things, and how I love to surprise you with the things I plan,” she said onstage. “It’s my love language with you — I plot, I scheme, I plan and I get to tell you about it.”
It fills me with such pride and joy to announce that my version of Speak Now will be out July 7 (just in time for July 9th, iykyk 😆) I first made Speak Now, completely self-written, between the ages of 18 and 20. The songs that came from this time in my life were marked by their… pic.twitter.com/oa0Vs5kszr
Swift’s real-life besties from sibling trio band Haim joined the Speak Now singer onstage in Seattle on July 22. Together, the friends performed their Evermore collab “No Body, No Crime,” marking the first live performance of the song on the Eras Tour. With the girl band announced as one of the opening acts for the tour, fans expected Haim to appear at least once to perform alongside Swift.
On the day she released the Midnights album extended version The Til Dawn Edition, Swift brought out one of her newest collaborators Ice Spice onto New Jersey’s Metlife Stadium stage. The rapper, who features on a remix edition of Midnights hit song “Karma,” joined Swift onstage to perform her verse and close out the show for three nights in a row.
Across the Nashville, Philadelphia, Massachusetts and New Jersey legs of the tour, Phoebe Bridgers joined Swift as not only an opening act, but also a stage partner. With acoustic guitars in hand, Bridgers and Swift took to the Eras stage multiple times to perform their fan-favorite vault track from Red (Taylor’s Version), “Nothing New.” On Bridgers’ final night on the tour at MetLife, the friends shared heartfelt goodbyes on stage. “You are my hero,” Bridgers told Swift onstage, with Swift responding: “Thank you for being the friend that you’ve been to me.”
After the release of Speak Now (Taylor’s Version), fan-favorite song “Long Live” off the album entered the set list. Presumably, until that point Swift had previously avoided performing too many songs off of Speak Now so as not to promote any tracks owned by Scooter Braun.
The hit single off Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) was the new “From the Vault” track “I Can See You,” which became a radio hit and charted on Billboard. To announce the music video she directed for the track, Swift brought out the video’s stars, including ex-boyfriend Taylor Lautner along with Presley Cash and Joey King, on stage at the Eras Tour in Kansas City. Lautner performed a backflip, a nod to his scene with Swift in the 2010 film Valentine’s Day. “He and his wife have become some of my closest friends, and it’s very convenient because we all share the same first name,” said Swift onstage during the video announcement.
Every single stop of the tour, Taylor Swift has performed two surprise songs that are unique to that tour stop, only repeating a handful of tracks from amongst her vast discography. Fans have tracked the songs online via Twitter — even maintaining complex spread sheets — hoping to get one of their favorites that isn’t a part of the main set list as a “surprise song.” Highlights have included “Hits Different,” “Death by a Thousand Cuts,” “Our Song,” “Tim McGraw” and many more.
At the Eras Tour stop in Seattle, fans partied so hard they caused the equivalent of a small earthquake. This rivaled Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch’s “Beast Quake” from 2011, thought Swift came out as the clear winner when measured on the Richter scale.
On the last night of the first leg of her U.S. tour, Swift revealed that 1989 (Taylor’s Version) will release Oct. 27. Throughout her performance at sixth night of Eras Tour shows at Los Angeles’ SoFi Stadium, the singer teased the announcement by wearing several blue outfits to celebrate the occasion. Following the announcement, fans were treated to 1989 track “New Romantics.” The rerecorded version will feature 21 songs, including five previously unreleased songs from The Vault as described on Swift’s website.
“Surprise!! 1989 (Taylor’s Version) is on its way to you,” Swift wrote on social media. “The 1989 album changed my life in countless ways, and it fills me with such excitement to announce that my version of it will be out October 27th. To be perfectly honest, this is my most FAVORITE re-record I’ve ever done because the 5 From The Vault tracks are so insane. I can’t believe they were ever left behind. But not for long!”
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