Taylor Swift performs at her widely anticipated “Eras Tour” on March 2, 2023 in Arlington, Texas. The “Eras Tour” broke the record for the highest attended female act of all time.
Taylor Swift performs at her widely anticipated “Eras Tour” on March 2, 2023 in Arlington, Texas. The “Eras Tour” broke the record for the highest attended female act of all time.
Ronald Woan/Flickr

Taylor Swift’s “Eras Tour” setlist encompasses fan favorites, classic songs

“It’s been a long time coming,” sings Taylor Swift as she opens her long awaited “Eras Tour.” Initially, Swift planned a world tour in 2020, titled LoverFest. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the tour was postponed and ultimately canceled. The wait for the tour was worth it, as each show has a three-and-a-half hour runtime with a setlist that spans all 10 of her albums. While all the songs have been hits, certain performances stand out as highlights.


Swift opens the tour with her 2019 album, “Lover.” 

The first song is “Miss Americana & the Heartbreak Prince,” demonstrating the importance of its message above all of Swift’s discography. The song serves as an allegory for the conflicts between Swift’s passion for music and industry politics, and encompasses her journey to performing as the highest-attended female act of all time, according to Billboard.


“You Need to Calm Down” and “Cruel Summer” are fan favorites, with the former condemning the media for pitting women against each other, while the latter speaks to Swift’s anxiety about the uncertainty in her future relationships. Because of the song’s breathtaking vocals, the “Cruel Summer” performance has been anticipated since its release.

In the emotionally vulnerable song “The Archer,” Swift provides a poignant look into her insecurities. The lyrics are a reflection of the realities of fame and bring a somber tinge to an upbeat album. 



The first of Swift’s re-recorded album, “Fearless,” is the second on the setlist.

In this chapter of the tour, Swift performs “You Belong with Me” and “Love Story.” The first song is a nostalgic look at Swift’s high school days, and even 15 years later, she taps into an energy that makes the experiences seem fresh. “Love Story” encapsulates the innocence of a fairytale-like relationship with direct references to Shakesepeare’s play “Romeo and Juliet.” 



Swift released two albums during the COVID-19 pandemic, the first being “folklore.” The album unveiled a new sound that differed from Swift’s pop hits and country roots. The production is subdued, and the lyrics weave unique stories that prove Swift’s songwriting prowess transcends her personal experiences.

“cardigan” established itself as a cult-classic shortly after the album’s release. Along with the songs “betty” and “august,” the three songs connect a story that follows a fictitious love triangle. Swift describes a discarded “cardigan” as a representation of the ?effect that lost love. The song is a mature look back at a young relationship that was an emotional catalyst for the narrator. 

Through simple lyrics in “betty,” Swift describes the innocence of young love and the regret when it slips away. “august” represents the perspective of losing a love that was never truly there, and verbalizes a feeling that is often buried. 

The subsequent track, “illicit affairs” is a heartbreaking rendition of the trials of infidelity. Through her simple lyricism, Swift conveys the desperation that exists within complicated relationships.

Swift performs “illicit affairs” from her 2020 album, “folklore” in Arlington, Texas March 2. The critically acclaimed album was released as a surprise amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Ronald Woan/Flickr)


The second album Swift released during the COVID-19 pandemic was “evermore,” and it is the fourth chapter in the concert” A sister album to “folklore,” Swift continues to explore stories that are largely fictional. The lyrics are far removed from Swift’s own experiences, but they possess an undeniable emotional core that gifts the album a relatable quality. 

“marjorie” appears to be the only personal song on “evermore,” making it a highlight of both the album and concert. Named after Swift’s late grandmother, the song is simultaneously a heartbreaking expression of grief and a beautiful tribute. Swift’s grandmother was also a singer, and recordings of her voice are used as backing vocals, creating an angelic effect. 



“Reputation” details Swift’s life while being harassed by the media, prompting an abrupt disappearance from the public eye. Despite the significant backlash she received at the time, Swift doesn’t hold onto bitterness through the album. Instead, it’s a look at the resilience and love found at a difficult time.

The first song from “Reputation” is “Ready For It,” which encompasses the passion and strength that sets a tone for the album. Through a fast beat and assertive lyricism, Swift makes a powerful statement about this new “era” of her career. 

In “Delicate,” Swift sings about the hesitance and insecurity she felt pursuing a new relationship while facing public scrutiny. Unlike some of her other songs, Swift seems to revel in the secrecy of her relationship. She believes that because her reputation is so tarnished, her partner appreciates her for who she is, rather than her social status.

“Don’t Blame Me” is often recognized among fans for showcasing Swift’s powerful vocals, making it a highlight. In this song, she takes a stance against the backlash she received throughout her career, taking ownership of her perceived mistakes. 


Speak Now 

Swift was 20-years-old when she released “Speak Now,” the only album for which she holds the sole writing credits. The album chronicles her journey into adulthood and the shedding of her teenage country star image through her acclaimed lyricism.

The only song on the permanent setlist is fan favorite “Enchanted.” The song encapsulates the euphoria and longing that teenage Swift felt while navigating new relationships as a young woman. While fans of the album were disappointed by the lack of the album’s presence, their desperation to hear more was sated after Swift announced that the re-record of the album “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” would be released July 7. 

Swift performs “Enchanted” from her album “Speak Now” in Arlington, Texas March 2. Swift announced her re-recording of the album while on tour. (Ronald Woan/Flickr)



“Red” was Swift’s first foray into a more pop-influenced sound. Throughout the album, Swift retains aspects of country sound but explores themes of partying, heartbreak and fame. The album is an amalgamation of upbeat tracks and deeply emotional ballads. The rerecording “Red (Taylor’s Version)” was released November 2021, and Swift revists the album with an underlying maturity as she details the passion she felt throughout her early twenties. 

“All Too Well (Ten Minute Version)” quickly became a fan favorite, breaking the Billboard record of the longest song to reach number 1. Long and winding, the story of one of Swift’s relationships is told through metaphorical lyricism from start to finish. 

Contrary to “All Too Well,” the songs “22,” “We Are Never Getting Back Together” and “I Knew You Were Trouble” embody the overall upbeat tone of this album with optimistic lyrics. 



Largely considered a quintessential pop album, “1989” established Swift as a bona fide pop star earlier in her career, giving the reader a view into her glamorous lifestyle. The Swift that is presented throughout the album is a far cry from the girl in her country albums. However, her storytelling remains intact as she paints a picture of the darker side of fame, hidden affairs and nights out. 1989 is an album with Swift’s most recognizable songs, and the album sets a precedent for the pop sound that Swift pursued throughout her career.

Aptly named, “Style” is supposedly about Swift’s rumored affair with a fellow musician. The song explores the differences between their private and public relationships.

“Shake It Off” was an immediate hit, topping the Billboard Top 100 for four weeks after its release. The exemplary pop track was inescapable throughout the 2010s.

“Wildest Dreams (Taylor’s Version)” was a surprise release in May 2021. It is one of two singles from the much anticipated “1989 (Taylor’s Version).” The song is a plea from Swift to her ex-partner to only remember the highlights of their relationship. Sonically, “Wildest Dreams” differs from most of her discography as she utilizes a subdued vocal style similar to the singer Lana Del Rey.


Taylor Swift (Debut)

Swift’s debut album features her early country hits, imbuing a depth beyond her years. Swift was only 16 when she released the record and soon became a household name within the country genre. 

“Tim McGraw,” released in 2006, holds a special place in the memory of many longtime fans. After being released, it quickly captured the attention of many country fans and star Tim McGraw, whom the song was named after. As her first song, it claims a rightful place in her setlist, and performing it immediately before her most recent album, “Midnights,” represents a profound, full-circle moment in her music career. 


“Midnights,” Swift’s most recent release, is sonically reminiscent of her pop albums, but the lyricism carries a poetic edge that revives her pandemic releases. The concept for “Midnights” is a representation of a different sleepless night through her life in each song. In the announcement for the album, Swift describes herself lying awake, “in love and fear.” While the album is sonically scattered, it captures the chaos of the sleepless nights that Swift describes.

Swift continues the narrative of her struggles with anxiety and insecurity in her song, “Anti-Hero.” Despite how the song discusses topics of mental health and emotional stability, Swift chose to use an upbeat and energetic track that contrasts the severity of the theme.

Shortly after the release of “Midnights,” two songs went viral on TikTok: “Midnight Rain” and “Bejeweled.” In the former, Swift embodies a melancholy tone while discussing how she sacrificed a relationship in order to pursue her career.  In the latter, Swift uses a high energy track to convey her positive feelings after ending a bad relationship.

Swift closes out the show with “Karma,” an upbeat song emphasizing that the best revenge is enjoying one’s life.  The reuse of the name shows Swift’s progression from anger to blissful detachment. By ending her show with “Karma,” Swift shows that success is still feasible in the face of hatred, a theme embodied by the “Eras Tour.”

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