As A Non-Swiftie Who Just Went To Her First Taylor Swift Concert, I'm Convinced 'Eras' Is A Farewell Tour

taylor swifts the eras tour concert film made an estimated 96 million in its opening weekend
Is The Eras Tour A Taylor’s Farewell Tour?Taylor Swift / Instagram - Instagram

The trail of beads, glitter and feathers paved the way as little girls and their friends squealed in excitement, arms swinging with the jingle of beaded bracelets. Liverpool's Anfield Stadium, the 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 Swiftie-sphere.

Taylor Swift, of course, requires no introduction. She’s the girl-next-door who’s reached stratospheric heights by virtue of her sweeter-than-pie aesthetic, lyrics that read like they’ve been lifted straight from a teenage diary and the fact that she has a very real talent for melodising her moods. She's the girl who was raised on a Christmas tree farm in America with boy problems and the slightly dorky persona who could well be your friend, or your friend’s friend. Her story reads like a Hallmark movie. As a non-Swiftie, nothing about her screams 'once-in-a-generation talent' until you see her shimmy on-stage, guitar in-hand, singing to her 70,000 adoring fans as they wipe tears from their eyes and shout the lyrics back at her.


Swift has soundtracked these people's lives, her music has lent lyrics to their pain and together, in orbit around their patron saint, they've become a community. In a time where anybody can seemingly become a star with a swipe of their finger and a click of a camera lens, Swift belongs to a different league of celebrities who have earned their stripes, fame and cachet the old-fashioned way, by honing their craft and dedicating themselves to becoming the best in the world at it. This is somebody who's been a star for longer than she’s been alive. Which is why her boundary-breaking, record-breaking, billion dollar-making 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, even if just for now.

liverpool, england june 13 editorial use only no book covers editors note image has been 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 management
Gareth Cattermole/TAS24

Let me explain myself. Swift continuing to write, produce and make music or live her life freely in the eye 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 an enjoyable evening dancing in unison with scores of screaming girls and woke up with a voice that sounded like I had a 40-a-day Camel Blue habit. But I was merely a member of an audience who took note of the metaphors that peppered the show without viewing them through the rose-tinted glasses afforded to those who are part of a fandom. There are figurative deaths and rebirths peppered throughout Swift's show, which, yes, correlate to her music, but have you ever heard of an artist perform the greatest hits from a 18-year-long career only to then do it again in a few years' time? If that were true, then Swift would be setting a precedent among her fanbase that this is what every tour of hers will now look like. Surely only an artist who has exhausted either themselves or their creative cannon would indulge audiences in such a display of their work, because the only question that I was left with after watching her was, 'What next?'

Swift has re-established limits not achieved by any other artist in history. She has re-written the rules of what is possible for female musicians, and it feels like this tour, which she has announced will continue until December 2024, is Swift's way of thanking her fans for their love, loyalty and dedication to her. She plays them their favourite songs from her oldest albums. They have shown her loyalty throughout the mud-slinging and misogyny which she's fallen victim to over the years, but there's no other reason for an artist to perform albums that were released over a decade ago unless it's as a means of extending gratitude and bidding 'So Long.'

taylor swift the eras tour lyon, france
John Shearer/TAS24 - Getty Images

The nebulous sense of wonder at where her star ought to ascend to after the Eras tour was a question that even tumbled from the lips of Swifties I attended the concert with. There is the original film she's confirmed to be writing and directing for Searchlight Pictures; there is her relationship with NFL player Travis Kelce, who has called her the 'biggest and best thing possible' and is rumoured to be planning a proposal for once her tour has concluded. She has given her fans what few others in her position have: a community, soundtrack to their lives and a hope for what can be achieved with hard work and perseverance even in the face of adversity. In return, they have ensured that everything she has touched has turned to gold. Perhaps really, the greatest and most transcendent 'Love Story' for Swift is the one she has with her adoring fanbase, who have and will continue to support her through every chapter of her life. But the best and biggest era of her career is undoubtedly the one that lies ahead, once the dust has settled on the current cloud of high-octane publicity that surrounds her. The way that she is expending herself is not sustainable for anybody, superstar musician or not.

taylor swift eras tour
getty images

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