Joie’s Jams of the Month: The Era of Taylor Swift


Joie Evar, Staff Writer

I have so many words to describe the Eras tour, but none of them can do it justice. Taylor Swift has truly changed the meaning of a pop star and has taken over as the face of our generation. In a world where we have become so divided and full of hate, Taylor Swift remains the one person capable of uniting people all over the country. Maybe a few years ago it was about music, but now it has become something with meaning. Taylor Swift is leaving a mark comparable to the accomplishments of only great artists like The Beatles and Elvis Presley. Prior to being an attendee of this concert, I was unaware of these conclusions. My experience only proved just how powerful the concert was. 

Upon arriving at Metlife Stadium, I was surrounded by Swiftie traffic. Each car had lyrics on them, songs blasting, yet even with traffic delays, there was not one honk or aggravated driver to be found. Everyone had a smile on their face. In the parking lot, Swifties were singing and laughing, and some were even setting up tables to bead friendship bracelets. Strangers were greeting each other, smiling at each other, and complementing each other. This was a type of kindness I’d forgotten existed. Everyone was dressed in perfectly curated outfits that had been planned months prior, each represented a song or album they loved to listen to. Even the dads were in shirts that said “dads are Swifties too.” On every hand Taylor’s lucky number 13 was written in Sharpie and in glitter. The people were preparing for a night they would never forget; the Eras tour was finally here.

The concert was like nothing I have ever seen before. The lights, the outfits, the backdrops—everything was made to a tee. For three nights a week, Taylor performed to a packed stadium for three and a half hours with absolutely no holding back on any high note or choreography routine. Each song was a spectacular performance. I will admit, I was way more excited to hear some eras over others, but the concert changed that. Each era offered something new and special . The environment of the show was unparalleled. There was not a single seat empty, and everyone was up dancing and singing every single word of every single song. 

I have seen Taylor Swift during her Red tour and her 1989 tour. During the former, I only wanted to hear  “I Knew You Were Trouble,” and on the 1989 tour, all I wanted to hear was “Style,” the two songs that were “my songs” on the album. What I am trying to get at is that this concert is only those types of songs, the “hits’” that everyone knows. Yes, I know the Swifties know everything, but not once was there a frozen crowd without a sing-a-long. Typically, an artist waits until the encore to play their hit, but for Taylor each song played was a hit.  What made me the most excited were the surprise songs. Each night Taylor performs two acoustic versions of songs that are not on the setlist, furthering the celebration of her discography. The songs are chosen at random and range from fan favorites to underground songs. However, her fans still  manage to recite every single word. First of all, do people realize how well-known your songs have to be and how dedicated your fan base has to be to even have surprise songs? Even more, to have them be a viral success? This concept adds such an amazing effect to the show. The fans are able to feel personally connected to the concert as they are the only ones who will hear those specific songs throughout the tour. I would say other artists should do something like this, but they can’t because only Taylor can.

Taylor is a pioneer to all people and especially women. I could write an entire book on this, but in short, Taylor does not own her first six albums. Her old music manager, Scooter Braun, and her old label, Big Machine Label Group, booted her out of a deal that would have allowed her to own the full rights to her music when she was of age in her contract. During the time when she worked with them, she made a fraction of the money she should have earned. The industry had completely blindsided her from beginning to end. Instead of accepting defeat, however, Taylor took the risk and stood up to the businessmen who had taken advantage of her. She did this by re-recording her albums that Scooter technically stole. Each time you see “(Taylor’s Version)” next to a song, it means that she owns it. To re-record was a huge risk, as she was scared that nobody would see the point in relistening to songs they have already heard, but to her surprise, it was one of her greatest accomplishments. As girls watch Taylor perform with this in mind, it is all the more empowering. Taylor stood up to the most powerful people in her industry and won. As a woman in any industry, this is an extremely difficult thing to do. So, as she sings these re-recorded songs and celebrates them, all women are celebrating with her.

On that note, Taylor’s tour has included many themes of empowerment. Most notably, the friendship bracelet trend mentioned above. On her new album, Midnights, “You’re on Your Own, Kid” is a song about Taylor isolating herself throughout her youth. There is a lyric that says “make the friendship bracelets,” which sparked the viral trend to make friendship bracelets and trade them at the concerts. It is a celebration of kindness and creativity. Where attendees would have never spoken to each other, they get to meet each other, make memories, and take a souvenir home with them. Many artists find their fame through their style, their beauty, and their unattainable life, but Taylor draws in her fans by relying only on being herself, by creating a space where others will be themselves too.

The Eras tour was more than a concert; it was an experience of humanity. Taylor Swift is proof that staying true to yourself as an artist and believing in yourself as an individual are the keys to success. You don’t have to be a fan of her music to acknowledge and respect her artistry, activism, and authenticity.