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Taylor Swift Brings Her “Eras Tour” to Gillette Stadium (w/ Phoebe Bridgers, Gayle) [Photos]

We were fortunate to be among the ~65,000 attendees at Taylor Swift’s “Eras Tour” show at Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, MA) with Phoebe Bridgers and Gayle.



Taylor Swift @ Gillette Stadium on May 19, 2023, photo by Nathan Katsiaficas

With the entire stadium run completely sold out months in advance, Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour is the hottest ticket this spring and summer! Swift’s first tour since her 2018 outing for Reputation, the long-overdue run spans her entire discography, highlighting each period of her career. The Eras Tour features several up-and-coming and well-established singer-songwriters, including Phoebe Bridgers, Gracie Abrams, Gayle, Paramore, HAIM, MUNA, beabadoobee, and others. We were fortunate to be among the ~65,000 attendees on Ms. Swift’s first night at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA, on Friday, May 19th.

The festivities began in earnest when the parking lots opened at 2:30 and hordes of Swifties, most sporting outfits tied to one or more of Swift’s eras, descended upon the stadium. It was a mixed demographic of families with kids, young adults, and middle-aged fans all united in their devotion to Taylor Swift. Parking lot sing-alongs, barbecues, and lots of posed photos and selfies filled the time until opening act Gayle hit the stage. The “ABCDEFU” singer opened her set with “everybody hates me” and “sleeping with my friends.” With little time for banter, she continued with “don’t call me pretty,” buoyed by the voices of multitudes of young fans singing along.  The Nashville-based singer-songwriter closed her set with a stadium-wide sing-along to the viral TikTok anthem “ABCDEFU.”

Up next, “sad girl” indie/folk pioneer Phoebe Bridgers emerged to Disturbed’s “Down With The Sickness” to kick off an incredible set that would again become one great big crowd sing-along, beginning with her songs, “Motion Sickness” and “DVD Menu.” As it was a shorter slot for her performance, Bridgers was a bit more subdued on the banter side of things but still made time to jokingly dedicate her song “Kyoto” to all the dads in attendance, noting that if they were present here, the song’s lyrics probably didn’t apply to them. Next weekend marks the final dates for Bridgers on this run and for her Punisher tour cycle, so don’t expect to see her again soon outside of her upcoming gigs with supergroup Boy Genius.

The mostly full stadium continued to sing and dance their way through her performance, getting the loudest they had all night as Bridgers, in the midst of her final song, “I Know the End,” got to the final section where she screams. The crowd was happy to help her out in a deafening display—a preview of what was to come during Swift’s set!

As the sun began to set and Lady Gaga’s “Applause” rang out, it was nearly time for  Taylor Swift to perform. A clock appeared on the massive stage screen, slowly ticking down until it hit zero, and a backing track played out with elements of all of Taylor’s eras. Dancers emerged, each with a massive petal-like contraption strapped to their back, flapping as they formed into a huddle, from which Swift appeared at the center and launched into the chorus of “Miss Americana & the Heartbreak Prince.”

Clad in a stunning sequined bodysuit themed to her Lover era, Swift stood atop a platform that arose from the center of the stage, beaming at the crowd as they sang along to every single word. She continued into “Cruel Summer,” then pulled on a sparkly, sequined coat and headed to the back of the stage to perform “The Man,” during which she ascended an office set that echoed elements of the track’s famous music video.

The production on the Eras Tour is nothing short of mind-blowing. Numerous dancers, wardrobe changes, complex choreography,  props, pyrotechnics, a constantly changing stage and light-up floor, geolocated bracelets in the crowd that turned the stadium into an ever-changing sea of colors… it was too much to take in fully in one viewing! And the fans… I have never seen or heard such a loud and gleeful crowd before. The dancing, singing, and screaming along would carry through the night, but for as much energy as they put forth to Swift on this night, she seemed to return it tenfold—performing for nearly three and a half hours across all nine eras in her 45-song set.

The Lover era soon transitioned into the Fearless era, with Swift sporting a dazzling dress to perform the title track from that record, followed by two other tracks, “You Belong With Me” and “Love Story,” with the crowd’s voices at times almost drowning out her own as she sang the chorus to the latter.

The transition to the Evermore era was marked by showers of sparks before pine trees raised up on the stage backline and Swift emerged in yet another stunning outfit to match the theme and kicked into the anthemic ““tis the damn season.” This tour is the first chance for the singer-songwriter to perform this album, along with LoverFolklore, and Midnights, i.e., half of her full-lengths, all of which had come out just before or during the time of Covid and the related touring uncertainty, something she highlighted to her fans during this block of songs.

At one point during “marjorie,” which is about Swift’s late grandmother, who was an opera singer, fans began to—unprompted—light up their cell phones until the entire stadium was a sea of lights. Evidently, this was the first time this had happened since Swift paused after the song to tell the crowd, “That was really stunning of you to do that, thank you!” She would pause again at her gorgeous, moss-covered piano for several minutes after “champagne problems,” tearing up visibly as the crowd continued to roar in adulation.

The eras continued to tick by. Highlights of the more pop-forward Reputation included songs “Look What You Made Me Do” and “Delicate,” the latter of which has revived a fan tradition of chanting “one, two, three, let’s go, b*tch!” in the buildup to the first verse. Swift reappeared in a massive ball gown for a brief homage to Speak Now, with the infectiously catchy “Enchanted,” before continuing into her Red era, which saw her bring Bridgers back out for a stunning performance of “Nothing New,” a ‘From the Vault’ track featured on Red (Taylor’s Version). Swift closed out the era with a massive rendition of “All Too Well (10-Minute Version).”

As the Folklore era began, a cabin appeared from the stage, with Swift reclining on its thatch roof to perform “the 1” and descending beneath its roof as she continued into “betty.” It’s hard to pick a single defining moment from this era as, much like the record, the set really doesn’t have a single dull moment. The crowd’s voices were loudest for “cardigan,” which marked the end of this era. Swift once again disappeared, only to reappear to launch into the 1989 era with “Style.” The dazzling display continued as dancers came out on brilliantly lit, neon bicycles for “Blank Space,” later producing glowing golf clubs with which they pretended to destroy a glittering sports car.

The end of the 1989 era marked the most special moment of each night—one where Swift plays stripped-down acoustic/piano versions of two songs that will not be repeated on another night unless she makes a mistake. On this night, Swift chose to play “Should’ve Said No,” from her 2006 self-titled debut, and “Better Man (Taylor’s Version),” another ‘From The Vault’ track from Swift’s album Red (Taylor’s Version). This culminated in a dive into the stage, which displayed a video of Swift “underwater,” swimming along the length of the catwalk to the back of the stage. She emerged for the final era of the night with “Lavender Haze,” “Antihero,” and more absolute bangers from her most recent record, Midnights.

The night closed with “Karma” and a cacophony of fireworks as fans began to make their way out of the stadium. It was truly an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime kind of experience—and there’s still plenty of time to catch one of the remaining shows. Taylor Swift and her cohorts will be moving on to play New Jersey this coming weekend at MetLife Stadium before continuing ultimately to Sofi Stadium in Inglewood, CA, in August. If you can manage to snag tickets, it’s well worth it—when else will you get to hear all these eras of Swift in one show!? The remaining dates on the Eras run are listed below!

Remaining Dates on The Eras Tour (w/ openers):

May 26 at MetLife Stadium: Phoebe Bridgers and Gayle.
May 27-28 at MetLife Stadium: Phoebe Bridgers and Owenn.
June 2-3 at Soldier Field: Girl in Red and Owenn.
June 4 at Soldier Field: Muna and Gracie Abrams.
June 9 at Ford Field: Girl in Red and Gracie Abrams.
June 10 at Ford Field: Girl in Red and Owenn.
June 16 at Acrisure Stadium: Girl in Red and Gracie Abrams.
June 17 at Acrisure Stadium: Girl in Red and Owenn.
June 23 at U.S. Bank Stadium: Girl in Red and Gracie Abrams.
June 24 at U.S. Bank Stadium: Girl in Red and Owenn.
June 30-July 1 at Paycor Stadium: Muna and Gracie Abrams.
July 7-8 at Geha Field at Arrowhead Stadium: Muna and Gracie Abrams.
July 14-15 at Empower Field at Mile High: Muna and Gracie Abrams.
July 22-23 at Lumen Field: Haim and Gracie Abrams.
July 28-29 at Levi’s Stadium: Haim and Gracie Abrams.
Aug. 3 at Sofi Stadium: Haim and Gracie Abrams.
Aug. 4 at Sofi Stadium: Haim and Owenn.
Aug. 5 at Sofi Stadium: Haim and Gayle.
Aug. 8 at Sofi Stadium: Haim and Gracie Abrams.
Aug. 9 at Sofi Stadium: Haim and Gayle.

When he's not out in the woods, clomping around in streams, or looking at shiny rocks, you can find our U.S. Managing Editor and contributing photographer Nathan Katsiaficas in the photo pit, covering everything from heavy metal to punk, alternative, indie, and hip-hop.