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  • Writer's pictureEmma Egan

SHOW RECAP + GALLERY: Taylor Swift brings Eras Tour to Life in Foxborough, MA

After 5 years and 4 albums away, Taylor Swift made her return to Gillette Stadium, and Buzzkill was lucky enough to catch the third and final night of Swift’s mini residency. Dressed in our Eras’ best and arms full of friendship bracelets, we jumped in headfirst to the third night of the Eras Tour in “Foxy” Foxborough, MA.

Kicking off the night was indie singer-songwriter, Gracie Abrams. This is our second run-in with Gracie Abrams since catching her set at Lollapalooza last summer, and her stage presence has gained power. She has a way of commanding crowds that many artists her size struggle to hone, but Abrams does it with ease, finding moments to connect with her fans while soaking it all in.

Next up to bat, Phoebe Bridgers. We'e been following Phoebe for a minute here, and her growth even in the Punisher album cycle alone has been nothing short of monumental. Heralded as one of Taylor Swift's favorite artists by Swift herself, Phoebe Bridgers carved a home into the Gillette stage, tugging on the heart strings of the nearly 100,000 in attendance. Seeing Bridgers at this scale, and hearing her lyrics yelled right back to her was enough to make me teary eyed more times than I’d like to admit. The sweeping orchestral sounds of "Moon Song," "DVD Menu," and "Scott Street" feel like they was always meant to be played at this scale, and I doubt it will be long until we see Bridgers play shows of a similar scale on her own. During her set, Bridgers gave a proper farewell to the Punisher era (an album cycle which ended with her Era's Tour appearances) by surprising audiences with the album's title track. While it's painful to say goodbye to the era that, for many, put Bridgers on the map, we're patiently awaiting what's to come next for the artist (and waiting for the Boygenius tour to stop at our respective cities to get our fix).

With a somewhat tongue-in-cheek spin of “You Don’t Own Me”, the countdown to Taylor began. With anticipation higher than ever for Taylor’s 13th Gillette appearance, fans all around the stadium found themselves out of their seats and craning their necks, waiting for the moment that iconic opening sequence would start. We all stood there as her dancers emerged from inside of the ginormous backdrop to a medley of many of Taylor's most iconic songs. "My name is Taylor, and I was born in 1989!"

Swift’s set begins with a burst of color and sends her straight into “Miss Americana and The Heartbreak Prince.” The opening line It’s been a long time coming feels apt. Alongside her band, backup dancers, and grand visuals, Taylor's set weaves together a technicolor dreamscape that shifts and spins through the eras of her 17 year-long career.

With a set time clocking in at just under 3.5 hours, Swift is an unstoppable force of talent. From the bright and tropical warmth of Lover, to snake-soaked Reputation, or the dark and romantic mysticism of Evermore and Folklore, Swift unravels her unapologetic, genre-spanning career.

“Giving the people what they want” feels like the understatement of the century when looking at the Eras tour setlist. Welcoming four new albums to her repertoire since last touring (Lover, Folklore, Evermore, and newly-released Midnights), Swift pays homage to each of her album cycles, reflecting on the journey that made her the performer she is today. Her grand sets, costuming, and visuals in no way distract from Swift’s live performance.

To give away too much of the set feels like a disservice, so a few highlights:

  • an over three minute ovation after performing “Champagne Problems”;

  • a stunning solo rendition of Taylor’s ten minute track “All Too Well”;

  • surprise songs were “I Think He Knows” and “Red” (both on guitar due to a piano malfunction, a result of a rain show the night prior).

Viewing her entire catalog in this form truly highlights the impact her body of work has had on both her fans and the industry alike. While continually topping the charts is something Taylor knows all too well, it’s Swift’s devastating relatability and the connection she is able to foster with and for her fans that is her truest success. Swift is able to dig deep into emotional wells, bursting joys, and stinging betrayals time and time again, leaving it all out on stage, only to be wrought back to life the next night. It’s a truly phenomenal effort, yet she seemingly does so with ease.

Swift and her team have concocted the tour of a generation, reaching out to new and old fans alike. Swift made the stage her home, and welcomed all 70,000 of us into the charmed and charged world of her music.

With bursts of confetti, and dazzling fireworks, Swift’s Foxborough residency came to a close. It feels almost impossible to do this show any justice in words, it was truly a spectacle on a scale I had never seen, and I’m keeping my finger crossed for some sort of documentary to relive this show over and over again. Until then, we at Buzzkill are anxiously anticipating the re-release of Speak Now, coming July 7th.

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