Taylor Swift's The Eras Tour Leaves Mile High Enchanted

Friday, July 14, 2023
Empower Field at Mile High
Denver, CO

Words by Kim Mock
Photos by Dylan Flores Photography

I thought I knew what to expect walking into Taylor Swift's The Eras Tour, seeing clips and hearing about it all over social media. The hype was real and I was ready for it, or was I? I consider myself a Taylor Swift fan, maybe the next level up from casual. Okay, I'm not going to lie, I love her. No matter what you think of her, she is one of the most influential artists of our generation. She’s been at this for seventeen years, putting out countless albums and making America fall in love with her.

Eras Tour tickets were probably some of the hardest tickets to get this summer, leaving fans angry and frustrated with the Ticketmaster system and wondering how they were going to get into these shows. With aftermarket ticket prices skyrocketing, it seemed impossible. I almost bought severely overpriced tickets and had to stop myself. I could not spend that much money, and I think that was the thought of a lot of fans. I found out just two days before the show that I would be able to attend through a media ticket from Taylor Swift's team. I was even on emails with her publicist who was featured in her 2020 Netflix documentary. It all didn't seem real. I honestly had to pinch myself a couple of times. I was actually going to see Taylor Swift! I had given up all hope of going, honestly, but then this happened.

The thought of actually getting to the stadium gave me anxiety, so I chose to take an Uber to the show instead of driving because I knew what was awaiting for me; A cluster of 78,000 people trying to get to the same show I was attending. I was right, as soon as I got there, waves of people were making their way into the stadium dressed in their Eras Tour best. Sequins, glitter, bright colors and amazing outfits took over Mile High.

The Eras Tour takes fans through every era Taylor Swift has ever gone through since the beginning of her music career. This is the most extravagant tour she's ever done, playing a three and a half hour set with about forty five songs that span all of her albums. There was even a portion of the show with two surprise songs where Taylor played one on guitar and one on piano. This section of the show had everyone on the edge of their seats and left them wondering, "What would she play?!"

The two openers were Gracie Abrams and Muna. I had never seen either of them before, but was pleasantly surprised. Gracie Abrams has the most soft, angelic voice. I felt like I was in a trance during her set watching her soar across the stage. Muna on the other hand, was the exact opposite. They had so much energy, rocking this pop and dance vibe to get everyone moving.

Finally, it was time for Taylor Swift to take the stage. A clock appeared on the screen behind the stage counting down, causing everyone to lose their minds in anticipation of Taylor's entrance. Once Taylor appeared the whole stadium erupted in cheers and high pitched screams. She started with her album Lover and opened with "Miss Americana" and a personal favorite of mine, "Cruel Summer." She finished out the album by playing "The Man," "You Need to Calm Down," "Lover," and "The Archer."

The next album up was Fearless, with Taylor only playing three songs from the album; A shortened version of "Fearless," "You Belong with Me," and "Love Story." I have seen so many clips of "Love Story" from this tour and people proposing during it. I was hopeful that someone around me would pop the question to their significant other, but no dice. After Fearless came Evermore, with the stage transforming into a magical forest very fitting of the album. She played five songs off of Evermore, "Tis the Damn Season," "Willow," "Marjorie," "Champagne Problems" and "Tolerate it." At this point I was not sure how anyone had a voice left after belting out every word to every song, myself included! It kind of felt like a sing along with 78,000 of your best friends. You could feel the intensity of her fandom all throughout Empower Field. The change from one era to the next was like the turning of a pop up book page, revealing new architecture, story lines and colors. Taylor turned the next page and played songs from her album Reputation as snakes slithered across the screens, fans seemed to know what was coming next. She started with “Are You Ready For It," as pyrotechnics engulfed the stage and she made her entrance, followed by "Delicate," "Don’t Blame Me," and "Look What You Made Me Do."

The next era was Speak Now, which Taylor just put out the “Taylor’s Version” of this album. She is re-recording her first six albums after a battle over the rights to her music. She played "Enchanted" and "Long Live" off of the album in a beautiful ball gown, she seemed like she was floating across the stage.

Next up was the album Red, where she said that, “It’s been a life long dream for me to one day own my work, own my music.” She went on to thank the fans for supporting this endeavor and talked about how she gets to revisit her past, improve upon it and show you more than what the project originally was. Including songs that were not previously released. She then went into a ten minute version of "All Too Well" as the audience erupted in screams and of course sang along to every word.

Then came the album Folklore, which she said she started writing two days into the pandemic. It was a sort of an imaginary dreamscape for her to dive into, like we all did, trying to figure out ways we could just be somewhere else in our minds. She said, “We all just watched so much TV and we just drank so much wine, I did all of those things, basically Folklore was the more productive thing I did during the pandemic.” As she talked a "Folklore Cabin” was on the stage in the background and she said she kind of pictured the cabin in Colorado because “it is so pretty here." The album is about fictional characters that she created and is a fan favorite among Swifties.

Following Folklore was 1989. This album is one of my personal favorites. She came out in a green sequin outfit to start off with "Style," then went into "Blank Space," "Shake it Off," "Wildest Dreams," and "Bad Blood." Then came the moment I think everyone was waiting for, the surprise songs. Taylor came right to the end of the catwalk, just where I happened to be seated (GASP)! I was so excited to see what she would play. She ended up performing "Picture to Burn" acoustically on her guitar which was a tour debut and the first time played since 2010. Then she moved to the piano and played "Timeless," which was another live debut.

To end the night she featured songs off of her newest album, Midnights. She turned the stage into clouds of purple and played "Lavender Haze," "Anti Hero," "Midnight Rain," "Vigilante Shit," "Bejeweled," "Mastermind," and ended the show with "Karma."

As the show wrapped up I looked at the fans around me and everyone just seemed so happy, like they just attended the best concert of their lives, and I think they did. There are not many artists who can play for three and a half hours and still keep the audience fully engaged with their performance, but Taylor Swift can. She is a force and she's going to do this all over again, night after night, until the tour is over. I have so much more respect for her as an artist and person after seeing this tour. It's clear that she loves her fans and wants to deliver the best possible experience for all of them.

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