Attending the Eras Tour was quite easily one of the best nights of my life. From the moment Taylor Swift stepped on stage, it was three and a half hours of core memory-making with a few of my best friends. We all grew up listening to her music, and it’s surreal she’s still popular as ever today. Let me just tell you, that woman is legendary. I can’t fathom how she puts on a show of that magnitude, every weekend, for 2-3 days in a row. I need her to drop her workout routine, what she eats in a day, her vitamin list, everything!
The day of the concert
Saturday morning, April 15th, 2023 began with a road trip down to Tampa from Jacksonville, FL. It was a three-and-a-half-hour drive to our hotel. There, we dropped our bags and proceeded to get ready for the show taking place that evening.
At the venue
After getting ready and snapping pictures, we headed to Raymond James Stadium. We had purchased a parking pass ahead of time and arrived 30 mins before the doors opened. This was the perfect amount of time to get parked, fuel up with a quick snack, and head to the gates.
Once we made our way through the gate, our friend, Kat, had the genius idea of going straight to the top level of the stadium to get in line for merch as everyone typically rushes to buy from the, nearby, lower-level stands. After waiting in line for 20 mins, we successfully secured our tour merch. Afterward, we headed to go find our seats. Shoutout to our friend Reagan who won the great war against Ticketmaster, and secured seats in the lower bowl – section 134. We still had about an hour before the first opener went on, so we just hung out and tried to keep cool in the baking hot Florida heat.
The start of the show
The openers for this particular night were Gracie Abrams and beabadoobee. A few of us decided to go to the restroom 30 minutes before Taylor took the stage. The lines were incredibly long, as expected. Apparently, the line we were in was for the men’s restroom. We thought they had the men’s open for everyone based on the number of people in line, however, this was not the case. The situation later turned into a super awkward fiasco, involving venue staff and security, when we got closer to the front of the line.
Right after the countdown struck zero, a nostalgic intro track with snippets from all of Taylor’s albums played right before she emerged on stage belting out Miss Americana and the Heart Break Prince from the album Lover.
It was the most enchanting night as she took us on a journey through all of her albums, or as they’re befittingly called, “the eras”. Every show, she plays two surprise songs from her albums that aren’t in the main setlist. The first surprise song, on guitar, was ‘Mean’. The second surprise song, on piano, was ‘Mad Woman’ which she also brought out Aaron Dessner for.
After the concert
After the magic ended, it was a madhouse in the parking lot trying to get out. Thanks to our friend Kat, again, we made it out fairly quickly. This experience is one that I will remember for a lifetime. I’m so lucky I got to share it with amazing friends!