A Deep Dive Into Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour Setlist
The show is how long?
So, you’ve done the impossible: you got tickets to Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour. You got the presale code, you suffered through Ticketmaster buffering, and you spent a chunk of change on the chance to see a 12-time Grammy-winner tear up the stage of your local arena. At long last, after a nearly five-year break from touring, Taylor Swift has set off on the first leg of her Eras Tour—which also means the setlist is finally out. When Swift first announced the theme of her tour would be Eras—a sprawling performance that would seemingly feature tracks from every album or “era”—fans were over the moon at the possibility of hearing all their old favorites as well as newer Taylor deep cuts.
Now that Swift has set off on her tour, we know exactly which songs did and didn’t make the cut. But if you’re looking to make a playlist of the setlist so as to be the most prepared, it’s not quite that simple: As with all elements of Swift’s performance styles, her setlist is a complicated production. Clocking in at a whopping three hours and 14 minutes, the opening night of the Eras Tour featured a setlist of 44 songs from across all 10 of Swift’s albums. Luckily, countless Twitter users have condensed the lengthy setlist into a convenient chart; this one from Twitter user @kissesofgaga gives a color-coded breakdown of the Glendale set from night one of the tour:
As seen in the graphic, the Eras Tour breaks the setlist down by album. Instead of jumping around from era to era for each song, Swift’s setlist (for the most part) features a designated chunk of tracks from each album, dedicating time to each “era” before checking it off the list and moving on to the next one. It isn’t as simple as four songs from each album, though—some entries in her discography nabbed more spots than others. It should come as no surprise that her newest album, Midnights, features the most songs with seven tracks total, including singles “Anti-Hero” and “Bejeweled.” The big shocker, though, was the attention devoted to her ninth album, Evermore—a pandemic release with a somber folk sound that many fans claimed was Swift’s “least favorite” album.
Fans believed that because Swift didn’t frequently acknowledge the album on social media, it wasn’t a particular favorite of hers, but come opening night, Swift showed Evermore plenty of love. Not only did she play five tracks from the album, but she also took the time to call out her supposed dislike for it in an intro:
The other big shocker for fans when it came to the breakdown of songs-per-album was the lack of Speak Now and Debut tracks: Swift’s beloved third album is anticipated as the next volume in her discography to be re-recorded as “Taylor’s Version,” but only one song from Speak Now made it into the Eras tour setlist: “Enchanted.” Her debut album also only nabbed one spot on the list with “Tim McGraw”— another snub that surprised fans, especially with the chart success and fan support for tracks like “Our Song,” “Teardrops On My Guitar.” and “Picture To Burn.”
But the biggest surprise of the night was Swift’s revelation that each stop on the tour would feature a unique “secret surprise song.” According to Swift, her aim is to play a different song at each show, with the intention to never repeat a song unless she flubs a performance so severely she feels like she needs to give it another shot. She also noted that the surprise song would be played acoustically—so regardless of original production, fans can look forward to a low-key guitar arrangement. The night one secret surprise song was fan-favorite “Mirrorball” off Folklore, and night two’s was “This Is Me Trying” off Evermore, and “State of Grace (Taylor’s Version)” off Red (Taylor’s Version).
Fans were also quick to point out that the only other difference between the night one and night two setlists is that “Tim McGraw” was only played on night one. It’s possible that “Tim McGraw” was considered another secret surprise song, and won’t be played again.
Last but certainly not least, there’s the openers: Swift has nine different openers announced for the various stops on the Eras tour, and each performance will feature a certain combination of artists, some more frequent than others. The tour kicked off with Paramore and GAYLE opening for Swift in Glendale—though GAYLE will continue on for a total of 15 opening shows, Paramore’s run concluded with the Glendale performances. beabadoobee joins GAYLE in Las Vegas, before MUNA takes over for a night in Arlington, Texas. The remainder of the Arlington shows feature openers beabadoobee and Gracie Abrams, who reunite for the Tampa, Houston, and Atlanta shows. Phoebe Bridgers opens all three Nashville shows, joined by Gracie Abrams on nights one and three, and GAYLE on night two. Bridgers and GAYLE reunite in Philadelphia for two shows, before Abrams swaps with GAYLE for the third performance—a pattern repeated for the shows in Foxborough, MA.
Bridgers ends her time on the tour in New Jersey, featuring openers GAYLE, Gracie Abrams, and newcomer OWENN. OWENN is then joined by girl in red for a pair of shows in Chicago, before MUNA and Gracie Abrams close out the third night of Chicago shows. girl in red plays both shows in Detroit, joined by Gracie Abrams the first night and OWENN the second—a pattern that repeats in Pittsburgh and Minneapolis. MUNA and Gracie Abrams then open a string of shows: Cincinnati, Kansas City, and Denver. HAIM then joins Gracie Abrams for the final leg of the tour in Seattle and Santa Clara, as well as the first and fourth Los Angeles shows, with OWENN taking Abrams’ post on night two. The tour is closed out by HAIM and GAYLE, who play nights three and five of the tour.
So, as a final overview: the Eras Tour setlist is broken up into album-by-album chunks with six songs off Lover, three from Fearless, five from Evermore, four from Reputation, and the single off Speak Now. Red (Taylor’s Version) gets four tracks (including the 10-minute version of All Too Well), then Folklore‘s lengthy seven-song run, which is followed by five tracks off of 1989. After 1989 is when we get the special secret songs that change at every performance. So far, it looks like Taylor is performing two per show. After the secret songs, we wrap up with seven tracks from Midnights, and three-plus hours later, that’s the Eras tour.
Whether your favorite album was snubbed (justice for Speak Now!) or got plenty of love, the setlist for the Eras tour has an impressive roster of deep cuts, chart-toppers, and new hits to please virtually any flavor of Swiftie—and soon, it’s coming to a city near you.
(featured image: Omar Vega / TAS23 / Getty Images for TAS Rights Management)
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]