top of page
  • Writer's pictureSkyla Clarke

How The Eras Tour Celebrates Girlhood

When I saw those men walking out with their big colourful flower-style parachutes and listened to the speakers blast “It’s been a long time coming, It’s fearless…” I cried. Not even crying actually. I bawled my eyes out like a big baby. I stood there, in a stadium filled with happiness, glitter and pink, and I sobbed. When she emerged, you bet I cried even more. I had waited months for this exact minute. I fought for tickets. I booked the flights. I brought the outfits. If there was any occasion to make great, it was this one. 

Taylor Swift has just finished the Asian leg of her Eras Tour, after playing over 50 shows in the Americas. In February, she took a trip down under with three shows in Melbourne and four shows in Sydney. 

I was lucky enough to attend her third concert at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (#melbourneN3), and it was probably the biggest moment of my life. My best friend and I flew from Auckland to Melbourne the day before our show, and we could feel Taylor Swift’s presence even before we departed Auckland Airport, with many of the girls on our flight wearing her merch, or even just subtle friendship bracelets on their arms. 

Once we landed, however, this feeling intensified. Her tour merch was everywhere. Walking through the centre of Melbourne it was like every second person was repping team Taylor Swift, and every shop we went to was playing her songs. People were walking through the stores in desperate last-minute attempts to find makeup, outfits and hair accessories for their concert. It was like everyone in a single city got to bond over one great thing. 

From our hotel room window that night, we were able to see people walking around the street all dressed up in cowboy boots, frilly dresses, and of course, lots of friendship bracelets. Despite the fact that I knew it would be me in 24 hours time, I was engulfed in jealousy. I was so desperate to go and see the concert that everyone has been raving about since March last year.

When that time eventually did come around, it felt like one of the most classic girlhood experiences of my life. My friend and I put our matching dresses and cowboy boots on, my mum did my makeup and hair, and finally we slid our friendship bracelets up our arms and put our tiaras on our heads. That evening, we were the girls walking down the street. 

When we got on the tram to the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), we were surrounded by swifties. A little girl who was around six asked me to trade bracelets almost immediately, and it just made my heart melt. I was so thankful for the opportunity to be able to bond with anyone, just because we shared a common interest. 

What was even greater was the fact that the city of Melbourne was keen to bond with us too, with many of the police officers around the grounds, as well as the tram operators, participating in the bracelet exchanges and wishing us a good time at the event. 

I knew it was going to be the most magical night of my life as soon as I stepped off that tram. We walked through crowds and crowds of swifties, each person’s outfit so particularly designed, stringed together perfectly like a Folklore song. Before we even reached our seats we traded bracelets and engaged in conversation with so many people, each as excited as we were. 

When we did eventually reach the floor, we were engulfed with not only the site that is the MCG, but the sight that is swifties. Every person that we met was so excited to talk to us, to exchange bracelets, and just to know more. Where were we from? How long did we wait in the queue for tickets? What’s our favourite song? They all cared so deeply, and so did we.

When Lady Gaga’s Applause came on over the speakers, we knew it was almost showtime. I simply cannot put into words what I was feeling at that time, but I know that I shivered when the song changed to You Don’t Own Me and the screen showed a large clock counting down from two minutes. 

The Famous Countdown Clock - Melbourne Night 3

Once the timer had finished, the famous intro began. It summed up all of her Eras into one audio, sending chills down my spine. The men with the big parachutes came out, and surrounded the centre of the stage. “It’s been a long time coming”, and then the parachutes stood back for her to pop out of the stage, wearing a sparkling pink bodysuit. 

Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince blasted over the speakers, Barbie herself singing and dancing. Every time she paused for just a moment, the crowd would roar. She touched hearts with every song in the Lover Era, whether that be fan fav Cruel Summer, feminist bop The Man or anxiety-inducing (or reducing, depending on how you listen to it) The Archer. 

And as the Lover house burned down, the Fearless Era erupted, Swift making a swift change from the pink bodysuit to an octopus-style gold dress. Fearless included the main songs that we all grew up on as kids. You Belong With Me and Love Story are the pinnacle of my childhood music, and every time they play I remember when I was seven years old, blasting them through the speakers carpooling home with my best friend. That night I felt like I had 96,000 best friends, who all held their hands up in hearts during Fearless together. 

Taylor continued to play through the Eras of her music, and the Eras of our lives. I cried during Majorie as the crowd all put their phone torches on to light up the stands. I shouted the chants during Delicate. I screamed as loud as I could during All to Well 10 Minute Version. I thought about my younger self when I heard Enchanted live for the first time. I cried when she came out of the stage wearing the blue 1989 set, because I knew that meant we would get great surprise songs. I squelaed when she played Come Back… Be Here mixed with Daylight. I used my fantastic country accept when she played Teardrops on My Guitar, one of my favourite songs from her Debut album. 

All Too Well 10 Minute Version live - Melbourne Night 3

After we traveled back in time throughout the songs that defined our lives, she played Karma, the final song of the setlist. Then I had past the point of crying. I was having a full on breakdown knowing that the best night of my life was about to end, and the random blonde woman who had touched my soul in so many ways was about to disappear. 

The confetti cannons blasted, the fireworks rose into the sky, and all of the dancers smiled as they walked off stage. And then the random blond woman, wearing a midnight-blue bodysuit and pink frilly jacket disappeared. 

My friend took a photo of me after the concert. I am standing with a collection of Eras-coloured confetti in one hand, a peace sign thrown up on the other. I’m smiling, but my face is red and the make-up, which my mother had put so much effort into, is running down my face. I was so happy for the experience, and a month later I still wish that it never ended. 

One of my favourite things about The Eras Tour, is how every show is made to be unique. Even something as simple as Taylor wearing a different outfit combo each night made it seem so special. She gave the 22 hat to a different person each night, everyone cheering when the 8-10 year old blonde girl with a heart drawn on her face exchanged a hug with Swift. She played different surprise songs each night, making our experience completely unique to anyone else’s across the world. 

Taylor Swift has touched so many people in so many different ways with her music. Her tour is just another part of the impact that she has on an entire generation of young girls, including ourselves. The Eras Tour shows what friendship is about, and it shows an opportunity to express ourselves through a common interest, free of judgement. It is girlhood.

25 views0 comments


bottom of page