Taylor Swift | Melbourne Eras Tour

I’m a Melbourne-based photographer but today I had no camera. Since our feeds are crammed with Eras Tour images and videos, I will be storytelling using words rather than my pictures. I’m most comfortable behind the lens but I feel compelled to put the life-changing experience I had with my eight year old daughter into words.

The anticipation had been building for months, and it was finally time for Taylor Swift to perform in front of her biggest crowd ever. Over just one weekend in balmy Melbourne weather, a record breaking 288,000 fans poured into one of Australia’s most iconic stadiums, The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) to experience their slice of Taylor Swift. Except, it wasn’t just a slice. It was the whole. Damn. Cake. 

As I walked into the venue amongst my fellow sparkly Swifties, all I felt was utter excitement and an immense sense of gratitude. The fact that I was fortunate enough to get a ticket was not lost on me. The shimmering outfits, the passing of friendly glances to one another, the instant striking up of conversations with strangers – it was more than a vibe. Directly outside the stadium fans had travelled far and wide from all over Australia as well as internationally. Swarms of Swifties gathered, even those who missed out on a ticket but still made the trip to hear her voice traverse the imposing walls of the MCG and take part peripherally in the spectacle.

Before we even made it through the gates we were greeted by a gorgeous young couple who gift my wide-eyed daughter with handmade friendship bracelets. My heart was already full. Inside, the feeling was something else. I’ve never seen so many lit-up faces while the fans took obligatory selfies and traded their much-loved handmade friendship bracelets. It was a feeling of love and connection. A community of its own. A moment in history.

The crowd consisted of many different generations and for some it was their first ever concert (my daughter included). Taylor was about to make the whole place shimmer, and the excitement in the crowd was reaching fever pitch. On the big screen the world’s biggest clock appeared and the two-minute countdown began in preparation for the world’s biggest pop star to take the stage.

Bang. It’s midnight (in Swifty world, 7:30 Melbourne time). The stadium erupted into an electrifying roar as she appeared and opened the show with ‘Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince’.

After a few moments of shock and awe, a collective realisation set in and there were tears of pure joy through the harmonic screaming of Taylor’s beloved lyrics. To her devoted fans she is perfectly imperfect, her magnetic field felt throughout the 96,000 echoing throughout the MCG. The Melbourne sky reached golden hour and right on cue her ‘Lover’ set began. We were swept away into a dreamland of pastel pink and blue sky hues; it was simply one of those ‘pinch me’ moments.

Taylor delivered a whopping 3.5 hours of hits, consisting of songs from her albums encompassing her 18 year career including; Lover, Fearless, Evermore, Reputation, Speak Now, Red, Folklore, and 1989, through to her latest album Midnights.
We were even treated to two surprise songs; a mash-up of “Getaway Car,” “August,” & “The Other Side Of The Door” (acoustic guitar); “This Is Me Trying” (piano).

“I don’t mind if you’ve listened to my music for five minutes or 15 years! Welcome, I promise that I will give you every last thing I’ve got tonight”, Taylor warmly declared at the start of the show. She made sure we all felt deeply valued regardless of the duration of our fandom.

Mobile torches were the first to light up the stadium with Taylor’s heartfelt track “Majorie”. Every fan was given a wristband upon entry which automatically lit up with a colour matching each of Taylor’s eras. It was a magical sight consisting of 96,000 twinkly stars sparkling in sync, morphing into all the colours of the rainbow, with Getaway Car painting the stadium an electric emerald green.

We were taken on a journey of growing up, finding love, losing love, making mistakes, and relishing in the power of karma. We were able to gain a deeper understanding of ourselves mirrored through her music.

I felt like I was living all my school girl dreams singing and dancing along to each of her adored songs. Watching the joy spill out of my daughter while she was pulling out all her dance moves in her sparkly cowgirl boots is a core memory I’ll revisit for years to come.

Taylor has a unique talent of giving each of her fans the ability to express a multitude of emotions. She allows you to feel everything. Even though she’s currently the world’s biggest pop star, she seems somehow universally relatable and enables fans to connect with her and themselves on a whole other level. This is her magic, her superpower.

The show itself was flawless. The stage production was unlike any concert I’ve seen. The dancers and choreography were simply mesmerizing and the sound unmatched. At times throughout the show, I looked around to take it all in – Is this actually happening right now? I wonder.

Taylor was warm, genuine and sung a very generous 44 songs in total. It felt intimate, yet wildly larger than life.

Her final act was one of triumph; an explosion of colour and a spectacular light show followed by a fireworks display that lit up the vast Melbourne night sky. We were all buzzing with disbelief by the end. Taylor had taken us all on the ride of our lives. A night encapsulated by pure love and joy, etched in our minds forever.

Written by Sally Goodall for Goss Magazine™

Photo credit – TAS Rights Management

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