By: Brenna Mata
Bob Levey/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management
Let it be known that Taylor Swift is the first artist to ever sell out three back-to-back shows at NRG Stadium (Taylor’s Version) in Houston, TX. 
Now let that fact sink in. With roughly 62,000 attendees each evening throughout the April 21st – 23rd weekend, The Eras Tour brought close to 186,000 swifties together to witness what I believe to be the most iconic tour in pop culture history. 
Only a handful of artists in the music industry have been able to reach the level of stardom that allows them to hit the road on sold out stadium tours — but very few are doing it in the style of Taylor Swift. What once was a tour filled with one stop for each city across the U.S. quickly turned into three shows for each city due to the demand of millions of dedicated swifties. 
Even with the addition of shows, tickets sold out during Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan presale that Taylor has joked around and called “The Great War” of getting Eras Tour tickets. All jokes aside, anyone who was able to snag a pair of tickets would tell you they don’t regret waiting forever in the online queue. 
It’s now been five months since the ticket buying fiasco, and a week since Taylor gave three star-studded performances at Houston’s biggest music venue. I’m still trying to find the words to encapsulate the energy of it all. All I know is that I’m still riding on cloud nine from the entire experience. 
The evening of Friday, April 21st will be one that I cherish forever. This first night of The Eras Tour in Houston featured two talented opening acts, Gracie Abrams and Beabadoobee. With strict set times in place to ensure Taylor’s full three-hour set list, the show began at 6:30PM sharp. Once the sound of instruments and vocals filled the stadium, swifties excitedly scrambled back to their seats knowing that she would be hitting the stage right at 8:00PM. 
Shortly before, a countdown popped up on the stage’s giant LED screens, letting fans know that their trip into every Taylor Swift era was about to begin! The countdown hit zero and the lights shut off all across the venue. The audience was roaring with cheers from the bottom of the floor to the top of the 600’s sections. 
Making her grand entrance with the Lover era, Taylor Swift began the night with Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince. She was truly stunning while wearing a jewel-studded outfit with the most sparkly silver boots you’ve ever seen. Taylor pulled out all the fan favorites for her 44-song set list, including the masterpiece that is Cruel Summer and The Archer from Lover. The pink sky-filled, enthusiastic nature of this era made for the perfect start to amp up swifties. 
What’s a new era without an outfit change? Taylor’s transitions between eras were flawless and really took us into the world of each album. Following Lover was her 2008 release Fearless, but we only stream Taylor’s Version from 2021, okay?! While the Fearless era was a little more short lived than newer eras, everyone was still living for Taylor strutting around in her classic gold dress singing You Belong With Me and Love Story. What a lovely glimpse of nostalgia it was to hear echoing lyrics of “It’s a Love Story, baby just say yes!
Bob Levey/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management
The vibes then began to ease as we were greeted to the majestic world of evermore. Released in 2020 amidst the global pandemic, this album was a getting-through-quarantine staple for many (including its “sister” album folklore, which is just as astonishing). Everything from the acoustic guitar riffs in willow to the light melodies in champagne problems was soothing. While sitting at her mossy green piano, Taylor would look all around the stadium, soaking in the beauty of being able to perform for 60,000 people. I think it was just as beautiful of a moment for fans too, realizing that they get to witness the world’s biggest pop star and her undeniable talent. 
After finally getting to hear those songs that got me through quarantine, the set list took a complete 180º turn into Taylor’s fiercest era yet: reputation. I’m extremely biased because I attended the show in an all-black reputation outfit, but I believe it’s one of her best albums. The striking production and lyrics of …Ready For It? honestly sent chills throughout my body. After watching her Netflix documentary Miss Americana, it’s a no brainer that Taylor released an album that hits back at the people who tried to bring her down. Taylor entered the stage for the new era in a black body suit that was covered all over with a shiny red snake pattern. Talk about an iconic outfit! With songs like the cinematic Don’t Blame Me transitioning effortlessly into reputation’s defining anthem of Look What You Made Me Do, finally getting a little taste of her 2018 reputation tour was a dream.
But in true Taylor Swift fashion, her Speak Now era was the shortest of them all and only featured the recently viral TikTok song Enchanted. The moment felt so ethereal, the stage filled with heavy fog and Taylor’s gorgeous gold ball gown.
Bob Levey/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management
At this point we’re about half way through the set list and time felt like it was flying by, so I made sure to really go all out for the last couple of eras. After a brief look into the world of Speak Now, Taylor’s 2012 hipster-esque album Red took the eras stage by storm. Opening the era was the hit single 22 that perfectly captures the freeing feeling of being young and doing whatever you want with your friends. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together and I Knew You Were Trouble still have the catchiest choruses that must be sung at the top of your lungs, no excuses! And of course I couldn’t forget about the loudest sung song of the entire evening, the ten-minute version of All Too Well. The light up bracelets throughout the stadium bursted in red color for the heart wrenching ballad that put the swifties in their feelings. What a way to close out an era that is a true symbol of its time.
The audience was once again met to a transitioning video on the LED screens that brought us into the folky, cottagecore realm of none other than folklore. Taylor’s eighth studio record won Album Of The Year at the 2021 Grammy Awards for a reason. From the complex fictional storyline of Betty and James to the emotional yet intimate lyricism, the album that got me through quarantine in 2020 was just as magical performed live as it was blasting through my speakers at home. Sitting atop a wood house surrounded by light forest visuals, Taylor began singing the 1. While we didn’t get to hear the album in full, the bits and pieces of the storyline created by Swift and cowriters Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner were just enough to make the folklore fanatic in me happy. Perhaps one of the more special moments of the folklore era was witnessing Taylor sing stripped back-type songs such as bettyaugust and cardigan. My favorite era of the night for sure.
After falling in love with the sounds of the world of folklore, Taylor took back to her pop music roots with some of her biggest hits from the critically acclaimed 1989. Titled after the year Swift was born, 1989 has become a staple in pop music for its top notch production and of course, stellar songwriting from Taylor. For this era, swifties were dancing and screaming lyrics back-to-back with no breaks. The fact that she performed StyleBlank SpaceShake It OffWildest Dreams and Bad Blood consecutively just goes to show how Taylor Swift has earned her place in being one of the best performers in the industry.
Houston was also lucky enough to get two secret songs from older eras. Walking to the end of the stage in a sunshine yellow dress, Taylor happily picked up her guitar and surprised us with Wonderland from 1989 and then sang You’re Not Sorry from Fearless while at her vintage piano. 
The final era to close out the once-in-a-lifetime show at NRG Stadium was Taylor’s recent release from 2022, Midnights. She returned to the catwalk stage in a sparkly pink shirt dress with a fluffy lavender coat for the album’s opener Lavender Haze. Her dancers were disguised as purple clouds running around the stage accompanied by dreamy “midnight” visuals. Standout moments from the era included the echoes of everyone yelling “It’s me, hi, I’m the problem it’s me” and Taylor’s stunning chair choreography to Vigilante Shit that left my jaw dropped. When it came to the last song, Karma, it was the perfect bop to end the show. I mean I literally took my hat off to dance around like crazy one last time! As Taylor paraded all around her giant catwalk stage in a dark purple fringe coat, she waved around the audience one last time before taking a bow with her dance crew. Once the show had completed, knowing that I was able to see the star power of Taylor Swift on The Eras Tour will be a memory that lasts a lifetime.

Check out more shows