Jul 2, 2023 - Music

Taylor Swift takes Cincinnati by storm

Taylor Swift on stage performing with three dancers on each side of her.

Cincinnati was ready for it. Photo: Taylor Hill/TAS23/Getty Images

It's been a long time coming … but Taylor Swift is now fearless.

👋 Editor Lindsey here, with my thoughts on Taylor Swift's Eras Tour concert Saturday at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati.

Walls of insecurity: The last time I saw Swift perform was in summer 2009 when she was still a country singer finding her confidence.

State of grace: On Saturday, Swift knew exactly how to command the stage and the crowd for more than three hours. She delivered a performance filled with impressive props, costumes, digital displays and dancing.

Bent right to your wind: With strong storms in the forecast for late Saturday night, Swift bumped her start time up by an hour to 7pm.

  • She made the right call. Around 11pm — when the show would have been nearing the end had she started at 8 — strong wind gusts and rain whipped through downtown Cincinnati.

Big reputation: Initially it was odd that the setlist jumped back and forth between eras — how could she smoothly transition from "Red" to "folklore" to "1989" — but it weaved together perfectly. We ditched those old cardigans for that good girl faith and a tight little skirt.

  • The performance showed her range — from lying on the roof of a cabin in a long green dress for "folklore" songs to a "Chicago"-style dance routine with chairs for "Vigilante Shit."

She can make the whole place shimmer: We were given electronic bracelets that were timed to light up with colors to match the songs. During "Lavender Haze," the bracelets filled the stadium with a lavender glow; during "Bejeweled," our wrists made it look as if the crowd was sparkling.

Call it what you want: All tour, Swift has been performing two surprise songs that she does not repeat.

  • Yes, but: On Saturday, Swifties got three songs — she played "ivy" with Cincinnati-native Aaron Dessner of The National, "I miss you, I'm sorry" with Gracie Abrams and "Call It What You Want."

The bottom line: I was lucky enough to experience this concert — by far the best live performance I've ever seen — with five of my best friends from college. We sang and danced like we were 22. I hope I remember this concert all too well.


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