Just days into Taylor Swift's Eras Tour, it's crystal clear the singer still maintains the pop crown, as evidenced by her massive debut at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Friday night.
Swift became the first woman to headline the NFL venue, which is home to the Las Vegas Raiders, since it opened in 2020. Over the past two years, the likes of Garth Brooks, Guns N' Roses, Metallica, Bad Bunny and Elton John have all played the stadium. "You’re making me feel like I’m the first woman to ever headline Allegiant Stadium … But I won’t be the last," she declared before playing her song "The Man."
While Swift has long played giant stadiums throughout her career, this current trek is of particular significance for multiple reasons, as she didn't tour behind her 2019 album Lover nor 2020's Folklore and Evermore because of the pandemic. Thus, the Eras Tour, which kicked off last Friday (March 17) in Glendale, Arizona, envelopes those three albums as well as her most recent hit record Midnights, which was released this past October.
Surrounded by 60,000 of her closest friends, Swift's first of two nights at Allegiant was also a testament of the star's insurmountable staying power. Regardless of whether you're a fan or not, there's no disputing her position at the top of the pop world, where she remains an absolute juggernaut, nearly 20 years since she first signed with Sony/ATV in 2004.
Now 33, Swift is still such a force in the music world, and she knows it. Ever the marketing strategist, she made sure to give kudos to Lana Del Rey before performing their collaboration "Snow on the Beach," recognizing the timing of the performance, as Del Rey's own album dropped on Friday.
"Lana Del Rey put out a new album, and it’s called Did You Know There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd," Swift said as she sat at a piano to perform the song, making clear before fans got too excited Del Rey wasn't going to pop out and make a surprise appearance. "Guys, it’s so good. You probably already know that. But it’s just extraordinary. I just think she’s the best that we have. And so I think we need to make it a priority as a group to stream, buy, support this album and this artist."
The night of friendly gestures didn't end there, as Swift later gave a shout out to one of her opening acts, beabadoobee, who is opening alongside fellow buzzworthy singer GAYLE, for select dates.
During each show of the tour, Swift is performing a handful of songs from her catalog which may be exclusive to that show and might not be heard again for the rest of the tour.
“I actually saw an interview [with] beabadoobee, who is our amazing, brilliant opening act tonight, and they were saying, ‘Oh, you’re going on the Eras Tour. What song might you want to hear?’ And she was like, ‘Well, I grew up listening to songs like, on her first album…’ And she named a specific song. So I figured, you know what? For her first show with us, I’ll play the specific song that she said she wanted to hear. So this is a song that I actually wrote it for my ninth grade talent show, called ‘Our Song.’”
The three-hour set was one of two nights in Vegas for Swift, who also played Saturday night. Next, she heads to Arlington, Texas, to play three nights, then to Tampa, Houston, Atlanta, Nashville, Philadelphia and Chicago, among a number of other stops.
See photos from night 1 in Vegas below, by Dan DeSlover.