Taylor Swift Comes to Texas

Sarah Garrett and LiLi Xiong

Pop singer and songwriter Taylor Swift announced her Eras Tour on Nov. 1, 2022. The  tour has enchanted fans, and it will cover her musical eras from all of her albums; from country to pop to indie. The tour will also be her first tour in five years. 

Lover Fest, a worldwide tour following the release of her sixth album, “Lover,” was set to take place in 2020, but the tour was canceled due to COVID-19. The announcement of her Eras Tour, though, has sparked fans to revisit some of her previous music. Junior Arden Randazzo and their twin sister are enthused Taylor Swift fans and were delighted to get tickets to the Eras Tour. They are looking forward to hearing both songs from past albums, as well as “vault tracks,” which are previously unreleased songs that are now out of the woods and on the tracklists of Swift’s re-recorded albums, “Fearless” and “Red.”

“I can’t wait to hear some songs from ‘Midnights,’ ‘Lover,’ ‘Folklore,’ and ‘Evermore,’” Arden Randazzo said. “We haven’t heard any of them live, or the vault tracks. I’ve been listening to ‘Mr. Perfectly Fine’ again recently, and I want to hear it live.”

Arden Randazzo was first introduced to Swift’s music through hearing her album “Red” on the radio. Their dad bought them a CD of the album, and as a child, Swift’s lyrics captured their wildest dreams and left an impact bigger than the whole sky.

Junior Liesl Geiger, however, more recently discovered Swift’s music and is not as familiar with her older work. In order to prepare for the concert, Geiger said has been listening to Swift’s older albums. 

“I have listened to Taylor Swift’s music ever since middle school when I started listening to music, but I was never really a big fan,” Geiger said. “And then her Folklore and Evermore albums came out, and I really like that style of music, … and then she announced her tour, and I got tickets for that. And then I started listening to all of her other albums because I have to catch up and make sure I am prepared [for the tour].” 

The process for getting tickets to the Eras Tour took several hours, and some fans reported waiting up to 8 hours for them, according to CBC news. Freshman Maddie Golby bought tickets to an Arlington show through SeatGeek.

“It was still kind of nerve wracking because we kept finding tickets and then some of them would get taken,” Golby said.

Fiona Randazzo, who also bought tickets through SeatGeek, had a similarly stressful experience. In order to get a better chance at buying tickets, the Randazzos became “Verified Fans,” a mechanism used by artists to make sure tickets are sold to fans directly rather than companies seeking to resell tickets.

[My parents] both waited on the website for like 6 hours, and then my mom ended up getting tickets, like 45 minutes before my dad did,” Fiona Randazzo said. “We’re going to the Arlington shows, and those ones were Seat Geek rather than Ticketmaster, so I would like to think that’s why it went smoother. It was still a mess, but they didn’t completely mess everything up.”

Geiger knew all too well what it was like to buy tickets through Ticketmaster as she waited for around five hours to buy tickets for one of Swift’s Houston shows. Fans, such as Geiger, believe Ticketmaster did something bad: at least 15% of interactions across the site experienced issues, according to Ticketmaster.

“I had the flu on the day that they were being sold, so I could stay home and log on [to Ticketmaster] right at 10 o’clock,” Geiger said. “Shortly after that, everything crashed … every so often, I’d come in and check on it, and nothing would have happened. But after 5 hours, we started getting action.”

The wait did not deter fans from being excited about the tour, according to freshman Lucy Farrow. Farrow, who will be going to a performance with Golby, has planned out what time the two will leave in order to be prepared for the concert. 

“We’re going to go to the stadium early,” Farrow said. “I want to leave Austin by 8 a.m. to get started on shopping. Yes, we’re gonna go as sunshine and midnight rain. It’s gonna be really fun.”

The costumes Farrow and Golby are wearing are in reference to the lyrics “you were sunshine, I was midnight rain,” from Swift’s song “Midnight Rain.” The last time Arden Randazzo saw Taylor Swift was during her Reputation Tour and the experience is still burned in the back of their mind. According to Arden Randazzo, there were more people dressed up at the concert than they expected.

“I didn’t dress up last time,” Arden Randazzo said. “I was in sixth grade. I didn’t know, but people dress up and I’m definitely going to dress up. I think [people dress] up like Taylor from music videos and dress up as things she’s performed. I know some of the craziest costumes, like someone dressed up as a Starbucks cup because of ‘Starbucks lovers.’”

Along with dressing up in bejeweled costumes there are other customs that will be taking place at all of Swift’s performances. One of these traditions will be the exchanging of friendship bracelets in reference to one of Swift’s songs from her album, “Midnights.” 

“In the song ‘You’re On Your Own Kid’ there’s a line that’s like ‘so make the friendship bracelets, take the moment, and taste it,’” Farrow said. “I think it originated on TikTok where people are like ‘Oh my god we should all make friendship bracelets and swap them at the tour,’ so hopefully I can do that.”

In order to have the best day, Arden Randazzo has been preparing for the concert by making friendship bracelets. Arden Randazzo doesn’t fully want to trade the bracelets.

“On the internet, people are talking about making friendship bracelets because of the lyrics from “And You’re On Your Own Kid” to trade,” Arden Randazzo said.  “I’ve made some, but I don’t know if I’ve gotten too attached to the ones I’ve made.”

On top of the swapping of friendship bracelets, concert attendees are not only excited about listening to Swift’s music. Fiona Randazzo is not only looking forward to throwback songs but also the opening performances. 

“I really like [the openers] Gracie Abrams, Beabadoobe, and especially MUNA,” Fiona Randazzo said. “At ACL, we were in the front row at their show, and I really liked them, so I’m excited for that.”

Swift will be performing in two cities within a few hours of Austin. She will be in Arlington from March 31 to April 2, and in Houston from April 21 to 23.