Taylor Swift enchanted 70,000 fans at the opening night of her Eras Tour with elaborate set pieces, costumes and choreography — especially with a transition in which she appeared to jump then fall from the stage at State Farm Stadium and swim underneath it.
In one of many viral videos taken at the Glendale, Arizona show on Friday, the star made a splashy exit between the songs "Tim McGraw" and "Lavender Haze." Following a piano performance of the hit song from her self-titled debut album, Swift strutted downstage in a red sparkling dress and seemed to dive into the pit below, disappearing from view with a cannonball sound. (A fan can be heard screaming "What the f—k?" in the background.)
Seconds later, footage of Swift swimming in the dress materialized on the backdrop and catwalk before an enormous tidal wave consumed the screen. The digital wave crested to reveal Swift in full "Midnights" mode, sitting on a purple bed in a T-shirt and leggings. She then climbed a ladder that disappeared into a rising cloud. Below, a doorway opened, and out marched backup dancers wheeling out more clouds. When they reached the edge of the catwalk, Swift rose out of a platform from the stage and started singing "Lavender Haze," the first track from her newest album "Midnights."
Advanced — one might even say mind-boggling — production values were the norm at the concert, which spanned a whopping 44 songs from all 10 albums in her discography. (At three hours and 11 minutes, this is her longest tour runtime following "Reputation's" 19 songs in two hours, according to fans.)
Other sets that fans captured on social media included a moss-covered house recalling her 2021 Grammys performance, a long dining room table for "Tolerate It," a mystical forest and elaborate scaffolding for her rendition of "The Man." Many of the sets seamlessly intertwined digital and practical designs, though Swift also performed acoustic versions of some songs on the piano or guitar.
After a second night in Glendale — which temporarily changed its name to "Swift City" — the national tour will hit Las Vegas before traveling to the South, East, Midwest and finally the West. She'll wrap up the 52-show tour with five nights at Los Angeles' SoFi Stadium. No international dates have been announced.
The tour crashed Ticketmaster after a record-breaking two million tickets were sold on the first day. Citing "high demands" and "insufficient" inventory, the online platform canceled the second day of sales, prompting a congressional hearing and calls for an investigation into Live Nation and Ticketmaster's joint monopoly over the live music industry.
Swift later posted on social media that it was "excrutiating" to "watch mistakes happen with no recourse."
"I'm not going to make excuses for anyone because we asked [Ticketmaster], multiple times, if they could handle this kind of demand and we were assured they could. It's truly amazing that 2.4 million people got tickets, but it really pisses me off that a lot of them feel like they went through several bear attacks to get them," she wrote. "And to those who didn't get tickets, all I can say is that my hope is to provide more opportunities for us to all get together and sing these songs. Thank you for wanting to be there. You have no idea how much that means."
Watch the clip from Friday evening above.