Live Review: Taylor Swift, Philadelphia, PA, May 14, 2003

Taylor Swift finished her Philadelphia dates of the Eras Tour on Sunday with a third night at Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Philadelphia Eagles. (Go Birds!) These shows were akin to hometown gigs for the pop star, who grew up in nearby Reading. Swift was the first artist to perform three consecutive nights at The Linc, and not only were all three sold out, thousands of fans showed up to listen from outside of the stadium each night as well. 

Gracie Abrams opened up the show, followed by Phoebe Bridgers (who Swift cites as one of her favorite artists), with Matty Healy of the 1975 guesting on guitar. By 8 p.m. the countdown clock had started, and then Swift began her megalodon of a set. Backed by stunning visuals/production and incredible dancers, wearing drop-dead gorgeous outfits and playing songs from nearly every “era” of her career, Swift delivered an instant-classic performance.

Swift began the show with six songs from 2019’s Lover (“Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince” “Cruel Summer,” “The Man,” “You Need To Calm Down,” the title track and “The Archer”), which she never had the chance to tour behind because of the pandemic. She then moved into the Fearless era of 2008, playing the title track, “You Belong With Me” and “Love Story.” 202o’s Evermore, which also never had a tour to promote it because of COVID, was next with a handful of songs (“‘Tis The Damn Season,” “Willow,” “Marjorie,” “Champagne Problems” and “Tolerate It”). Fans surprised Swift during “Marjorie” (a song about her grandmother) by lighting up The Linc with their cell phones as a Mother’s Day tribute.

Swift then entered into the Reputation era with four songs from the 2017 LP: “…Ready For It?” “Delicate,” “Don’t Blame Me” and “Look What You Made Me Do.” Swift performed one track from 2010’s Speak Now (“Enchanted”) before playing five songs from 2012’s Red (“22,” “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” “I Knew You Were Trouble,” “Nothing New” and “All Too Well (10 Minute Version)”). Swift brought out Phoebe Bridgers on “Nothing New,” a song they recorded together for 2021’s Red (Taylor’s Version).

2020’s Folklore—another album that hadn’t been toured behind—was the next era Swift visited with seven songs (“The 1,” “Betty,” “The Last Great American Dynasty,” “August,” “Illicit Affairs,” “My Tears Ricochet” and “Cardigan”), and 2014’s 1989 followed with five tracks (“Style,” “Blank Space,” “Shake It Off,” “Wildest Dreams” and “Bad Blood”).

Swift’s two “surprise songs” of the evening were both from Fearless: “Hey Stephen” and “The Best Day” (which she wrote and recorded as a tribute to her mother). The final era of the night was Midnights—Swift’s most recent album, from last year—and featured seven songs (“Lavender Haze,” “Anti-Hero,” “Midnight Rain,” “Vigilante Shit,” “Bejeweled,” “Mastermind” and “Karma” ).

Onstage for almost three-and-a-half hours, Swift was nothing short of legendary.

—words and photos by Skylar Watkins