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Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour stop in Cincinnati changed my life

Taylor Swift walks down the stage at Paycor Stadium to the delight of 65,000 fans during her tour stop in Cincinnati, Ohio
Taylor Swift walks down the stage at Paycor Stadium to the delight of 65,000 fans during her tour stop in Cincinnati, Ohio

The summer sun is beating down on 65,000 people in Cincinnati’s Paycor Stadium when the music to “Miss Americana and the Heart Break Prince'' starts playing, signaling her entrance. The adrenaline is coursing through me. In only a few seconds I will see the one and only Taylor Swift.

The screams can be heard across the Ohio River as she appears centerstage, rising out of a mass of pastel-colored parachutes held up by her backup dancers. The crowd goes wild and only gets louder once “Cruel Summer” starts, the first full song of the night.

I knew this concert was going to be one I would never forget just from her entrance. The tension in the stadium could have been cut with a bejeweled knife as everyone waited to get the first glance of Swift.

In the three-hour concert, she took us on a 17-year journey through the eras of her life. There were many monologues by Swift and many tears from fans.

While the night was magical, it wasn’t perfect for a few particular reasons, some out of her control — like the weather.

The heat was almost unbearable, with no reprieve even inside of the stadium. Most Swifties in attendance were decked out in glitter, feathers and more glitter, and I was worried even my own makeup would start smearing or melting off my skin due to the heat, sweat and humidity in the air.

Photo by Taylor Stumbaugh | The Miami Student
Staff Writer Taylor Stumbaugh and her family pose in their Taylor Swift concert attire before attending the Cincinnati stop in her Eras Tour.

However, the steamy atmosphere did not cause animosity among the Swifties, even in the long stifling merch lines. Friendship bracelets were still traded like currency and compliments were thrown out more than ever.

Although the temperature may not have been the best, Swift still put on the performance of a lifetime. There was not one second during her entire performance where I was bored or uninterested. The way she carried herself with confidence and spoke with her eyes consumed almost every person in the audience. 

A group of teenage girls sitting behind my mom, sister and I screamed in awe, “She is literally perfect!” during a close up of her singing. I couldn't agree more.

Swift used many props during her performances which ranged from her backup dancers riding bikes on the stage during “Blank Space” to dancing with glowing orbs during “Willow.” Not only were there props, but she frequently engaged with the crowd, whether it was having everyone jump, effectively shaking the stadium, or basking in the roaring applause from her cult.

I have to say, her intro to the “Reputation” era was the most iconic. The audio of her clicking heels rang throughout the stadium, mimicking a heartbeat, picking up as she was closer and closer to re-emerging from her outfit change. It created the perfect amount of suspense and excitement in the audience before her next song “... Ready for it?”

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On the other hand, her surprise songs were anticlimactic. I’ve never been a huge fan of her debut album, so when “I’m Only Me When I’m With You” came on I was confused at first because it was unfamiliar to me, and then I just sat back and enjoyed her singing. I may not love the song, but I still do love Taylor Swift. 

“Evermore” was her second acoustic number, and I was let down again. I had such high hopes for what the surprise songs could be, and after Minneapolis got “Dear John” I was very eager for our own. Cincinnati Night Two, meanwhile, got three surprise songs with two guests.

Throughout the whole thing, I was most impressed with how she treated her band, backup dancers and openers. Swift made sure her guitarists were elevated when they were playing, and she gave her dancers the spotlight during songs. At the beginning of the show, Swift asked for an extra applause for her openers, Gracie Abrams and MUNA, as well as introducing her new pianist and giving them the recognition they deserve. 

Even if someone doesn’t like Swift’s music, they should definitely respect her as an artist.

I would see this show in every city every night if I could. Yes, I was exhausted by the end, but I’m not sure I’ll ever have the same feeling as when I saw her on the stage for the first time.

Rating: 9.5/10