There’s no bad seat on Taylor Swift‘s Eras Tour — especially if you’re fortunate enough to see her in a venue like Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium, with its gorgeous halo screens in the round and wild three-night crowd that Swift truly seem to be enchanted to meet during this 52-date affair spanning her musical career.
The prolific singer-songwriter and powerhouse performer showed both sides of herself as an entertainer Saturday night (April 29), the second of a trio of concerts at the stadium. 65,639 people descended upon Atlanta — where signs on buildings read “A-Tay-L,” a play on ATL — for Swift’s April 29 show.
“Do you really wanna know where I was April 29?” is no longer just a rhetorical question from Swift’s lyric book. On this date in Swift history, she’s now delivered the live debut of “High Infidelity,” the Midnights (3AM Edition) bonus track on which that lyric exists. April 29 is now a core memory for a whole lot of fans.
The tour celebrates 10 eras of Swift with a 44-song setlist. She powers through for more than three hours, pausing only for a quick set or wardrobe change, or — as was the case at this stop in Atlanta — to banter with the crowd before select songs.
Her debut album doesn’t typically find itself on her setlist, and it didn’t on April 29. But Swift’s country roots, circa her high school days, are showcased in her Fearless set, when she twirls with her guitar in hand and plays some of her biggest early hits.
While she performs songs from every other album in her discography, the four she had yet to ever tour with — 2019’s Lover, 2020’s Folklore and Evermore, and 2022’s Midnights — get a lot of attention. “Cruel Summer,” “‘Tis the Damn Season,” “Betty” and “Lavender Haze” are all ones not to be missed in her singalong stadium setting. And without giving too much away, “Vigilante Shit” might elicit the loudest roar.
Here are 13 of the best things to happen at Swift’s Saturday night show in Atlanta.
A Heavenly ‘Marjorie’ Experience
Swift’s “Marjorie,” an ode full of love for her late grandmother and the memories she holds of her, is emotional enough in its recorded state. Live, with a chorus of tens of thousands of voices singing with Swift (plus her grandmother’s actual vocals in the background), the song becomes emotionally overwhelming. “My knees went weak,” Swift said.
“I physically felt that. It was so beautiful of you to do that … Wow. Oh my god,” said Swift, sitting at her Evermore-era piano, getting ready to introduce “Champagne Problems” after showing a slightly teary-eyed reaction to the unexpected magic of “Marjorie” in a stadium.
But “Champagne Problems” would have to wait, due a tech issue, leaving a minute to marvel at what just happened with “Marjorie”: “What a perfect moment for my in-ears to just come unplugged magically,” she quipped.
Later, after talking her way through the in-ear problem with a joke, Swift insisted that the moment of levity was “not to take away from the really beautiful, heavenly thing you guys just did.”
Glitches and Forgetting Lyrics For the Win
If Swift was at all stressing over the aforementioned, short-lived in-ear glitch, she didn’t show it. She corralled the Atlanta crowd’s attention Saturday night with a joke — more on that next — to fill in the sudden blank space in her otherwise impeccably-rehearsed set. The joke, whether you’ll find it funny or not, reminded fans of the superstar’s normal, very relatable disposition.
A moment like this, and a couple moments to come later on in the show where she’d charmingly flub a couple of her own lyrics during the night’s surprise songs section, brought a very big concert down to a more intimate level. Somehow, the small mistakes and Swift’s off-the-cuff reactions made the show even better, and a one-of-a-kind thing for those in attendance.
Taylor’s ‘Dad Joke From Hell’
“Oh, so it’s not just me, actually, this time. It’s not just me flailing too hard and unplugging my cord … It’s actually more of an infrastructure in-ears problem that we’re all having. So, while that is bad news, it’s nice to be joined in my pain, don’t you think?” Swift said to the April 29 audience.
Just when she thought the issue had been resolved, and she thanked and cheered on her sound crew, the glitch seemingly happened again. She found herself with some more time to kill onstage and just went with it. “Should I tell jokes?” she asked.
And so it went: “OK, so, a cat walks into a library. And the cat says, ‘Yes, I’ll have some tuna fish, please.’ And the lady at the counter says, ‘Sir, this is a library.’ And the cat says, ‘Oh, I’m sorry. [Whispers] I’ll have some tuna fish, please.”
“I’m so sorry,” Swift said with a grin. “My in-ears are back, just at the perfect time because that was like the dad joke from hell. I’m so sorry.” That’s probably one she won’t repeat this tour.
The Best Era Transitions
When you’re a weekend music news editor, avoiding spoilers about a massive tour with mostly weekend dates just isn’t a thing. Having seen plenty of clips from The Eras Tour prior to finally catching the show in person this weekend, there’s been time to think about the best transitions between eras in Swift’s set — some are really, really good. Now having witnessed it in real life at Swift’s Atlanta stop — where the coolest set transition became very clear — for fun, here’s a ranked list of Eras Tour transitions to watch out for at a concert in your future, leading with the favorite at No. 1:
Evermore to Reputation: “Tolerate It” to “…Ready for It?”
Folklore to 1989: “Cardigan” to “Style”
1989 to surprise song: “Bad Blood” to the mystery song everyone’s eagerly awaiting
Surprise song to Midnights: The undisclosed song to “Lavender Haze”
Fearless to Evermore: “Love Story” to “‘Tis the Damn Season”
Reputation to Speak Now: “Look What You Made Me Do” to “Enchanted”
Red to Folklore: “All Too Well” to “The 1”
Love to Fearless: “The Archer” to “Fearless”
Speak Now to Red: “Enchanted” to “22”
More Than Just a Tour, It’s a ‘Whole Personality’
“This tour has become my entire personality,” Swift announced, in a genuine way, to her fans in Atlanta. Something tells us diehard Swifties can relate.
But Swift’s commitment to putting on an incredible show was very apparent this weekend. Concertgoers were overheard talking about being exhilarated but exhausted as they left the stadium, while Swift is actually the one performing 44 songs almost every weekend, for multiple days in a row.
She shows no signs of being anywhere but totally in Eras Tour-land when onstage. Just like there’s no bad seat in the house, there’s no chance she won’t be giving her all at every date to come.
The Revival of ‘Reputation’
With Lover, Folklore, Evermore and Midnights all being brand-new to Swift’s touring production, there’s so much music to look forward to watching live for the first time. But Reputation lovers, rejoice: It’s one of the best parts of the show. When that snake slithers onto the stage screen, after the stirring Evermore era, the mood shifts drastically. The energy can’t be topped and fans go feral (in a good way) — maybe expressing a pent-up spark for live music that they’ve been missing since Swift’s last tour, which was in support of Reputation. Avoid timing a bathroom break during this era. In Atlanta, “…Ready for It?” and the rest of the Reputation set was powerful.
65,639 Voices Singing ‘All Too Well’ for 10 Minutes
Total attendance to the April 29 concert at Mercedes-Benz Stadium was 65,639. That’s potentially 65,639 people screaming along with Swift for 10 minutes to every word of “All Too Well,” and personally relating to it in some way. And in a way, the song that seemed to be one of her most personal breathes a new life when a stadium swells through the hurt in lines like “And I was thinking on the drive down, any time now/ He’s gonna say it’s love, you never called it what it was” and “And there we are again when nobody had to know/ You kept me like a secret, but I kept you like an oath” and “You said if we had been closer in age maybe it would have been fine/ And that made me want to die” from the Red (Taylor’s Version) release.
Although Billboard already highlighted “August” from the opener of the Eras Tour, the staging of a forever Folklore favorite — all wistful and romantic — continues to be flawless. It’s a beautiful time in the show, and a foundation of the Folklore set. Those lucky enough to have seats up front by the diamond area of the stage are in for a particularly special moment as Swift dashes across at the bridge of the song, but the view of “August” is lovely from all sections.
Knowing Exactly Where Taylor Swift Was on April 29
There’s a lyric in Swift’s “High Infidelity” that asks, “Do you really wanna know where I was April 29th?” Naturally, those attending the April 29 show in Atlanta had certain expectations that they might witness the track’s live debut during the part of the Eras set featuring two surprise acoustic songs. “High Infidelity” even trended on Twitter on Saturday morning, many hours before the concert began.
Swift acknowledged the date: In a special bit where Swift found herself rambling pre-song, she eventually communicated that “I was thinking about what song to do tonight, and I was like, wait. I know it’s a Saturday, but what’s the date?”
Then she strummed her guitar and improvised, “Do you really wanna know where I was April 29th? Atlanta, Georgia,” before launching into the full song on acoustic guitar, with the crowd singing along to every word.
‘Gorgeous’ As a Sweet Piano Ballad
From “High Infidelity,” a song that some interpret as a reference to cheating, Swift went into “Gorgeous” on piano. On “Gorgeous,” she sings about meeting someone she’s attracted to while having “a boyfriend, he’s older than us/ He’s in the club doing I don’t know what.” Fans loved the seemingly clever connection. Even better, it was Swift’s first time performing a song from Reputation during her surprise songs set.
She joked that she thinks of Reputation as her “most metal album,” and thus more difficult to arrange as an acoustic song. But then she candidly noted to the audience, “That’s sort of weird for me to say because most of the songs on that album I started out writing just acoustic.”
This part of the set felt especially intimate in a full stadium, with Swift even relying on fans to help her remember the order of lyrics at one point.
Being One of the ’12 People’ Tracking Surprise Songs
Personal entertaining moment: Swift referenced that something like 12 people were out there keeping a list of her Eras Tour surprise songs, something this editor has been doing since weekend one of the tour. See Billboard‘s list of all the surprise songs so far right here. She also talked about folks making bets on the song selections each week, which is not happening here, but someone out there must be having fun with that.
‘Vigilante Shit’ Burning It Down
Several weeks into the tour, the crowd is still going absolutely nuts for “Vigilante Shit.” Swift, dancing on chairs with her crew, puts on quite the theatrical performance — the sexiest performance of the night. Atlanta was no exception to this consistent Eras highlight.
‘Midnight Rain’ Really Happened
There’s something ’bout the way the street looks when it’s just rained, right?
It’s tough to keep track of just how many times Swift’s written lyrics about rain over the years, so it was fitting to flood out of the stadium into a cool rainfall after the heat of “Vigilante Shit” and the high of the night’s super fun closer, “Karma,” as the clock neared midnight.