31 May, 2024 @ 11:29
4 mins read

EXCLUSIVE: ‘I went to Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour in Spain’s Madrid – this is what it was really like’

AS Taylor Swift’s international tour touches down in Madrid, I was lucky enough to grab a last minute ticket, but is it really worth the hype? 

The highest grossing music tour ever, The Era’s Tour has made waves everywhere it goes and Spain was not immune. 

The tour is a culmination of Swift’s entire musical career, with 10 distinct sections representing each album.

It lasts a whopping three hours and fifteen minutes with around 44 songs. 

Everyone dons as much glitter as possible for the Eras tour. Photo: The Olive Press

Swift had not played in Spain for over 13 years but after this week’s shows, the star promised she ‘won’t make that mistake again’ 

When tickets were first released last summer, I also cruelly missed out.

However, after spending months watching other lucky Swfities enjoying the tour all over social media, I vigilantly watched reselling sites.

Last Thursday, just one week before the show, I saw tickets crash from thousands to just €80 (plus €40 Stubhub’s fees) and rushed to secure my ticket.

Swift played two sold out dates at Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium this week, on Wednesday, May 29 and Thursday, May 30. 

I grabbed tickets for the Thursday showing and watched the tour on social media, my excitement growing daily.  

Many Swifties treat the tour like a military operation, posting ‘survival guides’ on social media, camping out in the queue and even wearing adult nappies to avoid going to the toilet.

Not quite so devoted to Ms Swift, we decided to make our way to the stadium about an hour in advance of the support act, Paramore. 

On the metro, a sea of cowboy boots, glitter and girls in flowing dresses flooded the platforms and as we walked past, many normal people took out their phones to snap a picture of the spectacle. 

Photo: The Olive Press

When we arrived, it was boiling hot and sunny, so we took a few obligatory pictures outside the stadium before heading in. 

After absolutely no queuing, we arrived at our seats in section 614 in less than five minutes. 

Despite being in the ‘restricted view’ section, the many screens and huge platform which went out into the crowd meant there were very few moments where we couldn’t see anything. 

After Paramore’s upbeat set, we waited around half an hour before Swift took to the stage. 

An expert in working a crowd, a clock appeared on the screen to the tune of ‘You Don’t Own Me’ a coy nod to Swift’s reclamation of her earlier albums. 

As the countdown neared its close, the 67,000 people in the stadium got to their feet and I could hardly contain my excitement. 

‘Ready for it?’ Swift asked the crowd, prompting everyone to break out in cheers (and near deafening screams). 

As the Lover era got into full swing, she welcomed the crowd, saying: “Buenas tardes, encantada de veros” (Good afternoon, I’m delighted to see you) and “Madrid, bienvenidos a the Eras Tour.” (Madrid, Welcome to the Eras Tour) 

Photo: The Olive Press

Swift always makes an effort to speak in local languages and even has a section in her hit, ‘We Are Never Getting Back Together’ where a dancer translates ‘Like, ever’ to the local tongue. 

Madrid was treated to two different versions of this tradition, on night one it was ‘ni de coña’ (like, ever) and on night two ‘ni borracha’ (not even drunk). 

Throughout the show there are many moments of audience participation and it is clear Swift strives to connect with the crowd. 

During ‘22’, a young audience member is always given the hat Swift wears and Swift often calls for help if she sees anyone in trouble in the crowd.

One of my favourite things about the show was that everyone is given a bracelet with a light on it, making the crowd into its own spectacle. 

During ‘You Need to Calm Down’, the whole stadium lit up in the colours of the gay pride flag and during ‘Lavender Haze’ a wave of purple swept across the stadium. 

Photo: The Olive Press

The show was a spectacle like nothing I have ever seen, with endless costume changes, sets and dancers specific to each song. 

One for the romantics, ‘Lover’ sees couples in suits and ball gowns dance around Swift, while ‘Vigilante Sh*t’ makes a nod to burlesque. 

My personal favourite was ‘Look What You Made Me Do’, which saw different versions of the singer trapped in glass cases. 

It was empowering to see someone who had been treated poorly by men and the music industry reclaim her past hurt and turn it into one of the most successful tours in the world, smiling the entire time. 

Photo: The Olive Press

She claimed Madrid was one of the ‘loudest’ crowds yet and marvelled as she received a five-minute standing ovation for her song, ‘Champagne Problems’. 

Before the show, I was scared of various videos I had seen of people screaming so loudly you couldn’t hear the singer. 

However, I felt completely at home in the crowd as we all sang along in unison and it was heart-warming to feel part of this community. 

Between each era, the screens and LED stage showed different videos, seamlessly transitioning from one to the next, all while building the crowd’s overflowing excitement. 

Over her eleven albums, Swift has dabbled in many different musical styles from country to pop and despite this, the show never felt disjointed. 

Photo: The Olive Press

From the upbeat ‘1989’ to the calm ‘Folklore’, she kept the crowd utterly captivated throughout. 

Sure, the fireworks, smoke, props, dancers, LED graphics, costume changes and lights helped, but I’m certain that it’s Swift’s cheeky stage presence that makes the show. 

She is constantly smiling and laughing with her dancers, twirling her hair and dancing around the stage to engage every bit of the crowd. 

Although I wasn’t sure how the new album would be live, I loved every second of ‘The Tortured Poets Department’

Photo: The Olive Press

It had clever staging set around twirling beds, typewriters and even UFOs as well as comical transitions. 

On Madrid night two, she ‘went back to the beginning’ for her surprise songs, ‘Our Song’ and ‘Jump Then Fall’ on guitar, followed by ‘King of My Heart’ on piano.

After that, it was time for the final era, ‘Midnights’. The singer wore sparkles throughout, but when she sang her final song, ‘Bejeweled’, it was clear the memory would remain embedded in everyone’s minds like another jewel in the queen of pop’s crown.

Yzabelle Bostyn

After spending much of her childhood in Andalucia and adulthood between Barcelona and Latin America, Yzabelle has settled in the Costa del Sol to put her NCTJ & Journalism Masters to good use. She is particularly interested in travel, vegan food and has been leading the Olive Press Nolotil campaign. Have a story? email [email protected]

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