Taylor Swift Takes over Cincinnati – Concert Review
wenty years ago, the scene on the Cincinnati riverfront would have been unimaginable. At that time, Great American Ballpark had just opened, and at the other end of the riverfront was the three-year-old Paul Brown Stadium (now called Paycor Stadium), between them almost exclusively parking garages and empty lots. Two behemoths separated by a desert of concrete. Flash forward to this past weekend, and Great American Ballpark was hosting a sold-out game for the first-place Cincinnati Reds, and Paycor Stadium was packed to the rafters with Taylor Swift fans and between the stadiums, in place of the empty lots and parking garages, is an open-air park, a new 4,500-capacity concert venue, and blocks filled with bars, restaurants, and entertainment. This past weekend was the fruition of decades of effort and false starts that finally culminated in Cincinnati's riverfront showing its full potential.
From the moment Taylor Swift took the stage for the second of her two-night stop in Cincinnati, it was clear that we were in for a night filled with magic, passion, and pure delight as she transported us through her enchanting Eras Tour.
The Eras tour is nothing short of a magical experience that undoubtedly left a lasting impression on all who attended.
After months of building buzz and anticipation, Cincinnati’s Paycor Stadium was exploding with anticipation as Swift’s long-awaited return to the Queen City finally arrived for a two-night extravaganza. With more than 130,000 tickets sold across both shows, Swifties came from all around, including even a few celebrities. The Eras tour is nothing short of a magical experience that undoubtedly left a lasting impression on all who attended. Everything came together flawlessly, from the music to the performances to the community to the energy, creating an unforgettable atmosphere filled with people united by a love of Taylor Swift’s music.
One of the most remarkable aspects of Taylor Swift’s music is its relatability. She has a talent for capturing universal themes of love and heartbreak, which resonate deeply with people from all walks of life and gives a voice to their experiences. The relatability was palpable throughout the concert, as fans sang along passionately to every word, finding solace, understanding, and a sense of belonging in Taylor’s music. The sight of devoted fans donning vibrant and meticulously coordinated outfits representing various album eras was a sight to behold. Their overwhelming presence was a testament to their immense love and admiration for Taylor.
Due to the possibility of severe weather, Taylor’s performance was moved from 8 PM to 7 PM, resulting in the cancellation of opener Gracie Abrams’ set and a shortened set for Muna. However, Abrams did make a surprise appearance during Taylor’s acoustic set.
After an eagerly anticipated countdown clock on the massive main screen, Taylor Swift graced the stage precisely at 7 PM, prompting thunderous applause and overwhelming excitement from her adoring fans. Tears of joy streamed down the faces of many in attendance. The Eras Tour had begun. Over the next 3.5 hours, over 60,000 fans joined Taylor in singing and dancing along to songs from her nine albums, spanning her remarkable career of 17 years.
Taylor performed a staggering 45-song set list, ensuring every beloved hit was showcased throughout the night. From the crowd-pleasing anthems that defined her early career to the soul-stirring ballads that captured the hearts of millions, Taylor delivered a carefully curated selection of songs designed to evoke nostalgia and celebrate the artist’s growth and artistic maturity.
The surprise songs set kicked off with a special guest appearance by frequent Swift collaborator Aaron Dessner, a Cincinnati native, and member of the indie band, The National.
As the show neared its end, a piano adorned with whimsical flowers appeared at the end of the catwalk. It was time for the highly anticipated surprise songs acoustic set. This portion of the performance had been the subject of much speculation among Swifties, who hoped and wished for their favorite songs to be played. The surprise songs set kicked off with a special guest appearance by frequent Swift collaborator Aaron Dessner, a Cincinnati native, and member of the indie band, The National. Together, they mesmerized the crowd with a heartfelt rendition of “Ivy” from Taylor’s “Evermore” album. Next, Gracie Abrams joined Taylor for a touching duet of “I Miss You, I’m Sorry.” The acoustic set concluded with a hauntingly beautiful performance of “Call It What You Want,” a song Taylor hadn’t performed live since 2018.
The Eras Tour was a visual and auditory feast, with phenomenal vocals, elaborate sets, stunning costumes, and an energy that permeated the entire stadium. It was a testament to Taylor’s artistic vision and dedication to delivering a spectacular performance. Taylor Swift’s profound ability to connect with her audience, combined with the impeccable production and the shared moments of pure joy, created a truly unforgettable evening. It was a concert for the ages, one that I will cherish forever as I look forward to a new era of entertainment in Cincinnati, so fittingly begun with The Eras Tour.