Taylor Swift has made a spectacular return to the live music scene, launching her ‘The Eras Tour’ with a three-hour and fifteen-minute extravaganza in Glendale, Arizona.
The star had told fans the concert would be a “journey through all of her musical eras” and she stayed true to her promise - performing a mammoth setlist of 44 songs from across her nearly two-decade career. She showcased tracks from all ten of her smash-hit albums, meaning the night toured through an array of musical genres - from indie folk and alternative, to country and all the varieties of pop.
Swift’s setlist will likely stay largely the same as she makes her way through the United States, but she’s previously been known to switch things up a bit for different cities - and has already confirmed that each concert will be treated to special ‘surprise songs’ which only that set of fans will hear.
The 33-year-old told the audience: “The plan is to play different songs every single night and never repeat one. So, when you’ve heard one on this tour, you’ll know it’s the only time I’m going to play it.”
So which tunes could still have their moment in the spotlight? Here, we’ll take a look at what’s already on Swift’s ‘The Eras Tour’ setlist, which songs are likely to pop up, and which ones probably - as much as we’d like them to - won’t be played this time around. (But never say never.)
What is the setlist for ‘The Eras Tour’?
Swift performed 44 songs on opening night of ‘The Eras Tour’ in Glendale, Arizona. According to Setlist.fm, these were:
- Miss Americana & the Heartbreak Prince
- Cruel Summer
- The Man
- You Need to Calm Down
- The Archer
- You Belong With Me
- Love Story
- ‘tis the damn season
- champagne problems
- tolerate it
- ...Ready for It?
- Don’t Blame Me
- Look What You Made Me Do
- We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
- I Knew You Were Trouble
- All Too Well (10 Minute Version)
- invisible string
- the last great american dynasty
- illicit affairs
- my tears ricochet
- Blank Space
- Shake It Off
- Wildest Dreams
- Bad Blood
- Lavender Haze
- Midnight Rain
- Vigilante Shit
Night 1’s ‘surprise songs’ were mirrorball, from the album folklore, and Tim McGraw, from Swift’s debut, self-titled album.
Night 2’s ‘surprise songs’ were State of Grace, from the album Red, and this is me trying, also off folklore.
Which songs could Taylor Swift still play?
Swift has already told fans to expect more tracks via her secret ‘surprise songs’ at each concert, and one or two others may pop up as a special treat too. Here are the songs which we think have the best chance from each album.
Taylor Swift (Debut)
Our Song: This is one of Swift’s most nostalgic hits and would fit seamlessly into a tour dedicated to taking a journey back through her career. The singer-songwriter has been known to be sentimental when it comes to her concerts - so this old but great fan-favourite has a good chance of making an appearance.
Teardrops On My Guitar: The same logic applies for ‘Teardrops On My Guitar’. Swift’s first-ever single ‘Tim McGraw’ is on the setlist, so it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to include her second-ever hit - and again, the nostalgia would almost be too much to cope with.
The Way I Loved You: Swift is very good at keeping up with what her fans love. She made this clear on opening night of ‘The Eras Tour’ by performing the fan-created TikTok dance for her song ‘Bejeweled’ and by referencing social media jokes about her album evermore. So it would only make sense that she’s aware of the adoration for ‘The Way I Loved You’, and at this point in the concert - which is all about a toned-down moment of audience connection - this tune would make a truly memorable sing-along.
Mr Perfectly Fine: ‘Mr Perfectly Fine’ was released from ‘The Vault’ in the Taylor’s Version of her album Fearless - and instantly became a hit. Some might argue it’s too upbeat for the acoustic style Swift takes in her ‘surprise songs’, but during her tour for Reputation, she turned production-heavy ‘Dancing With Our Hands Tied’ into a stripped-back acoustic performance, so it’s possible she does something similar for ‘Mr Perfectly Fine’.
Haunted: Since there is so far only one song from Speak Now on the setlist, it would make sense that a fair few of the ‘surprise songs’ come from this album. ‘Haunted’, which already has an acoustic version, would be perfect for this - and Swift in the past has performed it during her tours for Red and Reputation, meaning she clearly enjoys doing so.
Long Live: This is less about what Swift is likely to play and more about what she needs to play. Fans are often split over favourites when it comes to the popstar’s discography, but something everyone seems to be united on is that she must play ‘Long Live’. The song was written as a love letter to her fans, so would make perfect sense for a tour which is effectively a love letter to her career. Perhaps on the last night of the US leg?
Red: Everyone knows that one of Swift’s favourite albums is Red - so the likelihood of her performing its title track seems pretty high. This song is one of those which just epitomises Swift, with its expressive vocals, vivid lyrics, and just a real sense of heart. It has to show up at one point or another.
Nothing New: Another song from ‘The Vault’ that was released with Taylor’s Version of the album, ‘Nothing New’ may pop up not as a ‘surprise song’ but instead just as a general treat for fans. Phoebe Bridgers features on the song - and she’s been announced as an opener, so Swift could easily bring her back on stage at one point for a duet.
Out Of The Woods: This power-ballad from Swift’s knock-out 2014 album is another strong contender. She’s been known to perform it live a fair few times - including for ‘The Grammys Museum’ - so one lucky set of fans will likely be treated to this track.
You Are In Love: Swift is in love, and has been for a while, which means you really feel the emotion when she performs any of her oh-so-romantic love songs. ‘You Are In Love’ is such a heartfelt track that it would make for a truly special performance - and again, would be a perfect tune for the audience to sing along to.
Getaway Car: It just seems like Swift won’t be able to get away with not playing this one. It’s such a classic of the Reputation era of her career.
I Did Something Bad: Again, a classic. This one almost certainly won’t pop up as a ‘surprise song’ because the greatness of the track comes through when Swift performs it with the whole shebang of lights, effects, and backup dancers - but it definitely could be slotted into the Reputation section of the night at some point.
Death By A Thousand Cuts: This would make a perfect ‘surprise song’. It’s all about what Swift is most known for (her lyrics), and is a great song to strip-back before having Swift and her fans belt it out the top of their lungs.
Cornelia Street: Swift’s version of ‘Cornelia Street’ in Paris is one of her most watched live performances. It was beautiful then, and would be beautiful as part of ‘The Eras Tour’.
the 1: Swift’s folklore already has a six-song slot on her current setlist, but both Night 1 and Night 2’s ‘special song’ were from this album, so she could well do the same again. If she does, it would make sense to perform folklore’s first track, ‘the 1’, which immediately became iconic when it marked her grand return to the music scene in the middle of a pandemic.
exile: This, like some of the above, is one which might not appear as a ‘surprise song’ - but rather one which could just show up in the form of a duet with collaborator, Bon Iver. Swift made a shock appearance at one of the band’s gigs back in October, so it would only be fair for them to return the favour.
ivy: It’s more difficult to pick the songs Swift may perform from evermore, as prior to ‘The Eras Tour’, she had never performed any of this album’s songs live (except for ‘willow’). However, ‘ivy’ seems to be a possible contender from this album, as it has that ethereal, otherwordly quality that would make it a great choice for the moment of pause that comes with her ‘surprise songs’.
long story short: This is way more of a long shot, but like ‘Long Live’ from Speak Now, it makes sense for ‘The Eras Tour’ - because the track is all about looking back on her life. For fans who have stuck by Swift’s side through all she’s been through over the past years, hearing the artist sing ‘long story short, I survived’ would be a pretty special moment.
Maroon: It’s just such a stand-out fan-favourite that it must be on Swift’s radar. Also, as Midnights hasn’t had its own tour, it’s likely Swift will want to perform as many songs as she can from her most recent album.
You’re On Your Own Kid: This is another one which may make an appearance nearer the end of Swift’s tour, given the fact that, again, it’s a bit of an epic looking back on the different stages of her life - which of course makes it perfect for ‘The Eras Tour’.
Songs I Would Love Her To Play But Don’t Think She Will
Finally, let’s take a look at some of the songs I would love Swift to play on tour, but just have a feeling won’t have their moment in the spotlight. (We can always dream, though).
- Picture To Burn: It’s one that needs a big production, and I just feel like Swift will save that for tracks off albums like 1989, Reputation, and Midnights.
- You’re Not Sorry: I just don’t see it happening.
- Dear John: Despite it being beloved by fans, Swift hasn’t performed it once since her Speak Now tour - so it probably won’t happen this time around.
- I Almost Do: This is one of Red’s most severely underrated tracks.
- Wonderland: Again, this song deserves more recognition - but I’m just not sure it will appear on the setlist.
- Dancing With Our Hands Tied: I love this song, but it got special treatment with an acoustic version on the Reputation stadium tour, so has probably had its time.
- Daylight: It’s such a beautiful song, and would make a great opportunity for lyrical parallels with ‘Red’, but I have my doubts about it appearing.
- the lakes: This would make for a masterpiece of a performance with all the strings, but as a bonus track, it might not make the setlist when there are so many songs fighting for a place.
- right where you left me: It’s also a bonus track, so the same reasons apply, but it is just arguably one of Swift’s best songs and should be performed at one point or another.
- The Great War: One of my favourites off Midnights, but it feels less likely than some of the others to be played. (Although I have a small prediction that she will play every song from her latest album at one point, so this has more of a chance than the above songs).
- Would’ve Could’ve Should’ve: I had to pick another from Midnights. This is such a brilliant song because it’s so vulnerable - but that just might be the reason it gets left off the setlist.