Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour (Taylor's Version)

Top 10 Performances from Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour (Taylor’s Version)

It’s been a long time coming, but Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour (Taylor’s Version) finally hit Disney+ this past weekend, amassing a record-breaking 4.6 million views in just three days. An even more impressive stat when you realize the stage spectacle-turned-cultural-phenomenon clocks in at a whopping 3 hours and 31 minutes, a serious commitment for curious cinephiles and super Swifties alike. If you haven’t already sold your soul to attend a show and are wondering which tracks from Taylor’s extensive catalogue stand out within the newly expanded 48-song set list, “It’s Nice To Have A Friend” break it down.

Here are the top 10 performances, in our humble opinion, from Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour – in chronological order:

“Cruel Summer” (Lover Set)

Let’s talk about the reciprocal nature of this performance. Fans were finally able to hear “Cruel Summer” live (RIP Lover Fest), one of the best songs Taylor has ever written. The gusto with which they scream the first bridge of the evening says it all, baited by Ms. Americana’s call to “prove” their allegiance via the pop anthem. Viral clips of the opulent opener had her team scrambling to send the 4-year-old track to radio, becoming her 10th No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. As if the show’s ability to make a huge hit wasn’t enough, the single became the soundtrack of the tour itself – speaking directly to the crowd and online audiences who couldn’t get tickets.

Honourable Mention: “The Archer”
During her performance of this deep cut (notably a Track 5, IYKYK), Taylor connects thematically, personifying the lyrics with choreography as she stalks the stage.

“Fearless” (Fearless Set)

Much has been made about several Swift costumes (the yellow ‘Ruffles’ dress, her Speak Now gowns), but where is the love for Fearless fringe?! A throwback to Taylor’s country roots, the title track from her Grammy-winning sophomore album fashions a physical pastiche, complete with spinning guitar-eo and signature heart hands. Joy radiates from both the singer and the band; simply put, “I don’t know how it gets better than this.”

Honourable Mention: “You Belong With Me”
Nostalgia is part of the reason why The Eras Tour is so successful; attendees are looking to be transported back in time through Taylor’s music. Right before her rendition of “You Belong With Me,” she asks the crowd, “Are you ready to go back to high school
with me?” Exactly that.

“marjorie” (evermore Set)

There are so many gems from evermore that could have been incorporated during this set; think “cowboy like me” or “gold rush.” “marjorie” was a bit of a surprise, but the kind that takes your breath away. After witnessing the whirlwind production of “willow,” something about the creative choices here stops you in your tracks (head over to TikTok, where you’ll find multiple viral videos of fathers completely mesmerized). The crowd is clearly locked in; the emotion is palpable. While the song is about Taylor’s late grandmother – hearing Marjorie’s operatic vocals fill a sold-out stadium is hauntingly beautiful – the lyrics also speak to the relationship between her and her fans. “What died didn’t stay dead,” she sings – during the highest-grossing concert tour of all time, when she was once public enemy number one.

Honourable Mention: “champagne problems”
Besides the pull-quotable preamble ahead of this performance that makes it even more memorable, hearing a crowd of over 70,000 scream “What a shame she’s fucked in the head” is both unhinged and hilarious. Cathartic even, as Taylor herself put it.

“Don’t Blame Me” (reputation set)

Take us to church, Tay! If the entire tour serves to highlight her talents as a songwriter and a hitmaker, this number shows off her vocal prowess. The arrangement is fit for a moment of this magnitude; from the sultry start that builds with choral backing vocals, culminating in THAT high note? Magnificent. Piercing electric guitar provides a pinch of rock ‘n’ roll, while the production’s impressive staging and lighting are on full display. For true concert film fans, “Don’t Blame Me” is where direction and editing come together to create something special. And that transition into “Look What You Made Me Do?” Genius.

Honourable Mention: “…Ready For It?”
An underrated banger from an underrated album, “…Ready For It?” always brings the energy – especially after one of the campiest performances of the entire show (apt for a track titled “tolerate it”). It’s a true stadium showstopper, evident from the crowd’s enthusiastic participation. Plus, this is the era where Taylor proves she really can sing.

“Long Live” (Speak Now set)

One could argue that “Long Live” is the emotional climax of The Eras Tour, a love letter to Taylor’s fans – as well as her band members – who’ve been with her since the very beginning. It’s as if these 14-year-old lyrics are narrating the current circumstances surrounding her cultural relevancy: “Tell them how the crowds went wild.” Amazing vocal aside, she also appears grounded and grateful throughout.

Honourable Mention: “Enchanted”

Both big, cinematic masterpieces, it’s hard to believe “Long Live” and “Enchanted” were written solely by Taylor, for an album born from the need to silence critics who discredited her song writing. Wonderstruck is right!

“All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version)”

What you’re watching here is the evolution of a fan-favourite. This behemoth begs the question: is there another active, contemporary artist today who can captivate an audience with a ten-minute acoustic number? Just when you think this song can’t get any more devastating, it keeps going. Swift serves storyteller… and leg, just like Angelina Jolie at the 2012 Academy Awards. The summer of Barbie provides the perfect backdrop for a collective “Fuck the patriarchy” chant, followed later by a deep, poignant sigh from one of the world’s biggest female artists.

Honourable Mention: “22”

“22” gives silly, goofy time “in the best way.” This performance is joyous and fun, reflected on Taylor’s face and through the bond she’s clearly developed with her dancers. They all go big here, playing up this piece of pop perfection that’s not pretending to be anything but. Along with some fun cuts to the crowd, viewers are treated to the viral “22” hat giveaway, where Taylor gifts her custom fedora to one lucky fan in the audience. Taylor embracing Bianka Bryant is emotional to watch.

“august/illicit affairs” (folklore set)

Sweeping across the stage as if salt air herself, Taylor’s live rendition of “august” is stunning. She can’t help but smile, a sign of her fondness for the song. Tacking on the dramatic bridge of “illicit affairs” works so well; the synergy between the two tracks’ themes is spot on. Captured by some of the film’s best camera shots, the visual contrast of a curled up, tiny Taylor in the middle of a massive stadium puts this pop culture circus into perspective.

Honourable Mention: “my tears ricochet”

Drawing inspiration from some sort of gothic funeral procession, the theatrical “my tears ricochet” features excellent use of the stage. It dances on the borderline of ostentatious, without going overboard.

A still from Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour (Taylor’s Version). © 2024 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

“Style” (1989 set)

Even though “Style” didn’t get a full performance (someone avenge the second verse!!!), it’s still the highlight of Taylor’s 1989 set. Obviously one of her best pop songs, Swift’s swagger here says it all. Everything feels effortless; nothing is forced. From the staging through to the costumes and choreo, it all works so well.

*This author has chosen not to select an honourable mention from the 1989 set

“You’re on Your Own, Kid” (Acoustic set/collection)

If you’re a millennial woman that’s been personally victimized by this performance, you may be entitled to compensation. Re-imagining “You’re on Your Own, Kid” as a stripped-down piano ballad somehow makes these lyrics even more impactful, punctuated by Taylor’s powerful alto tone. If you think about it, the track is a microcosm of her eras; her journey to arrive at this very precipice is detailed throughout. There’s also something particularly poetic about playing a song called “You’re on Your Own, Kid” during a sold-out show. A juxtaposition for the ages.

Honourable Mention: “Death By A Thousand Cuts”

While the inclusion of “Our Song” should be celebrated (#JusticeForDebut), “Death By A Thousand Cuts” just hits different. A top tier track from Lover, Taylor’s remarkable breath control allows for a crisp, clear vocal, her demeanour revealing that this may be one of her favourite songs to perform live.

A still from Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour (Taylor’s Version). © 2024 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

“Vigilante Shit” (Midnights set)

Midnights’ Billie Eilish-inspired track gets a serious boost from this burlesque number. It’s certainly a risk, but one that pays off. As the performance progresses, the mechanical structure stationed centre stage creates different shapes, taking Taylor’s femme fatale choreography to the next level – literally and figuratively.

Honourable Mention: “Midnight Rain”

This one’s for the Singin’ In The Rain and “Umbrella” by Rihanna stans – or those who enjoyed their musical fusion on Glee.