Swift kicks off Eras Tour in S’pore

Star of the show: Swift performing at the National Stadium in Singapore. — The Straits Times/ANN

“You need to calm down,” exhorted American pop star Taylor Swift during the fourth song of her sold-out Eras Tour concert at the National Stadium on March 2, the first of six planned shows at the 55,000-capacity venue.

The line was not an admonishment to the high-energy crowd to settle down, but a lyric from one of more than 40 songs Swift played. The concert was a celebration of the 34-year-old singer-songwriter’s career – from her second album, Fearless (2009), to her most recent album, Midnights (2022).

Swift will also perform on March 3, 4, 7, 8 and 9, and is the second act to front six shows at the National Stadium, after Coldplay did the same in January.

When fans put up their phone flashlights for Marjorie, a tradition on the Eras Tour, Swift said she was “so moved” by the gesture, adding that the song was about her maternal grandmother.

In 1968, The Straits Times reported that Swift’s grandmother Marjorie Finlay, an opera singer, was chosen to play the part of a peasant girl in a production at the Victoria Theatre.

“My mum actually spent a lot of her childhood with her mum and dad and sister growing up in Singapore. A lot of the time when we would come here on tour, my mum would drive me past her house, where she went to school.

“I have been hearing about Singapore all my life. To get to come here and play a show this big... it means the world,” Swift told the rapt crowd.

Together with her army of backup dancers, singers and instrumentalists, Swift whisked fans through a song-and-dance extravaganza peppered with more local references, including a sprinkling of Singlish during We Are Never Getting Back Together.

During the song, backup dancer Kameron Saunders usually responds with “like ever” during Swift’s spoken interlude. In Australia, where Swift performed before arriving in Singapore, he said “yeah, nah” or “naur” – local slang for no.

For Singapore’s opening night, he countered with “no lah” instead – to the delight of the crowd.

Singapore is Swift’s only South-east Asia stop on The Eras Tour. The only other Asian city to host Swift was Tokyo, where she performed four shows at the Tokyo Dome in January. — The Straits Times/ANN

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