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Taylor Swift Made Some Changes to the Eras Tour Setlist in Paris and Swifties Are Down Bad

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Sorry, but the old Eras tour can’t come to the phone right now — and here’s why. On Thursday, May 9, Taylor Swift shook Parisian Swifties when she kicked off the European leg of the Eras tour, debuting several incredible changes to the setlist. From the inclusion of The Tortured Poets Department to a wardrobe refresh, the new Eras tour has Swifties abuzz with excitement. And I, a self-proclaimed Tortured Poet, am Down Bad for it.

Weeks after its release, the veritable buzz and anticipation surrounding The Tortured Poets Department and its potential inclusion in Taylor Swift’s Eras tour had remained at an all-time high. On Thursday, the sun dawned upon tens of thousands of Swifties in Paris, all bound by an Invisible String and a singular question: Are we seeing TTPD live today?

Hours later, the answer proved to be a resounding yes. In an incredible display of solidarity that spanned the globe, social media platforms erupted in a flood of news updates and video clips, all of which were hungrily devoured by international Swifties, myself included. Gone was my hopeful anticipation for a TTPD era in the Eras tour. Instead, I feverishly swept my socials for information, equal measures enraptured and frantic for fear of losing my favourite songs in the setlist shuffle.

A tale of easter eggs and clues

While many had anticipated the inclusion of TTPD in the Eras tour come its resumption this week, no official confirmation appeared to support the hypothesis. Two weeks prior (a Fortnight, if you will), Swift herself had dropped some easter eggs by sharing a 15-second clip featuring scenes from Eras tour rehearsals. Eagle-eyed Swifties were quick to spot hints and clues that pointed at TTPD’s inevitable inclusion, from new dance choreography to a brief glimpse of the TTPD logo.

And to those Swifties, I say: Thank you for your invaluable service.

Now that TTPD has made its debut on the Eras tour, let’s look at all the changes that have been introduced, from the updated setlist and costumes to the extraordinary new stage design.

Taylor Swift’s updated Eras tour includes setlist changes and seven songs from TTPD

Like most Swifties, I knew the day would come when I would have to say goodbye to some of the songs from the Eras tour setlist. Eagerly anticipating the arrival of TTPD, I did so with unfounded optimism that Swift would demonstrate restraint in culling my favourites — yet now that the sorrowful farewell is upon us, I find myself in mourning.

Given that each Eras tour performance is over three hours long, it would be foolhardy to assume that no cuts would be made for the addition of new tracks. In fact, Swift could have simply opted to cut a few songs across the longer eras to make time for TTPD; however, mother is as mother does, and doing things halfway has never been her strong suit. Far from simply adding in a new era and calling it a day, Swift rose spectacularly to the occasion, taking the opportunity to overhaul her performance by refreshing key visuals, era transitions, and even her outfits.

This much was evident from the very first moments of opening night in Paris: The old Eras tour is dead and gone, and the new one is here to slay.

Beyond adding The Tortured Poets Department into the now-iconic opening montage of her performance, Swift also opted to reshuffle the set order. As before, she kicked off the night with the Lover era, following it up with Fearless. Then, to the thunderous applause of fans, Swift switched up the setlist, taking the stadium through the Red, Speak Now, and Reputation eras before presenting a unified version of her pandemic-produced sister albums Folklore and Evermore — the Folkmore era, which preceded the 1989 set.

The Tortured Poets Department then entered the chat, bringing the stadium to its metaphorical knees. Swift then played her surprise acoustic set before closing off the evening with the dreamy synth songs of her Midnights era.

So Long, Long Live

Don’t get me wrong — I would never hold it against Swift for making cuts to her old Eras tour setlist to include TTPD. But I would be lying if I said I was not saddened to lose Long Live, a song that has served as an anthem and rallying cry to Swifties since it was first performed at the Speak Now tour. Equally distressing to me was the occlusion of The 1 and The Last Great American Dynasty, both of which are personal favourites that will be greatly missed.

The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived gets dramatic marching band

taylor swift eras tour ttpd paris changes setlist hero
Taylor Swift’s recalls the imagery of a funeral march as she sings The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived (Image: @IMN0TALLT00WELL/X)

In the words of Taylor Swift herself: RIP me, I died dead.

While Jake Gyllenhaal may have survived the fallout of a 10-minute breakup song, Matty Healy may not be so lucky. With scathing lyrics that leave little room for interpretation, The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived is the literal embodiment of the phrase, ‘Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned’. And while the relationship is as dead as my hopes for So Long, London to be included in the TTPD era, Swift has evidently not forgiven the smallest man who ever lived.

Dressed in a Military-inspired jacket and a lyric-engulfed white gown (more on that below), Swift’s compelling performance depicted her heartbreak to great aplomb. Marching down the stage to solemn drumbeats, her dignified posturing painted a dissonant mirage, stark against the depth of Healy’s betrayal.

And to that, I can only say: RIP Matty Healy, you didn’t just get a breakup song; you got a literal funeral march.

A nod to better days

While much of TTPD is centred on the trials and tribulations of failed relationships and the wearying existence of life in the spotlight, Swift has nonetheless managed to infuse it with hopefulness, courtesy of The Alchemy and So High School. While the former did not make it onto the Eras tour, Swift paid subtle homage to her current relationship with Travis Kelce by incorporating the latter into the TTPD setlist.

Equally intriguing is the fact that So High School was preceded by But Daddy I Love Him, which is believed to be about Swift’s whirlwind romance with Healy. However, the latter part of the track depicts Swift’s paramour gaining the approval and affection of her family and father, leading fans to believe that it was also partly inspired by her relationship with Kelce.

Personal inclinations lead me to believe that this specific transition between tracks was intentional. It would certainly not be the first time that Swift has seamlessly blended tracks in this way. (If you recall, she famously transitioned between Don’t Blame Me and Look What You Made Me Do with, “Don’t blame me… for what you made me do.”)

It depends on who you ask, but I’m of the opinion that that transition was absolutely the mic drop of the century.

With the dust thusly settled, we hereby commence this postmortem to say goodbye to Tolerate It, The Last Great American Dynasty, The 1, ‘Tis The Damn Season, Long Live, The Archer, and Invisible String.

Thankfully, all goodbyes lead to hellos, and so we also welcome to the Eras tour the following tracks: Fortnight, But Daddy I Love Him, So High School, Down Bad, Who’s Afraid Of Little Old Me, The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived, and I Can Do It With A Broken Heart.

Other updates and changes that made it into the Eras tour

Fresh new ‘fits

Beyond adding new tracks and subtracting others from the Eras tour setlist, Swift also revamped most of her outfits. While I found myself disappointed at the lack of love shown for the Reputation era’s snake-inspired bodysuit, later introspection revealed that it is, in fact, impossible to improve upon perfection.

The Lover era, however, received a brand-new bodysuit and jacket, this time in glittering shades of red and vermillion. A new Red era t-shirt sparked great confusion, imprinted with the words ‘This is not Taylor’s Version’ that has since garnered much speculation.

Swift also paid homage to her past tours with a black-and-gold tasselled dress and a fuchsia-and-teal two piece recalling the outfits of the Fearless and 1989 world tours. Likewise, Speak Now and Folkmore received updated outfits: A sequinned pink ballgown and a yellow version of Swift’s original white Folklore dress.

While those wardrobe updates are indeed intriguing, I’ll confess my attention was otherwise engaged by the exquisite creations of the TTPD era. For all intents and purposes, Swift appears to have mastered the art of transforming her costumes on-stage, which she did to great effect through the seven-track set of TTPD.

Taylor Swift’s TTPD dress is a brilliant homage to the literary themes of the album. (Image: @IMN0TALLT00WELL/X)

Understandably so, Swift’s white gown for TTPD recalled the hallmarks of her Grammys outfit (which was then reused in the music video for Fortnight). Yet, the Eras tour variation managed to up the ante on the original, paying not-so-subtle homage to the literary themes of the album through the puffy silhouette of its skirt. Evoking the imagery of hastily crumpled parchment marked with poetry verses and elegant calligraphy, this skirt, as well as its accompanying Military-inspired jacket, have quickly become my personal Roman Empire.

My opinion on the matter? Give the costume designer a raise.

The Folkmore era beckons

While I will never get over the loss of The 1 and The Last Great American Dynasty, I must admit that it was a genius move on Swift’s part to combine the Folklore and the Evermore eras. Produced in part by Aaron Dessner of The National, both albums feature idyllic themes that recall a bucolic Lifestyle with heavy cottagecore elements.

With similar narratives, lyrical styles, melodies, and aesthetics, Folklore and Evermore are sisters in more ways than one. Swift’s decision to blend the two together into the Folkmore era had every opportunity to feel forced and contrived; yet Swift pulled it off to great success, her masterful touch lending itself to the creation of a cohesive era.

Genius? Perhaps. Mastermind? Definitely.

Spectacular stage design wins again

Whether or not you’re a fan of Taylor Swift, it is impossible to deny her dedication to her craft. Having grossed over USD 1 billion in revenue, the Eras tour is the highest-grossing tour of all time, and for good reason. Swift is a self-confessed overthinker, and I would not be the first person to suggest that she has certainly overthought the Eras tour, for which I must extend my deepest, sincerest gratitude.

It is certainly this overthinking that has led to the continual improvement of the Eras tour experience. One year ago, Swift took my breath away by diving off-stage and ‘swimming’ away, only to later re-emerge in a different era. Today, I watched, breathless once again as she ‘leapt from the gallows and levitated down the street’, singing “Who’s afraid of little old me?”

While I’m not afraid, I’m certainly impressed. And you know what? You should be, too.

A reported filming crew on site?

Reports have emerged to suggest that there was a filming crew on-site in Paris. While I’d caution against getting your hopes up immediately, it does appear that Swift might be planning to release another cut of the Eras tour, this time including The Tortured Poets Department.

Final thoughts on The Tortured Poets Department in the Eras tour

It bears noting that I have nothing but complimentary things to say about The Tortured Poets Department. Thus, its inclusion in the Eras tour has been nothing short of a delight for me to see. As it stands now, the TTPD setlist is masterfully composed, containing many of my personal favourites including Fortnight, Who’s Afraid Of Little Old Me, and I Can Do It With A Broken Heart.

While I would’ve personally loved enjoyed the inclusion of My Boy Only Breaks His Favourite Toys, How Did It End, The Prophecy, and So Long, London, not all hope is lost; happily, Swift has kept the hope alive for other TTPD songs by incorporating loml into her acoustic set.

Ultimately, it is clear that Swift’s choices for the TTPD set reflect her thoughts on the album — Feminine Rage: The Musical, as she so aptly puts it. As a Swiftie, it’s heartening to see just how far she’s come since the turbulent days of early 2023; as a woman, it’s especially gratifying to hear my thoughts reflected in her pensive lyrics and exquisite melodies.

The Tortured Poets Department is more than just a diss album intended to throw shade. Through multiple listens, I’ve come to understand that it is Swift’s commentary on her life and the scrutiny she is unfairly subjected to. Beyond the torrid love affairs, TTPD sheds light on the darkest parts of her emotions, and at the same time, illuminates our personal demons. Through her music and lyrics, Swift has proven that we all bleed the same.

If The Tortured Poets Department is meant to be Swift’s farewell to the darkest days of her life, then I am honoured to bear witness, and excited to see where she goes next.

(Main and featured images: @IMN0TALLT00WELL/X (formerly Twitter)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Did the Eras Tour setlist change?

Taylor Swift kicked off the European leg of the Eras tour in Paris on May 9 2024 with changes to the setlist including new tracks from The Tortured Poets Department. The songs that were added are Fortnight, Down Bad, I Can Do It With A Broken Heart, So High School, The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived, Who’s Afraid Of Little Old Me, and But Daddy I Love Him.

What songs does Taylor Swift sing at the Eras Tour?

Taylor Swift has a setlist of 45 songs for the Eras tour, which includes longtime favourites like Style, 22, Wildest Dreams, Enchanted, All Too Well, Cruel Summer, Anti-Hero, Champagne Problems, My Tears Ricochet, and others. As of her Parisian performance, she has cut ‘Tis The Damn Season, The 1, The Last Great American Dynasty, The Archer, Tolerate It, Long Live, and Invisible String to make time for new tracks from The Tortured Poets Department.

Where is Taylor Swift playing in Paris?

The Parisian performances for Taylor Swift’s Eras tour will be held at the Paris La Défense Arena.

How long is the Eras Tour in Paris?

Taylor Swift will be performing for 4 nights in Paris, from May 9 to May 12 2024.

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