Worth the Wait: Taylor Swift Takes Houston
After months of anticipation and not a little drama, Taylor Swift and her “Eras Tour” came to Houston last weekend for three consecutive sold-out shows at NRG Stadium. Playing Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, Swift became the first artist to play three straight shows at the stadium, which held 62,000-plus fans each night.
Swift’s appeal lies not only in her songs, which fans say are relatable to their own lives and experiences, but in her message: Girls can be nice, and still speak their minds and wield their power. For the unindoctrinated, the 2020 Netflix documentary Miss Americana explains how Swift is working to use her voice - outside of the constrains of her music - to empower women and influence culture.
Such was the excitement about Swift’s Houston visit that Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo “renamed” NRG “NRG Stadium (Taylor’s Version),” and City Hall glowed purple in tribute to the song “Lavender Haze.” The tribute also honored Swift’s mother, Andrea Swift, who grew up in Houston and graduated from Memorial High School and then the University of Houston.
Our January story Worth the Wait wondered aloud if Taylor Swift concert tickets were worth the hours-long, online wait for “Verified Fans” tickets. Just one experience: Angela Whittle sat on her computer at Wake Forest University, Katherine Granberry was on hers in Strasbourg, France, and her mom Mary Clark Granberry was at her desk in Houston. Angela was the one to score three tickets. Apparently the wait was worth it.
Tracy Pesikoff said, “My three words to describe last night: Magnificent. Majestic. Magical.
“Everyone at the concert was so joyful and just thrilled…to be a part of what was happening. Swapping friendship bracelets, complimenting outfits, snapping photos with strangers if [they were] dressed similarly.”
The friendship bracelets Tracy refers to come from Swift’s song “You’re On Your Own, Kid,” which includes the lyric, “So make the friendship bracelets.” Fans did. Lisa Hardee, who attended with her cousin and her cousin’s daughter and friends, said she traded one bracelet with a 5 year old sitting in front of her, and another with a parking attendant on the way out.
Sparkles were de-rigueur and outfits were planned for weeks by little girls, grown women, and a few men.
One concertgoer said, “[My dad is] appalled there’s a class at UT about [Taylor Swift]. I tried to explain her talent and business genius, but he wasn’t buying it.” That skepticism of a young woman might be just the message Swift is so beloved for challenging.
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