We went to see Taylor Swift at Edinburgh's Murrayfield to see if it was worth the hype

Katie
-Credit: (Image: Edinburgh Live)


The night tens of thousands of fans have been waiting for finally arrived in Edinburgh on Friday.

The Eras Tour kicked off the three-day run on Friday, June 7, to nearly 73,000 people in Murrayfield - a Scottish record, according to Taylor Swift.

As the crowd cheered when the opening song "Cruel Summer" faded out, Taylor looked in disbelief and said: "this has gone straight to my head" - and I think we all felt the same.

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Scottish crowds have grown a reputation for being ‘some of the best’ as we sing and cheer in unison and as it was Taylor’s first gig in Scotland in nearly 10 years - Edinburgh gave her one to remember. The capital and Swifites have been waiting a whole year for this day.

With outfits being planned, bought, or made, fans proved their dedication to the star. For hundreds of thousands of Swifties, preparations began and friendship bracelets were made as soon as they got the ticket. For them - the Eras Tour experience started long before June 7.

While some started queuing in the early hours of the morning, crowds quickly grew throughout the day, allowing Swifties to exchange friendship bracelets and complement each other's outfits inspired by the pop sensation.

It became apparent that there was some confusion as to where people had to wait before the doors opened. Random queues started to form, subsequently leading to nowhere as fans followed the herd. However, once we found a marshal and asked they were clear in directing us to the right spot for general admission standing.

Taylor
Taylor Swift kicked off the three-night stint in Edinburgh on Friday -Credit:TAS Rights Management

Upon entering the venue, you’re given a light-up bracelet and then greeted by the food trucks to fuel up before the three-and-a-half-hour gig - because you need all your energy to get through 45 songs and the emotional rollercoaster the powerhouse that is Taylor Swift takes you on.

It is a monster of a show with beautifully detailed visuals on the screen when it’s not showing Taylor performing. The staging allows every section to catch a sight of something, and the rising platforms move seamlessly with her songs. She’s come a long way from performing in Nashville with just her guitar.

It would be impossible to review every song and every performance - but with a tour that has been going for over a year and has been shared excessively online, apart from the surprise songs - you know what to expect.

Or so I thought. What I wasn’t prepared for was the amount of energy that filled the stadium - Not only from the crowd but from Taylor and her impressive dancers. This isn’t just a singer - she is proving that she is a performer who can belt so strongly she was heard across Edinburgh, but they are soon followed by cheeky smirks to the crowd. Each song is filled with emotion as if she hasn’t been singing them for 15 months already.

Being in the standing area, and 5”2, there is always a risk that I might not see the stage. However, with the Eras Tour, massive screens are placed so that people can see the action and Taylor makes use of the mighty stage, working each section and side to give her fans what they want.

If you’re not familiar with the Eras Tour, there are stand-out points that happen in each show as it flows through 10 of her 11 albums. The Lover singer gives her hat to a child in the crowd during 22, the audience chants after the intro of her song Delicate, and her dancer Cam replies to Taylor in We Are Never Getting Back Together. For Edinburgh, Cam replied: “Nae chance”, to which the crowd cheered in glee.

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As the excitement and delight flow through the crowd, the mood quickly changes as the Fortnight singer comes armed with just her guitar for the 10-minute rendition of All Too Well, that is supposedly about her ex boyfriend Jake Gyllenhaal, according to fans.

After she has zig-zagged across the stage and made use of the moving platforms, this is a stripped-back moment that brings the crowd, including myself, to tears. In unison, we shout the heart-aching lyrics: “You call me up again just to break me like a promise / So casually cruel in the name of being honest,” as if we have all had a red scarf left at an ex’s sister’s house.

After nearly 10 years since her last Scottish concert, Taylor made Edinburgh feel special.

She said: “My one regret is that I really should have come to play in Scotland more,” she said near the beginning of what was only her second-ever gig in the country.

“You’ve made us feel so welcome. The volume of the singing, the dancing… You are performing on such a level.

“I can’t stop looking at the crowd. I’m captivated.”

She later went on to say that Folklore, which she wrote during the pandemic, could have been inspired by Scotland as she imagined a world full of trees, grass and moss - Yup. Sounds like Scotland!

As the tour is coming up to its 100th show, there’s no doubt about it that it works like a machine. Everything is planned and rehearsed - but that doesn’t mean things still can’t go wrong.

Songs were interrupted four times as Taylor spotted people in the crowd needing assistance. During her surprise mash-up of Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve and I Know Places; and a medley of ‘Tis The Damn Season and Daylight, she stops singing until she knows that assistance is on its way to someone needing help in the crowd. She then admits she had a cold cramp in her hand, probably not helped by the chilly wind, and has to take a moment to stretch it out before continuing the iconic tour.

“Oh God! Hand cramp!” she said

“This has never happened before… It’s so embarrassing. My hand's like a claw!”

The sun began to slowly set at around 10pm after nearly a full show in daylight, giving enough darkness for the pyrotechnics and fireworks that closed the show after she performed Karma.

Taylor and her entourage took a bow and thanked the band and the crowd before vanishing into the set - only to be spotted by the crowd at stage left to the exit.

Taylor calls it her Eras Tour, we’ve been calling it a concert - but as the fireworks blasted into the sky above Edinburgh, it was obvious this was more than that. It was an experience.

Fans have been preparing for this for a year with outfits, travel, bracelets, and then to see a show with so much power. I don’t think I’ll see anything like it again. The night went to my head too.