Taylor Swift plays a record-breaking night at the MCG

Liz Hobday |

Swifties queued for merchandise at the MCG a day before the star’s Australian Eras Tour kicks off.
Swifties queued for merchandise at the MCG a day before the star’s Australian Eras Tour kicks off.

US pop megastar Taylor Swift has played to the biggest audience of her career on the first night of her Australian tour, a crowd of 96,000 enraptured fans at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

“This is the biggest show we have done on this tour, it’s the biggest show we have done on any tour ever,” she told them, adding that she was starstruck and overjoyed.

“If I seem a bit like I’m losing my mind it’s about the fact that there are 96,000 people here tonight – it’s true,” she said.

Taylor Swift on stage in Melbourne
Taylor Swift shows some love to an adoring crowd in Melbourne. (Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS)

The opening number of The Eras Tour was a mashup of Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince, and Cruel Summer, and the audience was ecstatic right from the very start.

That was followed by The Man and You Need to Calm Down – but of course, there was no calming down at all, with the crowd singing every word right along with Swift.

“Just a few songs in you are making me feel phenomenal,” she said.

After her rendition of Champagne Problems, which she played sitting at a moss-covered grand piano, the screams of the crowd brought the music to a halt, with the MCG chanting “Taylor Taylor Taylor”. 

The US superstar stood for some minutes simply laughing and shaking her head.

“I really miss coming to Australia I gotta say,” she said.

Her last concert down under was in 2018 for her Reputation album, and the fans clearly agreed when she said they had a lot to catch up on.

Later in the night, she played The Bolter from her upcoming album The Tortured Poets Department, live for the first time.

The 14-time Grammy winner has a special relationship with her fans, and thousands came dressed according to the varied phases of the star’s career, from her Speak Now album to Reputation and the more recent Midnights.

There were sequins, there was glitter, there were bodysuits and cowboy hats – and even one specially-made t-shirt that read “It’s me, hi, I’m the husband it’s me.”

Swift’s Eras Tour is the first in history to gross more than US$1 billion (A$1.53 billion), according to industry estimates.

The Eras Tour has transformed the MCG, with a bank of massive screens and a central runway, which itself has a luminous surface of LED screens itself for Swift and her backup dancers.

The pop star will play two more sold-our concerts at the MCG followed by four more concerts at Sydney’s Accor Stadium from next Friday.

Melbourne has welcomed Swift, with Flinders Street Station lit up with images of the star, and dozens of Swift-themed events and parties across the city.

When tickets went on sale last June, approximately four million people stopped what they were doing and jumped online to try and secure a ticket to one of her seven Australian shows.

Yet there’s still a slim – very slim – chance of a small number of tickets being sold on show days, according to hints from tour organisers.

Taylor Swift fans show off their beaded bracelets.
Taylor Swift fans show off their beaded bracelets ahead of the US singer’s concert in Melbourne. (Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS)

Swift’s Eras Tour started in March 2023 and has more than 150 shows across five continents.

The 34-year-old jetted into Melbourne on Thursday from the US after watching her boyfriend Travis Kelce win the Super Bowl with his Kansas City Chiefs.