Pop superstar makes history with Australian Eras Tour

Liz Hobday |

Taylor Swift kicked off the Australian leg of the Eras Tour at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Taylor Swift kicked off the Australian leg of the Eras Tour at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

“Melbourne, I am never going to forget tonight, you are unbelievable,” said Taylor Swift, after more than three hours onstage.

The US superstar played to the biggest crowd of her career on Friday night, keeping 96,000 people at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in a near-constant state of pop music ecstasy.

“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.

Swift opened her Eras Tour concerts with a mash-up of Miss Americana and The Heartbreak Prince with Cruel Summer, followed by The Man and You Need to Calm Down – advice the Melbourne audience was never going to take.

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift performed to the largest crowd of her career. (Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS)

Just a few songs into the epic set list, the crowd’s enthusiasm got so much it brought the music to a halt.

Swift had just played Champagne Problems seated at a moss-covered grand piano, and was left simply laughing and shaking her head as the crowd screamed and chanted her name.

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

Several of Swifts best-loved hits, such as Blank Space and Shake it Off, reverberated around the stadium, such was the sheer volume of the crowd singing along to every line.

The singer hinted at her upcoming album The Tortured Poets Department during the night, before playing a bonus album track The Bolter live for the first time.

So devoted were the Swifties, they already knew the words.

Two more surprise songs on the night were a moving rendition of You’re Losing Me, from her 2022 album Midnights, and Red, from ten years earlier.

One of countless crowd-pleasing moments was when one of her dancers inserted some Aussie slang into We are Never Ever Getting Back Together.

“Yeah, nah,” he sang in an Aussie twang.

Taylor Swift performing at the MCG
There were 96,000 attendees at the Melbourne Cricket Ground to see Taylor Swift. (Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS)

The Eras Tour is a next-level stadium show, with sets and costumes defining each phase of the singer’s career, a runway of massive screens, blizzards of confetti, banks of smoke and bursts of flame.

The Reputation era saw Swift in a one-legged sequinned bodysuit emblazoned with snakes, while for Evermore she wore a flowing gown.

Swift might have dozens of costume changes, but fans also go to extreme lengths to create outfits inspired by their favourite album.

On Friday, there were legions of sequinned bodysuits, a great many pairs of cowboy boots, and even one specially-made t-shirt that read “It’s me, hi, I’m the husband it’s me.”

The epic concert ran more than three hours, ending with 2022’s Midnights, and the tracks Anti-Hero, Mastermind and Karma.

The Eras Tour, which started in March 2023 with more than 150 shows across five continents, is the first in history to gross more than US$1 billion (A$1.53 billion), according to industry estimates.

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.

She will play two more concerts at the MCG followed by another four in Sydney starting next Friday.

AAP