Goodbye, Farewell and Amen: Taylor Swift’s ‘Eras’ Wraps Triumphant U.S. Leg

Taylor Swift performs during The Eras Tour concert at SoFi Stadium
Taylor Swift performs during The Eras Tour at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood Monday, Aug. 7, 2023. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

There’s very little about Taylor Swift that is unintentional. The number of times she’s been wrong-footed can be counted on your fingers.

So, yes, it was probably on purpose that she scheduled the last show of the U.S. leg of her gargantuan, triumphant “The Eras Tour” on August 9.

That’s 8/9, a sly reference to 1989, her birth year and the title of her 2014 studio album, perhaps? She’s yet to announce a Taylor’s version of 1989, but don’t let it blow your mind if she does so from the stage of Inglewood, California’s SoFi Stadium Wednesday night.

Swifties are always engaging in detective work and numerology and divination to determine the messages their hero is sending them. These messages, these secrets, are codewords and shibboleths that spread logarithmically (and algorithmically) across social media.

Little secret Easter eggs are nothing new in popular music. Generations pieced out the allegorical references in Don McLean’s “American Pie” and looked for clues that Paul is dead. But the velocity of the knowledge is, forgive me, far more swift these days. And the little clues are really just fun (and hyper-effective) pieces of a marketing powerhouse. Everything is on purpose.

Wednesday’s show will be the 53rd of “The Eras Tour” and Pollstar‘s (conservative) estimates put the gross in the neighborhood of $689 million. She will almost certainly top $1 billion during the international leg which will take her to Latin America, Europe, Asia and Australia. When she comes back to North America in the fall of 2024, where she’ll play enclosed stadiums (and Miami), she’ll likely be near $1.5 billion.

There’s plenty to be said about the impact that tour has had in its five-ish months going from sea to shining sea. The revenues. The economic impact. The psychology. The parapsychology. The politics. The politicians. “Eras” has been cited by the White House, by congressional leaders (remarkably, members of both parties, agreeing on something) and used as leverage by unions in labor disputes.

It has been, quite simply, impossible to ignore.

We live in an (forgive me) era with precious few shared cultural moments. We have become atomized, siloized, polarized and disordered. Rarely do we watch or listen to or read the same things.

There can never be another moment like the MASH finale because we are all so all over the place.

Enter “Eras.” Most will not attend a show. Many do not consider themselves fans of Swift’s music. But we are nearly all conversant in the tour itself. It is watercooler fodder. And that, beyond the dollars, beyond the spectacle, may be “Eras” legacy. That there was something for everyone to talk about, to experience (even reflectively).

Goodbye, farewell and amen.