I did it! I went to an Era’s Tour show, and boy was it a doozy. I don’t think my show was like any other yet on tour so I thought I’d walk through it as if you are there with me.
5 pm: Arrival! Part of the fun of getting to Nissan Stadium in Nashville is the pedestrian bridge. With thousands of other people, we walk across the bridge. Later in the night, we can see thousands more listening to the set. There is a minimal line to get into the stadium, probably because it was drizzling, but inside was chaos. So. Many. People.
5:30 pm: We follow the nosebleed herd up to our seats. After sitting for a couple of minutes, we decided to escape the rain and explore. That is when the Shelter In Place alarms started to go off. “Lighting is approaching the stadium, please leave the seats and proceed to the closest indoor area.”
In the nosebleeds, there are no indoor areas. Once you exit the tunnel connecting the seats to the rest of the stadium, you are still completely exposed to the elements. To avoid the rain as much as possible, we, and the other people from our section squeeze into the tunnel. There we wait. And wait. Got told to leave the tunnel. Left the tunnel. Realized we are more likely to get soaked by rain. Promptly went back into the tunnel. Sat down. Stood up. Went to the bathroom. Sat down again. Sang some songs. Traded some friendship bracelets. Ventured out into the chaos to spend 50 dollars on two mediocre dinners. Ventured back to the tunnel. Sat, and sat, and sat some more.
8 pm: (original start of Taylor’s set): The rain is so heavy that we can not see the other side of the stadium. We are damp, and every time lighting went off, the entirety of the stadium groaned. Although this experience was kind of terrible, it is also so much fun. The stadium echoes with the songs of sorrowful but hopeful swifties, and Nissan Stadium updates us on Twitter every hour on the hour.
9 pm: Slowly but surely maintenance men start mopping the stage off and testing the lights. I entered the stadium with my phone at 98%, and it was now at 30%. Hopes are high but the lighting is still going off constantly. Announcements echo through the stadium, but every time we stretch to hear what they’re saying, it is the same Stay in Place alert. We sit as close to the wall as we can, as water inches into the tunnel.
(us in the tunnel)
9:45 pm: The rain has subsided and the stadium slowly fills up. The infamous pre-Taylor countdown songs are playing.
10:10 pm: She takes the stage.
We get out of the concert around 1:30 am. Taylor played her entire three and a half hour set. About a third of the way through the show, the lighting started again. The lights from the stadium were so bright, and our screams were so loud, that I think they ignored it. There were moments when I thought she was singing her last song. That they would force her to leave the stage and make us exit the stadium for safety. Later, we found out the worst of the storm was coming straight towards the stadium, but miraculously turned around just as it reached the outskirts of Nashville. After this night, I can confidently say, the five hour wait was worth it.