Taylor Swift @ Murrayfield, Edinburgh, 9 Jun

The closing night of Taylor Swift's three-night stadium run in Edinburgh is an almost flawless record-breaking triumph over 18 years, ten eras and 45 songs

Live Review by Tallah Brash | 10 Jun 2024
  • Taylor Swift at Murrayfield

As a girl dressed like a disco ball clambers up and over the chairs next to us so she can go grab some chips before Taylor Swift comes on, Paramore do a stellar job in warming up the crowd. Following the opening pair of bangers – Hard Times, from 2017’s After Laughter, and a cover of Talking Heads’ Burning Down the House, as featured on a 2024 Record Store Day release – Hayley Williams talks about how the band have been together for 21 years, gushing about what an honour it’s been for them to be a part of this, the biggest tour in music history. The Only Exception incites a mammoth singalong, before Williams asks if people “wanna rock?" and as Swifties seriously let loose to Misery Business you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d come to a Paramore headline show.

Half an hour between acts results in never-before-seen toilet queues, and people calling out time stamps to let one another know how long it is until Swift o'clock, as they cautiously check the setlist to help plan their next comfort breaks. Lady Gaga’s Applause signals that it's almost time. When the song finishes, a two-and-a-half-minute countdown appears on the screen, set to a backdrop of Lesley Gore’s 1963 classic You Don’t Own Me, and the crowd becomes almost feral.

Taylor Swift appears to eardrum-bursting screams, as she kicks off the final night of her Edinburgh run with songs from 2019's Lover. Miss Americana & the Heartbreak Prince and Cruel Summer get things underway before she takes a breather to say hello, revealing that we’re a part of music history as tonight’s show has broken the all-time attendance record for a stadium show in Scotland. It’s unsurprising, but lovely to see Swift appear to be genuinely moved by the news. With staging replicating an office building, The Man follows alongside the first costume edit of the night as she powers through lines like, ‘They wouldn’t shake their heads and question how much of this I deserve’, and 'I'm so sick of running as fast as I can / Wondering if I'd get there quicker / If I was a man', in a chic tailored sequin suit jacket.

Costume changes and edits are plentiful tonight; some as simple as the addition of a jacket, through to the more elaborate bejewelled ball gown she dons for Speak Now's Enchanted. This follows the meticulous Red section, which sees everyone’s light-up Taylor Swift wristbands blinking red across the stadium, although at this point it is still only 8pm, in Scotland, in June, so the full effect isn't felt for another hour or so.

During Red, Swift starts on 22, sharing a rather emotional moment with a young girl in the crowd who she gives her hat to, before moving onto We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, which features an exquisite delivery of Scots colloquialism from dancer Kameron Saunders as he states, ‘bolt ya rocket’ during the song's spoken word bridge. I Knew You Were Trouble follows, before the ten-minute Taylor’s Version of All Too Well, much to the delight of the crowd as they passionately scream ‘fuck the patriarchy’ alongside Swift while autumn leaves and later snow-like confetti floats around the stadium in time with lines about both seasons.

Photo of Taylor Swift, singing and playing a guitar on stage at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh.
Taylor Swift on stage at Scottish Gas Murrayfield, Edinburgh. Photo: TAS Rights Management

It becomes clear very quickly that most here have a favourite era. Some are living for the sass of reputation, while others are enthralled by the extensive folklore / evermore section that starts with trees growing out of the stage,  and Swift in a mossy woodland cabin ("the folklore cabin", she tells us), before she later plays a moss-covered grand piano à la the cardigan music video. champagne problems is clearly the favourite of someone a few rows behind us who squawks the titular words loud and proud every time Swift does; later, a funeral-like procession follows Swift during my tears ricochet. It’s an altogether more subdued section, but the staging, attention to detail and massive singalongs prove that it is no less engaging than the more upbeat moments, despite many opting to sit at this point, or check their Vinted account as we see someone do...

Both the 1989 and THE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT eras bring an injection of new energy; the bikes that featured briefly in the Blank Space video appear with a Tron glow up, Shake It Off is a total party and during Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me, Swift sits atop a large mirrored box that glides back and forth across the staging. During this section a couple of full onstage costume changes occur, which is a welcome change of pace, as up until now, costume changes and era transitions are somewhat repetitive and predictable, with Swift often being lowered into the same hole in the stage, reappearing minutes later in a new getup, while not much else has gone on in the meantime. 

Wth Swift now in a red flowing dress, an upright piano emerges at the front of the stage as she declares: ‘Welcome to the acoustic section, Edinburgh’. She explains that this part of the show is different every night – tonight we get dorothea and Haunted, with elements of other songs thrown in, which proves a little too overwhelming for some. Swift then launches herself into a hole in the stage as if diving into a swimming pool, before a visual that runs the full length of the stage shows her swimming to the top of the stage.

Reemerging at the other end in a new outfit, it's time for Midnights, the era which closes out the show. We get Lavender Haze, Anti-Hero, Midnight Rain (featuring dancers with huge umbrellas that at one point shroud Swift as she changes once again), Vigilante Shit, Bejeweled, Mastermind and Karma, which closes out the show in a frenzy of fireworks, confetti and sparkly tasseled jackets in every colour, Swift leading the charge in hot pink.

It's a glorious ending to what is undeniably an unreal night of pop, as Swift takes us on an 18-year journey through 45 songs from ten eras matched with phenomenal production value; that the show's three hours and 15 minutes runtime flies by is testament to the charismatic force that is Taylor Swift. It's a shame then that the overall show wasn't quite flawless, flagging on the odd occasion in the transitions between some of the eras. You might think I'm talking shit for the hell of it, but you need to calm down, just don't blame me.

Taylor's Swfit's The Eras Tour continues at Anfield Stadium, Liverpool on 13 Jun