At one point during the first show of her long-awaited, highly anticipated Eras tour on Friday night (Mar. 17), Taylor Swift described herself as “really overwhelmed, and trying to keep it together all night.” It’s easy to understand: this enormous stadium trek, one of pop’s hottest tickets in years, also happens to be Swift’s first proper tour in five years, thanks primarily to the pandemic. The pop superstar has released a whopping four original albums (plus two re-recorded ones) since last hitting the road, and on Friday night at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., she told the crowd that she had been dreaming about this day — the day that she could finally perform this wealth of new material — for a long time.

“Overwhelming” would also be an apt way to describe the sheer tonnage of the Eras tour: with segments dedicated to all 10 of Swift’s studio albums, the show entertained a sold-out, frequently screaming stadium audience for 3 hours and 15 minutes, as Swift tirelessly showcased her skill set and various artistic personas across a whopping 44 songs. The most dominant artist in popular music has used this live run to reflect on the various iterations of her career to date, and the achievement is often staggering, with costume changes, set-piece upheaval, vulnerable moments in a crowd of thousands and sing-alongs that will rival the scope of any tour this year.

The Eras tour is going to satisfy a lot of Swift diehards in the coming months, who will surely find their own favorite pockets of the set list. And while Swift fans should embrace the entire experience, the opening night provided some clear-cut highlights. Here are the 13 best moments from the Eras tour kickoff in Glendale on Friday night:

Jason Lipshutz
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