One of the world's biggest concert tours in decades is coming to Denver. Taylor Swift has amassed a huge following of people eager to connect with her unique brand of honest and driven pop music.
Coloradans, sometimes multigenerational ones, are eagerly anticipating the singer's shows this week.
Most of the headlines around Taylor Swift’s “The Eras Tour" stops tout the huge economics. Yet for her devoted fans, getting to attend the concert has the same personal connection they feel with Swift’s music. Getting the ticket is the hard part.
Nurse Bethany Jordahl and her friend both signed up for the verified fan tickets but neither of them got the coveted email invitation for advance sales. When Jordahl logged on the morning of general ticket sales, she battled against ticket system crashes, but didn’t let anything stop her when she finally gained access to tickets on her phone.
“Because I was pregnant with my second, I had my OB appointment. I was like, I gotta go to my OB appointment. So I'm just gonna take my phone, keep it plugged in and keep an eye on this thing throughout the rest of the day.” Jordahl said. “I was so exhausted after that whole ordeal of six hours of just watching my phone.”
Roommates since college, Elaine and Mackenzie — who didn’t want to give their last names — hoped joining the Ticketmaster club would help them secure tickets. They watched Swift’s Netflix Reputation special to pass the time in the queue. Elaine says getting into the system was only half of it.
“It was very stressful because we would click a couple [of] seats and then they would go away, but then we got four together and I don't even think that it's really set in yet.” Elaine said.
6th grader Lilliana and her mom weren’t able to find tickets when they went on sale, but her neighbor had four tickets to the concert.
“About a month ago, she invited me to the tour and I was very surprised. I thought, this is gonna be a wonderful experience. This is gonna be a wonderful show,” Lilliana said.
With a birthday just six days from Swift’s, Jordahl said it feels like the two have been growing up together. Jordahl said when Taylor’s version of "Speak Now" was released at 10 p.m., she was listening to it at the same time she was breastfeeding her daughter.
“Just listening to that song, like one of the first slides is talking about like ‘Her hand clasps around your finger.’ It's so quiet in the world tonight. Her little eyelids flutter cuz she's dreaming. So you tuck her in and turn on her favorite nightlight.’ And I'm just sitting there holding my little three-month-old and just sobbing. Sobbing. Just like it's so quiet. It's just you and me baby girl,” Jordahl said.
Mackenzie says her connection with Swift began at a birthday party sleepover where her best friend got Swift’s debut album CD.
“I was like, who is this? So we all listened to it all morning long when we woke up and I was in love with her, so I was like, ‘OK, mom, I need to go get it.’ So she was officially … that was my first CD that I ever had. I still have it,” Mackenzie said.
And though she no longer has a CD player, she keeps that CD.
Lilliana’s teacher found a way to work Taylor Swift into almost every assignment throughout the year. Lilliana said her connection to Taylor Swift started in December 2021.
“It was kind of during COVID and I didn't really have anybody to listen to, but my sister Ella, she's younger than me and she kind of got me into Taylor Swift,” Lilliana said. “And then I just got into her and now I know all of her songs.”
The Denver stop for Taylor Swift’s tour isn’t just Lilliana’s first time to see her in concert, it’s her first concert period. But she already knows the protocol for Swift concerts, planning a special outfit, and making bracelets to trade. Lilliana has already made about 70 of them and her goal is to make a hundred.
Mackenzie and Elaine say trading bracelets with other Swift fans is special to them too.
“Concerts are such a feel-good moment when you get to be with all these other people that care so much about something that you care about. Just meeting all these other people and trading bracelets with each other, it's a nice little memento from the concert that we can look at and remember and make friends,” Mackenzie said.
Jordahl also has a special story: Taylor Swift helped her bring a child into the world.
“When I had my first daughter, I made a Taylor Swift labor and delivery playlist. And when they're like, ‘All right, it's time to push,’ I played “Ready For It?” by Taylor Swift and like it was, ‘Are you ready?” Jordahl said.
She said the music was so loud that when “all the people came in, they're like, ‘It's a party in here,’” Jordahl said. “And then they also asked me to turn it down because it was too loud. I think the other patients could hear my pump-up music.”
Lilliana said Taylor Swift inspires her.
“Her songs make me happy. I jump up and down when I hear them. Once I'm gonna go to the tour, I'm gonna freak out. I know I am.”
Her mom, Jen Wiard said she thinks it’s great.
“And I think if she were to be inspired by another woman, why not Taylor Swift?” Wiard said. “I think she's a great inspiration. She's done a lot for Lilly.”
And the singer herself? Taylor Swift has been selling out stadiums and arenas since her first tour in 2009. Tickets for "The Eras Tour" — her first since 2018 — have been sold out since shortly after they first went on sale.
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