More than just a trip up to Minnesota (Taylor’s Version)


After waiting for 17 years to see Taylor Swift live, all I can say is that “I don’t know how it gets better than this,” bringing me back to when I first started listening to her.

by Kyle Werner, Feature Editor

I’ve listened to Taylor Swift for pretty much my whole life. Since she released her debut album in 2006, I’ve been hooked

I loved Taylor Swift so much, that in 2010, I dressed up as her for Halloween. Photo from the archives of my mother’s Facebook.

But it took 17 years for me to see her live in concert. It took waiting through a day’s worth of waiting to get presale tickets, and luckily, my best friend, Sydney, from high school was able to make it through the great Ticketmaster war and get us two tickets for the second show in Minneapolis on June 24.

So, we had tickets to Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour, but we had to wait seven months for the show to roll around.

But the waiting didn’t get easier. In fact, it only got worse. I had seen show spoilers all over TikTok and had to avoid more and more as June rolled around.

The one thing that wasn’t spoiled on TikTok was the surprise songs Taylor played at each show.

Towards the end of each show, she would sing two songs that weren’t on the three-and-a-half hour-long set list, and they were only going to be played at that one show.

So I indulged in the TikToks of the surprise songs so I would know which songs I WOULDN’T get to hear.

It had been seven months of waiting in agony for our show, and I filled my days listening to Taylor Swift, trying to prepare for the concert. Not that I really needed to, I know most of her songs by heart, but it didn’t hurt to listen to one of my all-time favorite artists.

Then the weekend of the show came before we knew it.

It took a four-hour drive to Minneapolis through relentless storms pushing the car around. But I said to myself, “Anything for Taylor.”

The Minnesota Valley Transit Authority had actually put together the “Swiftie Bus” for all of the Eras Tour goers, so we naturally bought a couple of tickets to get the experience.

Before we marched onto the Swiftie Bus, we took a short detour to the Mall of America, where we saw the second-best celebrity in town that weekend, Twiggy the water skiing squirrel perform a 15-minute show of a lifetime.

I met Twiggy #11 before the show at the Mall of America. He was the second biggest celebrity in town.

But then we remembered the real reason why we came. Taylor Swift.

There were masses of Swifties. Everywhere.

All of downtown Minneapolis was covered in glitter and blasting Taylor Swift songs. We drove past them, of course, but we soon were pushed into a mob of fellow dressed-up concertgoers.

We walked a few blocks to U.S. Bank Stadium, surrounded by people who loved Taylor as much as we did, if not more. Our outfits paled in comparison, as we weren’t painted highlighter pink or covered in body glitter, but that didn’t stop us from stopping a few times to get a few pictures for our Instagrams.

Eventually, we made it to our seats, which ended up being barely a step up from nosebleeds, but we had a near-perfect view of the stage.

We ate our sub-par hotdogs while we watched the openers of the show, Owenn and Girl in Red, but even an almost cold hotdog and a stale bun couldn’t soothe our anxiety as the clock kept ticking away, reminding us that Taylor was going to start any second.

Actually, there’s this thing after the openers play that there’s just music playing before Taylor comes on, but the song that marked the end of the countdown was Lady Gaga’s “Applause.” Once it played and the crowd went wild, the actual countdown started to play on the big screen.

Then it happened, she came on stage, and everything there almost seemed like a blur. My phone was dying, I couldn’t take pictures or any videos, but I got to live in the moment.

Me and my best friend from high school, Sydney, waiting for the show to start.

The highlight of the show for me was when she played the top hits from her second album, “Fearless,” which is one of my favorite albums of all time. That was the only time I cried during the entire show, which is honestly impressive because there were people breaking down in tears and screaming all around me during each song.

It was like a fever dream, but make it real life. I had finally seen the one artist I’ve loved listening to for my whole life.

But back to the surprise songs. You have to understand that Swifties are malicious about these surprise songs that Taylor plays.

No one was prepared for the songs that she played at the second night of the Eras Tour in Minneapolis.

And now Swifties across the nation hate my guts because I got to experience Taylor Swift singing one of her most iconic breakup songs, “Dear John,” from her third album, “Speak Now,” for the first time in 11 years. It was on no one’s radar because she had previously stated that it was too painful to sing.

She also sang “Daylight” from her  first album after her contract with Big Machine Record, “Lover.” She sang this song for one fan in particular who Tweeted at Taylor to play it, as it was the anniversary of her brother’s death, and that it would mean the world to her.

Another tragic loss for Swifties across the country. I’ve already seen all of the TikToks saying that the Minneapolis shows didn’t deserve the best surprise songs, but that doesn’t deter from the fact that I got to experience one of the most iconic Eras Tour show throughout the duration of the tour.

Taylor ended the concert with “Karma” from her latest album “Midnights” moments before we were doused in the midnight rains.

The show ended around 11:30, making the show a full five hours long, including the openers. Leaving the stadium, we were greeted by the pouring rain.

Just as our journey began – driving in the storms – we left the show soaked and freezing. But had just experienced the concert of a lifetime, along with subpar hotdogs, and we were riding that high all the way back to our bus and all the way back to our hotel.

After waiting for 17 years to see Taylor Swift live, all I can say is that “I don’t know how it gets better than this,” bringing me back to when I first started listening to her.