Taylor Swift makes National Stadium shimmer on opening night of Singapore concerts

SINGAPORE – “You need to calm down,” exhorted American pop star Taylor Swift during the fourth song of her sold-out Eras Tour concert at the National Stadium on March 2, the first of six planned shows at the 55,000-capacity venue.

The line was not an admonishment to the high-energy crowd to settle down, but a lyric from one of more than 40 songs Swift played during her 3½-hour set.

The concert was a celebration of the 34-year-old singer-songwriter’s career – from her second album, Fearless (2009), to her most recent album, Midnights (2022).

Swift will also perform on March 3, 4, 7, 8 and 9, and is the second act to front six shows at the National Stadium, after Coldplay did the same in January.

When fans put up their phone flashlights for Marjorie, a tradition on the Eras Tour, Swift said she was “so moved” by the gesture, adding that the song was about her maternal grandmother.

In 1968, The Straits Times reported that Swift’s grandmother Marjorie Finlay, an opera singer, was chosen to play the part of a peasant girl in a production at the Victoria Theatre.

“My mum actually spent a lot of her childhood with her mum and dad and sister growing up in Singapore. A lot of the time when we would come here on tour, my mum would drive me past her house, where she went to school.

“I have been hearing about Singapore all my life. To get to come here and play a show this big… it means the world,” Swift told the rapt crowd.

There were a few security hiccups as people had to be repeatedly cleared from standing in the aisles between floor sections.

But Swift remained a consummate performer throughout, moving from era to era, and commanding every inch of the sprawling stage with an ease that reflected her 18 years in the music industry.

She took the stage at 7pm after an opening set by American singer Sabrina Carpenter.

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