As expected, Taylor Swift’s new album, Midnights, is the biggest music release of the year and she set yet another record this week because she’s run the table on the Billboard Hot 100 with ten different tracks populating the top 10. The cherry on top of this achievement was Taylor’s announcement yesterday, finally confirming for real for real that she is, indeed, going on tour:
It’s quite a flex, being just 32 years old and being able to legitimately separate her career in eras by albums – ten of them, all of them monster hits. Midnights sold over 1.5 million equivalent units, her fifth album to sell at least a million in a week, and seven years after her album, reputation, moved over a million units in the same time frame. Which by industry standards is indeed extraordinary because I’m sure we all know how the music business has changed. This is the power of her metaverse.
So how does she even decide on this setlist through her own catalogue? In addition to the tracks on Midnights, she’s never performed songs from the Lover, folklore, and evermore albums on tour. That’s four full length studio albums of songs that have never been toured, plus the six previous studio albums that preceded them, and she has to select songs for a two to three hour show….
I would like to see a short film about this process. And I wouldn’t be surprised if she actually does one.
As for the tour schedule – it hasn’t been a great year for people on tour. On top of pandemic realities, many artists are struggling more than ever with tour life, resulting in several cancellations. This is just one of the reasons that Vegas residencies are becoming more and more attractive.
Vegas shows, however, are much more intimate. It’s an average audience of maximum a thousand people. During a stadium tour, however, you can get up to sometimes 60 or 70K people a night. What I noticed about Taylor’s Eras tour nights though is that they’re a bit more spaced out than her previous tours. Right now she’s only announced US tour stops but unless she’s performing multiple nights in the same city, there’s almost always at least six days if not more between shows. The shortest gap between shows that aren’t in the same city is five days.
Pandemic tour logistics are certainly a factor here but I also think she’s being more intentional about rest and recovery and avoiding burnout. A Taylor Swift tour makes a lot of people a lot of money. The reputation stadium tour broke the record for the highest-grossing US tour since tour tracking started. So far there are fewer US stops on The Eras tour than there was for reputation. And more shows is more money. I mean, she’s going to be making a LOT of money so I’m not saying here that she’s a charity, or anything. My point is just that it’s interesting to me that she seems to be pacing herself. And if that’s the case, it’s smart and it’s strategic.