Taylor Swift 'makes 55,000 feel they're the only one there'

Image gallerySkip image gallerySlide 1 of 6, Taylor Swift in a "Who's Taylor Swift anyway?" t-shirt with dancers dressed in red outfits, Swift's show in Liverpool was the 100th of her record-breaking Eras tour
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The ability to captivate more than 55,000 fans and make each feel like they are the only person in the room takes some doing, but that is exactly what Taylor Swift seemingly effortlessly manages to achieve.

The world's biggest pop star blew the crowd away at Anfield on Thursday evening, the first of three dates at Liverpool FC's stadium.

The show may have been the 100th of her record-breaking Eras tour, but you'd never have known it, such was the sheer sense of energy and excitement.

Swift summed it up perfectly when she told her adoring fans, many of whom had queued for hours in the cold and pouring rain to secure a spot as close to the stage as possible: "You're giving us a gift!"

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Image caption,

Taylor Swift will play two more nights at Anfield stadium

The queen of pop's global fanbase was well represented in Liverpool, with Swifties flying in from as far away as South Africa, Australia, Canada and the United States.

The soggy conditions certainly didn't dampen their spirits as they held their friendship-bracelet clad arms in the air to welcome their idol.

Everyone lucky enough to be there will forever remember a countdown clock appearing on the stage and the deafening roar as Swift made her grand, smoky entrance for her opening Lover era.

For the next three-and-a-half hours, Swift treated them to nuggets from her glittering 18-year career.

From Cruel Summer and Love Story, to Bad Blood - complete with flame throwers - and Anti-Hero, and a sprinkle of Enchanted, she guided us on a journey of genres from country and pop to folk and poetry.

Along the way, we had so many moments of joy, sadness, celebration, realisation and reflection.

Swift remembers that while dozens of shows lie ahead in this tour, this was unique - to her and, more importantly, her fans.

"This is my very first time getting to play a show in Liverpool and I'm so excited," she told them.

"What you have already done here is crazy because it's been raining all day, you have braved the rain, you came here ready, draped yourself in plastic, you've been standing here, you've been ready for the show...

"I know a lot of you travelled a far distance... those things mean the world to us, going above and beyond and welcoming us to Liverpool, we love you so much."

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Taylor Swift took fans on a magical journey of her career, spanning 18 years

That's what Swift does best - her connection with her fans is like no other.

Lover brought out the dancers before we had the golden hour of Fearless, with the upbeat melody of You Belong With Me.

Fittingly, though, it was the Red era that really struck a chord in the home of Liverpool.

Kicking off with 22, she gave one lucky fan a trademark black hat that she wore during the music video.

Swifties cheered in celebration and there were no dry eyes in the house as the young recipient hugged Taylor before giving her a friendship bracelet in return.

Next, we had a 10-minute version of All Too Well, from that 2021 Red album.

Wearing a black and red glittered ensemble, the song's scathing lyrics - believed to be about her ex-boyfriend, actor Jake Gyllenhaal - hit the mark with her fans.

Some Swifties had expressed concern that only Enchanted represented her Speak Now era, but she made up for that later on in the show.

As soon as she returned to the stage in a lavender puff of smoke and a dress that can only be described as "princess like", all was forgiven.

The Reputation era made the crowd go wild, with Swift's impeccable choreography and eye contact hinting at a future Taylor's Version album drop.

Other than her debut album, Taylor Swift, it's the only album yet to be re-released as Taylor's Version.

A moss-covered piano signalled the Folklore and Evermore era, with August's catchy bridge of "But I can see us lost in the memory, August slipped away into a moment in time" a real highlight.

Who's Afraid of Little Old Me, from this year's The Tortured Poets Department album, brought the tempo back up again as Swift channelled feminine rage back into the crowd.

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The pure joyous atmosphere was infectious

Then we had a much-anticipated acoustic set of surprise songs, which comes towards the end of every show, and features two or more "exclusive" tracks.

For Liverpool, Swift crammed in four songs: A mash-up of I Can See You and Mine, and Cornelia Street and Maroon.

It came as no surprise to hear I Can See You from Speak Now (Taylor's Version) since the video was shot in Liverpool.

Fans were just as thrilled to hear that as they were Cornelia Street, from the Lover era.

Then, from the Midnights album, we were treated to Anti- Hero.

Swift acknowledged her dedicated fans who had a restricted view behind the stage by waving at them as she sang "It's me, hi, I'm the problem, it's me".

That kind of attention to detail makes Swifties feel special.

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It was at this point the crowd held its breath for a possible further surprise.

Rumours had been swirling all week that Sir Paul McCartney could make an appearance but no walk-ons came, although former Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was among the 55,000 there.

And as the Midnight eras drew to a close, marking the end of the show with Karma, it proved one thing.

Swift does not need a special guest - she is perfectly fine on her own.

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