It was a last-minute impulse purchase. Two hours before showtime, I watched resale prices finally begin to fall for the extremely sold-out opening night of Taylor Swift’s six-night “residency” at Los Angeles’ SoFi stadium. Even as a non-Swiftie, it has been impossible not to follow the feverish local coverage of international pilgrimages, friendship bracelet-making, and traffic warnings. But that split-second pop culture purchase was, for me, pure irrationalism.
With no fringe or Eras-themed ensembles in my closet, I rushed to my single seat through a sea of sequined, screaming squads with trepidation and a dull white button-down. Would I, a fortysomething South Asian man with passing knowledge of Swfitism be identified as an unwelcome interloper? Instead, my very gracious neighbor schooled me on how to wear my allotted LED bracelet, and soon I was alight in the same neon pink as the sea of humanity around us, Swift finally emerging out of parallel technicolor hues. The big tent revival swept away any fears, differences, doubts.
For three and a half hours, I too was part of the zeitgeist — a final chapter in a summer of spectacular pop culture revival led by three women at the peak of their powers.
Greta Gerwig, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, and Taylor Swift have been the bona fide superstars of this American summer, transcending their own previous triumphs to reach unprecedented new heights.