Taylor Swift's 1989 Tour: This Timeline Will Make You Feel Like You Were There

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Photo: Mia Christopher / Instagram

Over the weekend, Taylor Swift played sold-out shows to a total of 100,000 people at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara. You should have been there! But in case you weren't, here's a play-by-play of what it was like.

6pm: The second obstacle standing between you and Taylor presents itself (the first being the exorbitant price of the ticket). You must park on an uneven, spongy golf course and then locate golf-cart-riding attendants to procure a plastic bag for your belongings (only clutches and approved NFL bags are allowed inside the stadium). Girls in stilettos also face the added challenge of getting their heels stuck in the ground over and over again, while trekking a mile or so to the stadium entrance.

6:30p: The walk turns out to be kind of meditative: a giddy, buzzing procession of mostly teens and their moms. There are also a few dads in the mix. Most of them look uneasy. You smile at them.

6:45p: Security is a cinch because all your stuff is in a clear plastic bag that's already ripping at the handle. You are handed a cool bracelet that will light up with the beats of Taylor's music. You are told not to pull the tab until Taylor says so. You wouldn't dream of it.

7p: Shawn Mendes takes the stage. He has nice teeth and a Justin Bieber vibe about him. The youths seem to know his music. Or maybe they just like his face? You and your friend discuss his age and whether he is Taylor's type. You decide on 20 and that he's not Taylor's type anymore now that she's dating a man. After the show, you look Mendes up and find out he's actually 17. You feel very, very old.


7:10p: There are no lines for booze because most people here were born after 1995. You cruise up to the table and ask for some wine. They're all out. No one is sure how this is possible. You consider trying a malt liquor Long Island Iced Tea, but remember that nothing good comes out of having a Long Island Icea Tea and think better of it.

7:15p: Your friend wants a shirt to commemorate this moment in time. "Will you be embarrassed to wear it in two years?" you ask. "No way." Your friend settles on the tasteful ringer tee with the 1989 album cover on it. It looks dope.

7:20p: You spot what appears to be a fan-made knit blanket with Taylor's face on it. You want it really badly...until you realize they're for sale.

7:30p: You're astounded by the Swifties' imagination, when it comes to concert costumes. Two girls, dressed in scrubs, hold signs with lyrics from "Out of the Woods" on them: "Remember when you hit the brakes too soon? 20 stitches in the hospital room." A girl in black lace holds one half of a lyric ("I'm a nightmare..."), while her friend, dressed like an angel, completes the line ("...dressed like a daydream"). But the award for commitment goes to these guys who dressed up like ballerinas from the "Shake It Off" video.


7:45p: You hear there is wine on another level. You head past people posing with cardboard cutouts of Taylor and her cats to the boozy area. This is where many of the dads are, drinking beer and having a good time. You commend them before grabbing some wine.

8p: Vance Joy takes the stage. He has an accent. You are bored.

8:05p: A mother grabs you and asks, "Where did you get that wine?" She seems desperate. You tell her exactly where to get it and wish her luck.

8:10p: You find your seat, which is close, but not close enough. You're sitting between an excited girl named Missy and a glum older woman. Missy was at the show last night and has all the details. She is wearing two light-up bracelets, one from last night and the fresh one. You and your friend talk to her about who you hope the special guest is (Selena Gomez or Nicki Minaj) and about how many cats her sister has and about who each of you thinks Rory Gilmore should have ended up with (Jess, obviously). The glum woman gazes off into the sky, thinking about her bills, her ex, her deadlines or when she thinks she's going to die.

8:30p: Videos of Taylor Swift hanging out with fans at her mom's house play on the big screens. Everyone gets really psyched. Homemade signs pop up everywhere. One reads "R.I.P. Me #Dead."

8:40p: The lights go off and the stage becomes a representation of NYC as "Welcome to New York" starts up. You mention that this is one of her worst songs and discuss how odd Taylor being the face of New York is, considering that she seems to have just found out about the city. You and your friend take turns pretending to be awestruck Taylor. "Have you ever been to Times Square? It's amazing!!!"

8:43p: Taylor looks really happy and shocked that you are all there. It feels like watching a Disney Channel musical on lots of Red Bull.

8:45p: Taylor greets the audience. You and your friend hope she refers to the crowd as the Bay Area instead of Santa Clara. She disappoints.

8:46p: Taylor theatrically says, "Oh, and there's one more thing you should probably know about me. I was born...in 1989!"  The second-hand embarrassment is thick.

8:47p: "New Romantics" comes on. It's a song that's only on the deluxe album so some are confused. You wonder whether her label strategically placed a single-worthy song on the deluxe to ensure that some would have to buy the album twice. You decide that yes, they did.

8:52p: "Blank Space" plays and everyone knows the words. Taylor does her best insane ex-girlfriend impression surrounded by dudes in bowler hats. It's cute.

8:57p: Taylor does a heavy metal-ish take on "I Knew You Were Trouble." You and your friend are surprised at how sexual the performance is.

9:02p: Time for a ballad. All the bracelets light up for a wave-your-lighters-in-the-air effect. Everyone Instagrams.

9:06p: Taylor is changing and leaves us with video footage of her friends (Lena Dunham, Selena Gomez, Cara Delevingne, among others) talking about how much eating is involved when hanging out with Taylor. You hope the next outfit is worth listening to this.

9:10p: It is! Taylor is wearing a pink dress that lights up!

9:15p: Taylor gives a sermon on friendship and why people who wait four hours to text you back are the scum of the earth.

9:20p: Taylor is about to announce her special guest. She says they could have been anywhere in the world, but they chose to be here so feel thankful! The surprise is....drumroll....Little Mix. Womp. They are a girl group that came out of X Factor UK. One of them almost married Zayn Malik from One Direction. They're fun, but they're no Nicki Minaj.

9:28p: Time for another motivational speech. This time, even though it's obviously rehearsed, it hits a nerve. She says, "You are not your mistakes. You are not damaged goods. You are not the opinion of someone who doesn't know you. You are wiser because you went through something terrible. You are the person who survived a bunch of rainstorms and kept walking." Your friend quietly weeps, as does the girl who shot the video below:

9:33p: Taylor's runway goes airborne for a rendition of "Love Story." Taylor explains that it's about Romeo and Juliet, the first Ross and Rachel, and that she didn't like their tragic ending so she had them end up together forever and ever. Yay for unrealistic depictions of love!

9:34p: Fireworks outside of the stadium interrupt her acoustic song. Taylor pauses to say that she doesn't know what they're for but that she's into it. You all watch the sky turn colors.

9:41p: Time for another surprise! Nicki, are you here after all?! Nope. But Julia Roberts and Joan Baez are. A collective WTF sweeps the stadium. Julia Roberts does not want to dance. Joan Baez is down though. Taylor beckons them down the runway and they take turns awkwardly shimmying. They hand a single rose back and forth. Nothing makes sense.

9:49p: Taylor's talented backup singers get a more prominent stage presence during "This Love." You make a mental note to watch Twenty Feet from Stardom.

9:57p: "Bad Blood" comes on and you alternate between singing along and wishing Taylor had never said it was about Katy Perry.

9:58p: Formerly glum neighbor is now feeling herself, fist pumping and wooping it up. You knew she had it in her.

10:04p: Taylor busts out an electric guitar for a dark, moody rendition of "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together." It is easily the best moment of the night. You and your friend agree that it's a perfect pop song.

10:13p: Taylor comes out in a sparkly outfit that makes you think of that one epic Britney Spears VMAs performance. She mashes up "Enchanted" and "Wildest Dreams." You start to feel super emo. You let the feels come.

10:19p: A video about Taylor's cats plays (watch it above). They are named after her favorite TV characters, Meredith Grey and Olivia Benson. Meredith scratches and bites Taylor. Olivia remains chill.

10:26p: More fireworks! Spinning airborne runway! All the dancers! All the confetti and glitter! 50,000 people spasm and lose their you-know-what to "Shake It Off."

10:34p: Taylor takes a bow and waves and you wave back.

10:35p: You are out of breath, waiting for an encore.

10:38p: There is no encore.

10:39-11p: You and your friend consult on Instagram options. Both of you are happy with your choices. Instagram validates the evening with likes.


12:30p: You recap the evening at the only Domino's still open within a 30 mile radius. Everything is great. Nothing hurts.