The 5 best and 5 worst Taylor Swift songs on the Eras Tour setlist

The 5 best and 5 worst Taylor Swift songs on the Eras Tour setlist
  • Taylor Swift's Eras Tour will soon resume in Mexico City before heading to South America.

  • Insider's music team, who attended the tour in New Jersey, rounded up the setlist's best and worst moments.

  • "Cruel Summer" and "Champagne Problems" are clear standouts, while others like "Bejeweled" should've been cut.

"Cruel Summer" is the perfect way to kick off the show.

taylor swift eras tour
"Cruel Summer" is the second track on "Lover."John Shearer/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

Technically speaking, the Eras Tour setlist begins with "Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince," but that's just so Swift can serenade fans who fought for our lives in the Ticketmaster queue: "It's been a long time coming, but / It's you and me / That's my whole world."

After finishing the chorus, Swift quickly transitions into "Cruel Summer," the show's true opening song.

And what an opener it is. The brilliant pop banger, which was released on "Lover" in 2019 and never promoted as a single, has soared into the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 as the Eras Tour has taken over the world. By the end of this (cruel) summer, it may even end up at No. 1. Behold, the power of Swift's drunken tears in the back of a car.

"Champagne Problems" always gets a standing ovation.

taylor swift eras tour
"Champagne Problems" is the second track on "Evermore."Kevin Winter/TAS23/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

After Swift plays "Champagne Problems" on the piano, the applause that follows is deafening. It can last up to eight whole minutes — an eternity in the concert world.

There's a reason why "Champagne Problems" inspires such rapturous attention. It's one of Swift's most vividly written songs to date, with stunning lyrics like "Your Midas touch on the Chevy door / November flush and your flannel cure," and of course, the iconic expletive: "'She would've made such a lovely bride / What a shame she's fucked in the head,' they said."

"Don't Blame Me" is the highlight of the "Reputation" segment.

taylor swift eras tour
"Don't Blame Me" is the fourth track on "Reputation."Emma McIntyre/TAS23/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

"Reputation" was created to be played live, and Swift pushes this to her full advantage during the Eras Tour. It's a fiery, full-throttle segment that's sure to thrill even the most casual fan.

But without "Don't Blame Me," the "Reputation" segment would've been just another collection of singles. It's the key ingredient, creating a seamless bridge between the lovesick pleas of "Delicate" and the campy drama of "Look What You Made Me Do." The high note that Swift hits on the bridge is an adrenaline rush every time.

"All Too Well (10 Minute Version)" is the emotional peak of the setlist.

taylor swift eras tour
"All Too Well (10 Minute Version)" is the 30th track on "Red (Taylor's Version)."Terence Rushin/TAS23/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

"All Too Well" is the crown jewel of Swift's lyricism. Moreover, the extended version's release was a clear turning point in her path to world domination. So it only makes sense for the song to claim a crucial moment in the biggest tour of her career.

Just the fact that every night, a stadium full of fans is screaming every word to a 10-minute power ballad — that's an astonishing feat. But the performance is also crafted with intense love and care, designed to maximize catharsis.

As Swift sings about her tender autumn memories, a flurry of brown leaves is unleashed into the audience. Later, when she recalls the first fall of snow, white confetti begins to fall. It's pure, mesmeric magic.

"About halfway through 'All Too Well,' I lost it. Couldn't hold it together at all. Became an absolute mess. Couldn't stop crying," Tom Breihan wrote in a review for Stereogum.

"I couldn't even tell you why I was crying, exactly," he continued. "I'm not that personally invested in Taylor Swift's years-ago breakup with Jake Gyllenhaal. As far as I'm concerned, that's settled business. This was something else. Gratitude, maybe? A sort of sensory-overload flood? Just sheer and overwhelming respect of motherfucking craft? I don't know, but I was in it."

"The 1" is one of Swift's best songs and deserves to be performed.

taylor swift eras tour
"The 1" is the first track on "Folklore."Terence Rushin/TAS23/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

After less than one month of performing on the Eras Tour, Swift swapped out "Invisible String" for "The 1" as the opener for her "Folklore" segment.

Whether that choice had anything to do with her split from Joe Alwyn, which would make headlines a week later, is simply irrelevant. It was the right call either way.

Fans are so invested, so immersed in her performance of "The 1," a tiny note change is enough to elicit cheers and shrieks of delight. The song is a masterclass in blending simple, conversational lines with heart-breaking revelations about regret, butterfly effects, bus stops, and chosen families.

In fact, the entire ethos of the Eras Tour, which celebrates Swift's legacy as a heartbreak curator and musical shape-shifter, could be distilled into one of the song's killer stanzas: "If you never bleed, you're never gonna grow / And it's alright now / But we were something, don't you think so?"

"I Knew You Were Trouble" should've been swapped for a better "Red" track.

taylor swift eras tour
"I Knew You Were Trouble" is the fourth track on "Red."Emma McIntyre/TAS23/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

It's a crime that "Red (Taylor's Version)" is stuffed with songs that are begging to be played live — "State of Grace," "Red," "Holy Ground," and "The Very First Night," to name a few — and Swift chose to perform all the singles instead.

To be fair, "22" always has a cute moment with a fan in the crowd, and "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" is still a fun sing-along. But the chaotic dubstep of "I Knew You Were Trouble" needs to be retired.

"'Tis the Damn Season" is a forgettable opener for the "Evermore" set.

taylor swift eras tour
"'Tis the Damn Season" is the fourth track on "Evermore."John Shearer/TAS23/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

Swift's witchy performance of "Willow," one of her many No. 1 hits, makes way more sense to introduce the "Evermore" segment on tour. "'Tis the Damn Season" is beautiful, but it doesn't make for a memorable performance.

Even Swift knows the song isn't essential. For every show with HAIM as an opening act, Swift swapped "'Tis the Damn Season" for their vengeful duet, "No Body, No Crime."

"The Last Great American Dynasty" is superfluous.

taylor swift eras tour
"The Last Great American Dynasty" is the third track on "Folklore."John Shearer/TAS23/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

"The Last Great American Dynasty" isn't a bad song, but it is the worst song on "Folklore."

Swift's folk-pop masterpiece is blessed with one of the longest segments on the Eras Tour, for very good reason. But be honest: if you were going to cut a song, it would be this one.

"Bad Blood" is a bad song.

taylor swift eras tour
"Bad Blood" is the eighth track on "1989."Tom Cooper/TAS23/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

The "1989" segment is comprised entirely of singles. But while "Style," "Blank Space," and "Wildest Dreams" have stood the test of time, "Bad Blood" now feels dated and gratuitous.

It's one of the worst songs in Swift's catalog — the worst, according to some critics — and with all the pop hits in Swift's arsenal, especially from the "1989" era, there's no reason to include this one on the setlist.

Sure, the spicy music video had a moment back in 2015, but eight years later, we don't care about Swift's long-dormant feud with Katy Perry. We want "New Romantics."

The "Midnights" segment is too long, and "Bejeweled" is the worst offender.

taylor swift eras tour
"Bejeweled" is the ninth track on "Midnights."Ethan Miller/TAS23/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

"Midnights" claims a whopping seven songs on the Eras Tour setlist, and nearly every one is performed in its entirety. That's way too many songs for an iffy album that doesn't hold a candle to "1989," "Lover," "Folklore," and "Evermore" — or even to "Speak Now," which was allowed just one measly song for most of the US leg.

Of course, we all knew that Swift would make room in the show for "Bejeweled." It has a star-studded music video and even sparked a viral dance trend. But that doesn't make the song any less annoying.

To make matters worse, "Bejeweled" has to follow Swift's show-stopping performance of "Vigilante Shit," the best choreography of the night. (If you're a Swiftie with TikTok, you know exactly what I'm talking about.) The spirit fingers are cringe-worthy in comparison.

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