Taylor Swift’s IRAS tour arrives in New Jersey

On Friday afternoon, a seemingly endless parade of Taylor Swift fans dressed in embellished dresses, shiny cowboy boots and sequined T-shirts Handmade friendship bracelets They made their way to East Rutherford, NJ, and transformed the vast asphalt parking lot of MetLife Stadium into a pop-up exhibition space, a runway for fashion, and a meeting ground for friends, old and new.

Two months and 25 shows after kicking off the pop star’s career-spanning Eras Tour, the show has hit the New York area for three dates over the weekend — her first concerts near her hometown (but not quite) in five years.

“I really missed you!” Swift told the sold-out crowd of more than 72,000 people.

And they missed it.

One young woman announced that she was crying tears of joy as she walked down a tunnel leading to the parking lot. Two fans who flew in from Costa Rica came in with tickets to Saturday’s concert, hoping to see Swift on Friday as well. A woman in an “I-TS” T-shirt declined an interview request, admitting that she teaches at a public school and is not supposed to be on the playground on a Friday afternoon.

Even getting into the parking lot requires dedication — and an expensive ticket.

After six months of a Ticketmaster pre-show full of snags, one seat at the show on Friday was available on the secondary market for as little as $1,000. The astronomical costs prompted Swift’s loyal fans, known as Swifties, to band together to help each other find fair-priced tickets.

Charlie Tokieda, 39, of Brooklyn, got tickets at face value for Friday’s show by waiting online during the pre-sale, and bought another pair of tickets on the secondary market for a show in Denver to celebrate his birthday in July.

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“We got a great deal,” he said, “and that great deal could have bought a very nice used car.”

On Friday afternoon, security guards in orange shirts stood near the gates that formed a perimeter around the parking lot and demanded to see evidence of entry before stepping aside. It was part of an effort to crack down on “Taylor Gatting,– hanging out at the draw and listening to the concert without a ticket – which is MetLife Stadium He said won’t be allowed.

Maria Naim, 32, who arrived via Uber around 9:30 a.m. and slipped into the parking lot unnoticed, was among a handful of fans and escorts who stayed outside as Swift prepared to take the stage. Naim, a physician, asked two colleagues to cover her shift and flew in from Virginia hoping to buy a ticket at I’ll Call.

“They don’t sell, and everything online is so expensive,” she said disappointedly.

Many of Swift’s most devoted followers have donned their clothing DIY costumesShe looks like the singer during different moments of her career. One fan covered herself with a pink and white “Taylor Swift 2024” flag. Others sported skirts that featured snakes, a nod to Swift’s 2017 album, “Reputation.”

Robert Pszybylski, 19, from Long Island, wore a flowery T-shirt inspired by Swift Dress 2021 Grammysmore or less customized for the concert.

“I kept Googling 3D floral embroideries,” he said. “I ordered from Etsy from China. It took a month to get here.”

Even those who weren’t lucky enough to get tickets found other ways to participate in Taylor Mania.

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For months, fans with or without tickets have been obsessed with buying concert merchandise, sometimes camping out overnight to get their first dibs on the most wanted items. Perhaps in anticipation of the mad rush to the vendors, the flagship store is at MetLife Stadium He started cutting out merch a full day early.

But those efforts did little to shorten the lines on Friday, when fans were hoping for a special new “Midnights” CD edition (yes, a CD!) featuring the remix of “Karma” featuring up-and-coming Bronx rapper Ice Spice. .

Towards the end of the show, Swift premiered the remix video starring Ice Spice, announcing that while she was in the studio, she “not only fell in love with her, but just decided she’s the whole future.” The rapper later joined Swift on stage to launch the remix and close the show. Do another round of frenzied screaming.

Though she plays about 40 of the same songs during each set of three hours or more, Swift also revealed a handful of “surprise songs” to keep fans happy on their toes.

On Friday, she invited her frequent collaborator Jack Antonoff to perform “Getaway Car,” a fan favorite from “Reputation,” then sat down at a piano for “Maroon” from “Midnights,” the latest of her four albums released since her last tour.

She said the LP was about “nights all my life”, “things that keep me awake” and “the memories you keep coming back to”.

She said, “Maroon” was about a memory of — you guessed it:

And I lost you
The person I was dancing with
In New York, no shoes
I looked at the sky and it was maroon

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