All the fawning you may have already heard or read of Taylor Swift's Eras Tour stop in Minneapolis is true.
Her two sold-out concerts at U.S. Bank Stadium this past weekend were massive in scale and length, and majorly impressive.
Swift herself was dazzling on all fronts: wardrobe, dancing, prancing, singing and the stamina it took to perform 44 songs over 3½ hours. She made the whole place shimmer, as one of her newest songs, "Bejeweled," attested.
That said, I'm not sure Swift was actually the biggest star of these shows.
From the moment you pulled into town on Friday and Saturday afternoon before the concerts, the show had already began. You could feel the energy and see all the color.
Swifties of all ages — from awestruck kindergartners to just slightly less excited-looking collegiates and parents — made a sharp contrast to the drab streets of downtown Minneapolis with their bejeweled dresses, billowy blouses, homemade T-shirts and other bright outfits.
Even dads got in on the self-decorating. I saw one wearing a matching sports coat to his daughter's sequined dress. Others wore T-shirts that played off the hook in "Anti-Hero," Swift's 2022 single: "It's me. Hi. I'm the husband. It's me," they read.
Inside the stadium, watching the audience watch Swift was a whole other show within the show.
Beatlemania and Elvis Presley's early hip-shaking years look like they were fun to witness. There was a similar manic vibe in the two concerts — except the ones performed by the Beatles and Elvis were one-fifth to one-tenth less as long as Swift's. So instead of screaming and passing out, Swifties had to let out their intense enthusiasm at a slower, steadier pace.
From start to finish, they sang every word. And they didn't just sing along lightly, they did so loudly and passionately. And not just in the short, bubbly hits, but also the deeper ballads like "Marjorie" and even the sprawling 10-minute epic "All Too Well."
In fact, probably the loudest vocal burst came during "All Too Well," when tens of thousands of future voters and leaders screamed out, "[Bleep] the patriarchy!"
Singing was just one of many things Swifties did together over the weekend, though. If there's a blueprint for a future utopia in the year 2023, it could come from a Swift concert. Everything was so well run. And everyone was just so gosh-darn nice to each other.
They were constantly complimenting each other's outfits. They helped each other find their seats (never easy at the Vikings stadium). They held each other's place in the always long merch lines. They even traded friendship bracelets. I doubt we'll see any of this — especially the last nicety — at next summer's two-night stand by Metallica at the stadium.
Swift herself turned especially effusive on Night 2 when she made the Twin Cities feel a little more special than the other stops on her Eras Tour (Cincinnati is next, so it was easy to believe her).
"I've been playing in Minneapolis since I think I was 16, and I've always looked forward to it," she said. "You're really welcoming and generous and kind. ... Also, you party. You just do. You know every single word to every song."
She sang the crowd's praise again later while introducing "Dear John," a fan favorite that she had not performed in 11 years. She stopped playing it because her fans love her so much, they got a little carried away expressing their hate for the song's purported subject (ex-boyfriend John Mayer).
"I watch you guys make friends with each other, bond with each other, give each other friendship bracelets," she marveled. "I'd like to see you extend that kindness to the internet."
Kindness really was on display as brightly as any of Swift's outfits. Especially coming after the COVID-19 lockdown, all that togetherness was the most dazzling rock star this past weekend in Minneapolis (shout-out to Twin Cities Pride-goers, too). To play off one of Swift's biggest hits, we Swifties are never, never not getting back together after this.