The 12 best moments from Taylor Swift’s opening night at SoFi Stadium

A female singer onstage in a long flowing white gown
Taylor Swift performs at SoFi Stadium on Thursday.
(Emma McIntyre / Getty Images for TAS Rights Management)
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Taylor Swift brought her blockbuster Eras tour to Inglewood’s SoFi Stadium on Thursday night for the first of six sold-out concerts she’ll play through Aug. 9. With 45 songs spread over more than three hours, Swift’s L.A. opener was an epic pop extravaganza that married spectacle to catharsis.

Here are our 12 favorite moments from last night’s show:

1. “Cruel Summer”
The song famously wasn’t released as a proper single during the rollout of 2019’s “Lover” album, but this year Swift finally gave the fan-favorite electro-pop banger its due — then watched as Top 40 radio embraced it like a new song. (It’s currently at No. 6 on Billboard’s Hot 100.) At SoFi, where Swift did the song so early in the show that daylight was still pouring into the place, “Cruel Summer” went off like a bomb.

2. “You Need to Calm Down”
Light-up bracelets worn by tens of thousands of Swifties blinked across the stadium as she sang “You Need to Calm Down,” her declaration of LGBTQ solidarity. Taylor is for lovers.


Taylor Swift kicked off six sold-out shows at SoFi Stadium, and The Times’ Mikael Wood and Suzy Exposito were there to provide a full rundown.

Aug. 3, 2023

3. “Love Story”
A trick that still works? The key change at the end of the decade-and-a-half-old “Love Story.”

4. “No Body, No Crime”
The sisters of L.A.’s Haim opened Thursday’s show (as they will the rest at SoFi) with a half-hour or so of raw yet crafty guitar rock. Later, they joined Swift onstage for a sly rendition of “No Body, No Crime,” their ’90s-country-ish murder ballad from 2020’s “Evermore.”

5. “Tolerate It”
Swift’s other opening act, Gracie Abrams, was right when she recently told The Times that the Eras tour is about “real, pure joy.” But amid all the ecstasy, Swift gets in some heavier moments — as in a stark take on “Tolerate It” that she staged as a dismal meal with a partner completely uninterested in what she has to say about her day. Pretty wild for a stadium pop gig.

6. “Look What You Made Me Do”
A killer electroclash song that made it to the airwaves 15 years too late.

Taylor Swift performs onstage.
Taylor Swift with her koi guitar during the “Speak Now” set.
(Emma McIntyre / Getty Images for TAS Rights Management)

7. “22”
The lucky recipient of Swift’s “22” hat on Thursday was Bianka Bryant, the 6-year-old daughter of the late Lakers star Kobe Bryant, whom Swifties with long memories will recall appeared with the singer at one of her L.A. dates on the “1989” tour. Also spotted during “22”: Este Haim dancing in the aisles.

8. “All Too Well (10 Minute Version)”
This was arguably the emotional centerpiece of the Eras show, a detailed masterpiece of songwriting whose lyric about a “little kid with glasses” was made only more poignant by the sight of several moms cradling their up-past-their-bedtime daughters.


9. “Betty”
Wielding a mahogany guitar, Swift welcomed her audience to “Folklore” by explaining that the replica of a woodsy two-story house was what she’d envisioned when she started writing the album two days into the COVID-19 pandemic. “I took the time to imagine myself not as a lonely millennial woman covered in cat hair and watching 70 hours of TV at a time,” she said to introduce this moving character study, “but as a Victorian woman writing on parchment with a quill in the woods and living in this house.”

Parking! Public transit! Fan chants! Friendship bracelets! Everything you need to know before you see Taylor Swift at SoFi Stadium for the L.A. stops of her Eras tour.

Aug. 4, 2023

10. “Illicit Affairs”
On “Folklore,” “Illicit Affairs” is a spectral folk ditty; here it sounded like … a Disturbed song? More aggro Taylor, please.

11. “I Can See You” and “Maroon”
In the nightly “surprise songs” slot, Swift performed “I Can See You” on guitar — it’s a psychosexual thriller told from the point of view of a teenage Taylor — and “Maroon,” from last year’s “Midnights,” on piano.

12. “Karma”
Swift’s promise as she closed Thursday’s show with an extra-sparkly “Karma”: “I will never forget this.”

The Times’ Suzy Exposito contributed to this story.