Ever since I saw the first clip of Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour, I knew we were in for a wild ride. Each concert lasts over three hours, and the 44-song setlist takes the audience through each of Swift’s 10 eras, or album cycles. Any audience member would be captivated by her performance, filled with theatrics, musical mashups and sparkling costumes that pay homage to the era of each song (my personal favorite was the Zuhair Murad ball gown Swift wore while performing “Enchanted”). And while I am more than excited to experience my first Taylor Swift concert, I find myself looking forward to what is arguably the least ostentatious aspect of her entire show: the surprise songs.
During each show, Swift chooses two of her songs outside of the standard setlist and performs acoustic renditions of them. The goal is, she said, is to never repeat a surprise song throughout the duration of the tour. There is a beauty in the simplicity of Swift stripping down two of her songs and playing it for the crowd. It’s just Taylor, her guitar and the audience. Although there are 60,000 other people at the show, the surprise songs still manage to make each listener feel special. They also ensure that everyone stays interested. One of the first things I do after one of her shows is look up the surprise songs, praying she didn’t perform my favorites.
In honor of Swift’s surprise songs, I have a couple guesses that I want to share. This list is a culmination of ideas I’ve had on my own, guesses from friends and predictions I’ve seen on social media. I would like to preface this by saying I don’t think this is something I would be particularly good at, and most of theses are very surface level. But, I think it’s fun to guess anyways. So, let’s begin.
Atlanta Night 1 — “coney island” feat. The NationalThe National, the band featured on “coney island” off of “evermore,” is releasing their new album on April 28. I think they’ll be a surprise guest at this show and perform “coney island” with Swift. At the very least, she’ll likely perform this song at this concert to promote their new album, much like how Swift performed “Snow on the Beach” to promote Lana Del Rey’s new album.
Atlanta Night 2 — “High Infidelity”I’m fairly confident — and I think most fans are as well — that Swift will perform “High Infidelity” during her second show in Atlanta. It would be remiss of her to abstain from singing, “Do you really want to know where I was April 29th?” on April 29.
Nashville, Tennessee Night 1 — “Nothing New” feat. Phoebe BridgersThis is the very first time Phoebe Bridgers will be opening for Swift on the Eras Tour. I think Swift is going to honor the occasion by bringing Bridgers back on stage to perform the “Red (Taylor’s Version)” track.
Nashville, Tennessee Night 1, 2 or 3 — “invisible string”Another geographic guess! Shocker. I think the mention of Centennial Park in “invisible string” makes it a decent contender for one of the Nashville shows.
Philadelphia Night 1, 2 or 3 — “gold rush”I’m putting this on my list because while I’m not entirely convinced of this theory, I can reluctantly admit that it’s a possibility. One of the lyrics in this song references an “Eagles T-shirt hanging from the door.” The first time I ever heard this song, I automatically assumed this was a reference to the band. But, because Swift is from Pennsylvania, many people think this is a reference to the football team. Am I against this theory just because I don’t like the Philadelphia Eagles? Maybe. But I guess we’ll just have to wait and see if she performs it.
East Rutherford, New Jersey Night 1 — “Welcome to New York”Yes, the show is technically in New Jersey. But it’s MetLife Stadium, so it’s New York. I don’t feel like I need to explain myself further.
East Rutherford, New Jersey Night 3 — “Cornelia Street”This is less of a prediction and more of a hope. Cornelia Street is my all-time favorite Taylor Swift song, especially the Live from Paris version. I know that everyone hopes for their favorite songs at their show, but I think I might have a real chance. The song’s name is a reference to the home Swift rented on Cornelia Street in Manhattan. Since geography has been a big theme throughout all my guesses, I’m hoping she saves it for the last New York show so she can go out with a bang. Keeps your fingers crossed!
Los Angeles Night 1 — The Very First NightThe song is called “The Very First Night” and one of the lyrics is “But don’t forget about the night out in L.A.” Ergo, she will perform this on the very first night in L.A.
Los Angeles Night 5 — “Long Live” and “You’re on Your Own, Kid”Let me start off by saying that if this combination actually happens, the people at this show are automatic the winners of the Eras Tour. But I really do think she’ll perform at least one of these at her last show. Swift has said that “Long Live” is always going to be about her fans, and with lyrics like “long live all the mountains we moved / I had the time of my life fighting dragons with you,” it is a perfect, triumphant closer for the tour. The only song more perfect than “Long Live” is probably “You’re on Your Own, Kid.” Many fans — myself included — were surprised it wasn’t on the permanent setlist. The song is a bittersweet reflection of Swift’s personal growth and career through which she recalls her transformation from relying on the validation of others to trusting her inner strength to guide her through adversity. There's a nostalgia and hopefulness to the song that makes it the perfect closer.
Regardless of the surprise songs Swift chooses for my concert, I know I’m going to lose my mind. And although I said I think I am going to be really bad at this, I hope that at least some of my predictions were correct, because it would be embarrassing if I got all of them wrong. But if you’ve made it this far, happy Eras Tour, and I wish you the best of luck with your own predictions.