Here’s How Taylor Swift Should Update Her Eras Tour Setlist to Include ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ (2024)


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The crowd was chanting "More!"

Here’s How Taylor Swift Should Update Her Eras Tour Setlist to Include ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ (1)

Leading up to the release of Taylor Swift‘s The Tortured Poets Department, one question lingered in the backs of Swiftie minds for months: How would the new album affect the already three-hour-plus setlist of the pop star’s ongoing global Eras Tour?

When the record finally dropped April 19, bringing with it not just 16 pre-announced tracks, but 15 surprise bonus songs as well, their concerns were only exacerbated. How could Swift possibly slim down her pre-Tortured Poets setlist to fit any new material once she hit the road again? Where would she even begin selecting just a handful of the 31 songs on TTPD to include? Would she even bother trying? (Based on a video the singer posted of recent rehearsals for her next run of shows, which kicks off May 9 in Paris, the answer to that last question is most likely a “Yes.”)

It’s no small task, especially given that no matter what the “Anti-Hero” singer cuts or adds, some fans are bound to be upset when their favorites inevitably don’t make the final listing. Even so, Billboard has risen to the challenge, selecting the best possible collection of Tortured Poets tracks to represent Swift’s newest era while trimming the fat of past eras for an updated, ultimate dream Eras Tour setlist.

Some songs were hard to say good-bye to (sorry, “Mastermind”), and others were truly painful to not extend an invitation (don’t hate us, “Guilty as Sin?”). But in service of a well-rounded, comprehensive Eras experience, difficult decisions had to be made. Keep reading to see how Swift should move forward with her trek, Tortured Poets and all — plus, an idea on how her debut album Taylor Swift can finally get its flowers — below.

  • ACT I: 'Lover'

    1. “Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince”
    2. “Cruel Summer”
    3. “The Man”
    4. “You Need to Calm Down”
    5. “Lover”

    CUT: “The Archer”

    Note: Swift could also probably benefit from shortening her meandering pre-“The Man” monologue in Act I to save room for more songs later on.

  • ACT II: 'Fearless'

    1. “Fearless”
    2. “You Belong With Me”
    3. “Love Story”

    Note: At three songs, the Fearless era is already the perfect length, holistically comprised of the album’s title track and its two breakthrough hits, which made Swift a global star. No room for cuts here.

  • ACT III: 'Evermore'

    1. “‘Tis the Damn Season”
    2. “Willow”
    3. “Champagne Problems”
    4. “Tolerate It”

    CUT: “Marjorie”

    Note: Swift definitely deserves to drink in the applause for a moment after her magnificent piano performance of “Champagne Problems,” but at past Eras shows, she’s allowed the ovations to last for upwards of eight minutes. To save room for more songs, she may want to keep things moving at future stops.

  • ACT IV: 'Reputation'

    1. “…Ready For It?”
    2. “Delicate”
    3. “Don’t Blame Me”
    4. “Look What You Made Me Do”

    Note: If you’ve been to an Eras show, you know: There’s no messing with the Reputation set. The already ear-splitting crowd somehow gets even louder as soon as this first notes of “Ready For It” blast through the speakers, and the stadium stays at peak volume throughout the traditional “1, 2, 3, Let’s go b–ch” chant during “Delicate” and the seamless transition between “Don’t Blame Me” and “Look What You Made Me Do.” No cuts.

  • ACT V: 'Speak Now'

    1. “Enchanted”
    2. “Long Live”

    Note: Justice for Speak Now. Swift’s third album deserves a proper showcase each night, so we sincerely hope that the pop star doesn’t scrap “Long Live” — which she only added to the setlist four months into the Eras Tour’s first leg — to make room for TTPD.

  • ACT VI: 'Red'

    1. “22”
    2. “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”
    3. “I Knew You Were Trouble”
    4. “All Too Well (10 Minute Version)”

    Note: It may seem like an easy time-saver to simply swap out the ten-minute version of “All Too Well” for Swift’s original five-minute version, but doing so would be robbing Swifties of the best ten-minute segment in the entire show. We simply won’t hear of it. That song aside, the other three hits on this mini-set — similar to the Fearless era — form a perfect bite-sized capsule of the album they represent, leaving no excess behind.

  • ACT VII: 'Folklore'

    1. “Betty”
    2. “August”
    3. “Illicit Affairs” (Bridge Only)
    4. “My Tears Ricochet”
    5. “Cardigan”

    CUTS: “The 1” / “Invisible String” & “The Last Great American Dynasty”

    Note: Sorry, Folklorians: It’ll always have a special place at the heart of the Eras Tour show, but Swift has now released three new albums since her initial alt-folk pivot — hence the harsher cuts here.

  • ACT VIII: '1989'

    1. “Style”
    2. “Blank Space”
    3. “Shake It Off”
    4. “Wildest Dreams”
    5. “Bad Blood”

    Note: It’s almost impossible to imagine cutting any of the five songs on the 1989 setlist, each of them massive, stadium-rocking hits a full ten years after their original release (three of them peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, while “Wildest Dreams” and “Style” reached Nos. 5 and 6, respectively). A time-saving mashup between two or more of them could, however, be an avenue to explore if needed, with a majority of the tracks boasting similar keys and corresponding musical styles.

  • INTERLUDE: Surprise Songs

    1. Surprise Song No. 1
    2. Surprise Song No. 2

    Note: It’s safe to assume that the nightly surprise song section will be where Swift makes up for unused Tortured Poets songs, giving fans the chance to hear acoustic versions of the 20+ tracks on her newest album that probably won’t make it onto the regular setlist.

  • ACT IX: 'Midnights'

    1. “Lavender Haze”
    2. “Anti-Hero”
    3. “Vigilante sh*t”
    4. “Bejeweled”
    5. “Karma”

    CUTS: “Midnight Rain” & “Mastermind”

    Note: The only non-single to remain safe, “Vigilante sh*t” would’ve been next on the chopping block. But honestly — what would the Eras Tour be without Swift’s iconic sultry, Chicago-esque dance break?

  • ACT X: 'The Tortured Poets Department'


    1. “Fortnight”
    2. “The Tortured Poets Department”
    3. “Down Bad”
    4. “So Long, London”
    5. “Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?”
    6. Mashup: “Teardrops on My Guitar” x “I Can Do It With a Broken Heart”
    7. “But Daddy I Love Him”

    Note: As Swift’s newest album, Tortured Poets deserves to be the finale. And while, upon first listen, the record may not seem like it has enough stadium-ready bops to close out the show, the above songs 100% have the potential to be converted into the high-energy moments the Eras Tour commands. Just imagine the theatrical potential of “Who’s Afraid,” the meta-ness of a real-life crowd chanting “More!” during “Broken Heart,” and confetti falling from the sky during the final chorus of “But Daddy…” We picture gothic visuals, writing desks, typewriter props, period costumes and lightning strikes during this section.

    Now, about that mashup. It’s absurd that Swift has never included any songs from her 2006 self-titled debut album — aka her first-ever era — on the main Eras Tour setlist. But it’s not too late to rectify that.

    Picture this: The lights go down after Swift performs “Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?” Costumes change, a tiger cage and other circus-themed set pieces are wheeled away. Then, the songwriter — her silhouette barely visible under the dim glow of an aquamarine spotlight — sings a cappella the final chorus of the first song about faking smiles in the face of heartbreak she ever released: “Teardrops on My Guitar.” Emphasis on the lyric, “the only one who’s got enough of me to break my heart.”

    After she trails off on the last line — “Drew looks at me, I fake a smile so he won’t see” — the stadium comes to life once more as the crowd’s multi-color light-up bracelets go haywire, an explosion of sound filling the space. “I can read your mind,” Swift jumps in, surrounded by dancers as the lights suddenly go up, revealing one last fabulous costume. “‘She’s having the time of her life…'”

    Once that’s done, she’ll move on to the finale, flipping off the haters, embracing her truest fans and proudly proclaiming her love for the man of her dreams in one fell swoop with “But Daddy I Love Him,” disappearing offstage before concertgoers have even finished singing along. Fin.

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      Here’s How Taylor Swift Should Update Her Eras Tour Setlist to Include ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ (2024)


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