By Alyssa Chen, Joshua Freedman & Andrew Lindsay
Graphics by Adrienne Lirio
As one of the most popular faces in music today, Taylor Swift’s ongoing Eras Tour is a testament to her popularity. Just three weeks ago, thousands of fans flooded Gillette Stadium to see her perform a celebration of her greatest hits throughout her music career.
Freshman Ira Singh said she became a fan in the fifth grade and Swift has made a positive impact on her life ever since.
“Throughout COVID, she has been a constant force of positivity in my life,” she said, “She’s honestly what really got me into listening to music.”
Tickets for the Eras tour were notoriously difficult to get — more than a million fans flooded Swift’s Ticketmaster page on the day tickets went live, but only a fraction of them successfully purchased tickets.
Singh said she had to go to great lengths to obtain a spot at Swift’s Foxborough concert.
“I signed up for verified-fan and then obviously the presale was at 10 a.m., so I convinced my parents to get tickets for me,” she said. “I was in advisory and my classes, calling my parents to ask if they got the tickets yet.”
Sophomore Amelie Hirst said that other than looking forward to the music, she was excited about the Swift-inspired outfits fans would wear.
“I’m so excited to see everyone’s different outfits because it’s really blown up on TikTok,” she said.
Junior Alex Zheng attended the first night of Swift’s concerts at Gillette Stadium and said that it was packed to the brim with surprises.
“It was very chaotic and [there were] a lot of people there. It was kind of a mess, but it worked out really well. The fans were all really nice,” he said.
“[Swift’s] ‘Bad Blood’ performance [was really good] because there was fire going and a bunch of fireworks.”
Zheng said that a large part of Swift’s popularity is her vast array of music styles and strong lyricism.
“You could probably find something that resonates with you because she has such a wide range,” he said.
“A lot of people resonate with the songwriting and the lyrics, and [although] they’re also invested in her as a person with her life and her love life, it’s really the songwriting that keeps the people coming back.”
Lesser-known singer Gracie Abrams also hosted a concert recently. Abrams is a young songwriter who is gaining popularity with her moving and poetic music.
Freshman Summer Montgomery, a fan of Abrams, said that Abrams’ songwriting is packed with emotion.
“[Abrams] is always so truthful and raw,” she said.
Sophomore Mia Lahav said Abrams’ single “Mess It Up” is a masterclass of sounds alongside the song’s expressive and cinematic music video.
“I love the music video for [‘Mess It Up’]. It’s really creative and was super entertaining to watch,” she said. “The bridge is one of my favorite parts [because] the mixture of her soft-toned voice with the upbeat music goes really well. It doesn’t clash or anything.”
Montgomery, who attended Abrams’ concert in March at the Boston House of Blues, said that the concert was filled with fans just as passionate as her.
“It was pretty emotional [being at the concert],” she said. “It was amazing being in a room full of people who all connected to this music and all knew every single lyric and were singing along.”
Abrams was also one of the artists who opened for the final Foxborough show of Swift’s Eras Tour and Lahav said she performed songs from her most recent album Good Riddance, which paired perfectly with Swift’s main act.
“[Gracie Abrams was] a good opener, because Taylor’s songs also have that calming sensation to them, and it reflects in Gracie’s voice,” she said.
Lahav said that Abrams has a charming quality about the way she expresses herself, especially through music.
“Her clothing style is very minimal, but she has her own little personality in it too which can attract some people,” she said. “Her voice is really special.”
Lahav said that Abrams has become a staple artist over the last couple of months.
“Her songs have definitely been comfort songs to me,” she said. “You can always just go play that [Abrams] song and it’s a go-to, you don’t really have to think about it. [You can] just play a little Gracie song.”
Kali Uchis has been in the limelight ever since her song “Telepatía” went viral on TikTok in 2020, landing the album Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios) onto the Billboard 200 for the first time.
The star kicked off the American leg of her tour in mid-April, arriving in Boston to play at Fenway in early May.
Sophomore Chloe Hu has been a fan of Uchis for years and said she first discovered the artist through “Telepatía”.
“[‘Telepatía’] sounded so euphoric, but I could also hear a lot of the drums which I really liked,” she said. “It was just really addicting, and I couldn’t stop listening to it.”
Hu said that Uchis’ songs set her apart from other artists.
“[Her music] sounds so dreamy and not a lot of artists create that kind of music,” she said.
Hu said that although the music Uchis creates has a wide range of variety, her talent and excellence is present in each of her songs.
“Generally, [her music genre is] indie pop and pop, but the different songs give off different vibes and all of her songs are good,” she said. “[Uchis has] a blend of different music styles [which can] really reach a large audience.”
Hu said that Uchis’ music is widely recognizable and impressive, and for new listeners, Hu has one recommendation.
“Two really big things that are prevalent in her music are her amazing vocals in all of her songs and also the beat that you can always hear in the back which keeps you [engaged] when you listen to it,” she said. “Listen to ‘Moonlight.’”
Beyond pleasant vocals, Hu said that Uchis’s music has a large impact on her.
“Her music allows you to relax and teaches you that it’s okay to have big feelings,” she said. “[Her songs teach] you to be who you are and just live your life.”