During Taylor Swift’s debut Eras Tour concert, she opened up about her frequent lyrical inspiration.
“So, sort of a recurring theme in my music is that I love to explain to men how to apologize. I just love it,” the “Anti-Hero” songstress, 33, said of writing songs during her Friday, March 17, concert in Glendale, Arizona, per social media footage from the show. “It’s kind of my thing. I love to tell them step-by-step, ‘Here’s how simple this is to fix things if you just follow these easy steps that I’m laying out for you in a three-minute song.’ I just love the idea of men apologizing.”
Swift, whose Eras Tour marks her first live concert since 2018’s Reputation tour, had been introducing the show’s shift to her Folklore album era when she dropped her truth about songwriting.
“[My songs are] kind of like journaling for you or something. [And] I wanted to do a different thing that I had done before [with Folklore],” the Cats actress explained during the show, before being met with widespread applause from the crowd. “You know, my albums have characteristically been, sort of, excruciatingly autobiographical where, like, when I put out an album, it just feels like getting some sort of live-streamed, public autopsy.”
She added: “With this one, I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be so fun to create characters and storylines? They’ll live in different times, and they’ll do all these things and fall in love and hurt each other, go to wars and all these things.’ So, I created all these characters.”
Three of the characters on her 2020-released Folklore are James, Betty and August — the former two named after two of BFF Blake Lively and husband Ryan Reynolds‘ daughters — on the single “Betty.”
“This is a song about a teenage [boy] named James trying to apologize to the love of his life and her name is Betty,” Swift quipped during the show before strumming her acoustic guitar to kick off the number.
The Eras Tour, which celebrates all of Swift’s past LPs and decades in the spotlight, kicked off on Friday, where the “Miss Americana & the Heartbreak Prince” singer belted out 44 of her most beloved hits (including a surprise acoustic rendition!) for lucky concertgoers.
“I miss you like it was the very first night. Good thing we’re about to go onstage and do the whole thing again tonight,” Swift gushed via Instagram on Saturday, March 18, sharing pics from the debut performance ahead of her second Arizona concert. “See you 🔜 Glendale, Erazona.”
While the Pennsylvania native sings “Betty” and other characterized singles from Folklore during Eras Tour, she has also incorporated many of her original breakup songs into the setlist.
“For me ‘risky’ is revealing what really happened in my life through music. Risky is writing confessional songs and telling the true story about a person with enough details so everyone knows who that person is,” Swift previously said of writing diss tracks about her exes during a February 2014 interview with Glamour. “That’s putting myself out there, maybe even more than taking my shirt off.”