HONG KONG – The Taylor Swift phenomenon took Asia by storm this week, with fans from across the continent flocking to Japan to see the latest leg of the American pop star’s Eras tour, while those at home hope she can return to the USA on time. to see her boyfriend Travis Kelce at the Super Bowl on Sunday.
The streets of Tokyo, where Swift will perform four sold-out shows from Wednesday to Saturday, have been swept by snow and the enthusiasm of fans around the world.
Katherine Medina, a 29-year-old from the Dominican Republic who lives in Japan, attended Thursday’s show at the 55-seat Tokyo Dome.
“I was sitting next to a girl from China. The girls in front of me were from the Philippines. A girl behind me was from the United States, Indiana,” she said.
Medina, who was seated separately from her friends, said they had the same experience, forging instant connections with the Swift fans around them, even if there were language barriers.
“Maybe they don’t have the ‘How are you?’ conversation, but they were like crying together,” she said.
Among the audience at Swift’s first show on Wednesday was Rosé of South Korean girl group Blackpink, who she posted a video of herself singing the 10-minute version of “All Too Well.”
Japan is the first Asian stop on Swift’s Eras tour, which began last year and is the first to surpass the billion-dollar mark, while giving a boost to local economies.
Ticket revenue and other expenses related to the four shows in Japan are estimated to have an economic impact of 34 billion yen ($230 million), according to the Economic Impact Research Laboratory.
“That’s just from one person who performed for four nights!” said Mitsumasa Etou, a researcher at Tokyo City University who did the calculation.
Japan is the world’s second-largest music market after the United States, but live music has been hampered during the Covid-19 pandemic by border closures and other restrictions.
“We’ve had a pretty long period where we didn’t really have many artists come to Japan because of Covid,” said Barbara Greene, a professor of contemporary Japanese culture at Tokyo International University. “And I think Swift is the first really big artist that people are eager to see.”
Since Kelce’s Kansas City Chiefs advanced to the Super Bowl, there has been feverish speculation about whether Swift will be able to make it to Las Vegas in time for Sunday afternoon’s game after her Saturday night concert in Tokyo.
Don’t worry, says the Japanese embassy in Washington, noting that Tokyo is 17 hours ahead of Las Vegas, a time difference that works in your favor when traveling to the US.
“We wanted to confirm that any interested person can be Brave knowing that this talented artist can wow the Japanese public and still make it to Las Vegas to support the Chiefs when they take the field for the Super Bowl wearing Red,” the Embassy said in a February 2 statement.
After the Super Bowl, Swift heads to Australia to play seven concerts in Melbourne and Sydney later this month, and then to Singapore to play six concerts in March.