The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

Menlo Students Enjoy the Sounds of the Summer

Kate Little outside of SoFi Stadium in her homemade Lover-inspired outfit for the final night of the Eras Tour. Photo courtesy of Little

This past summer was filled with music for the Menlo community. From music festivals to country concerts to pop concerts, Menlo students attended a wide range of shows this summer. 

Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour was possibly the most prominent summer concert, as the show’s U.S. leg had a projected gross of around $2.2 billion, according to Time Magazine.

Swift’s last tour was for her 2017 album “Reputation.” Although she has released four new albums since then — “Lover,” “Folklore,” “Evermore,” and “Midnights” — she was unable to tour any of them due to the pandemic. Additionally, over the last few years, Swift has re-recorded three of her albums in order to gain full ownership of the music she made while under contract with Big Machine Records. Due to her many recent releases, Taylor Swift designed the Eras Tour to be a journey through her music career with different segments of the show being dedicated to her different ‘eras,’ or albums.

Menlo students attended some of Swift’s 53 shows over the last several months, with junior Kate Little attending the final show of the U.S. leg on August 9. There, Swift announced that she will be releasing “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” on October 27. “I kind of really wanted to be there on a monumental day where something kind of exciting was happening, and I heard rumors about a 1989 announcement on that final date,” Little said. “I was like, that could be such a nice full circle moment. I went to the original 1989 [tour] –– that’s my favorite album — so I spoke to my mom and she agreed that we could go to the last night in LA, so that was really fun.”

At the final show of the U.S. leg on August 9 in Los Angeles, Swift announced that she will be releasing “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” in October by wearing blue versions of her outfits for each era of the show, something that Little, along with many other fans predicted she would do. “When she came out [in a blue dress], I think she started with ‘Speak Now,’ and then did it for ‘Folklore’ as well, I was freaking out. People around me were screaming and they were showing articles, posting videos to social media, and it was just crazy,” Little said.

The Eras Tour has been an exciting experience beyond simply attending the show. On TikTok, #erastour has been used on over 22.7 million videos, with people posting clips from the concert. Fans were also extra creative with their concert outfits, dressing as characters or lyrics from her songs and representing aesthetics from all of Swift’s eras. Little was inspired by Swift’s “Lover” era bedazzled bodysuit and created a dress based on the look.

Over the summer, she would be texting her friends, speculating about what Swift would do next and looking for Swift’s notorious “easter eggs” — hints about announcements and new music. 

Outside Lands Music Festival in Golden Gate Park is another summer music event that many Menlo students look forward to each year. The festival takes place for three days in early August, making it a time when most people reunite after being apart over the summer. “It was a really nice way to reconnect with my friends before school started because I hadn’t seen a lot of them,” senior Nikhil Chopra said. 

Chopra went all three days; his favorite acts were Lana del Rey, Cigarettes After Sex and Zedd. “I’ve been a longtime fan and went to Lana del Rey. I loved how she brought [a lot of] energy to the crowd, and Cigarettes After Sex, again, I’ve been listening to their music,” Chopra said.

In addition to seeing some of his favorite artists, Chopra was excited to see some new artists. “Conan Gray was right before Lana Del Rey, and I had no idea who he was — I was just there so I could get to the front [for Lana] –– and by the end of the set, I was like, ‘Okay, there are a couple of songs that are actually pretty cool,’” Chopra said.

Shoreline Amphitheater holds a variety of concerts over the summer, and its open-air venue provides students a unique opportunity to enjoy the concert from its lawn area. Senior Parker Brown attended a Luke Bryan concert at the venue in July. Brown enjoyed running into people he knew at the concert. “It was pretty fun because it was like a melting pot of high school students from different high schools, and we all got to talk and I got to see some people that I hadn’t seen in a while,” Brown said. “It was pretty cool.”

Zach Bryan, an artist who has more recently risen to fame, was also on tour this summer, performing at Oakland Arena at the end of August. Bryan’s music is a unique mix of country, folk, and rock. 

Senior Sage Huddleston attended Bryan’s concert in Oakland with her mom, her mom’s friend and fellow senior Summer Young. Huddleston said the experience was special to share with her mom because she introduced her mom to Bryan’s music last year while they were touring colleges together, so it’s become a favorite memory for them.

“I was looking forward to [the concert] all summer and when the day finally came […] and we’re waiting because opener took forever and then, finally, he comes on and I watch him walk on stage, and I just thought, like, I’ve loved his music for so long and have been listening to him.” Huddleston said. “And then, when he walks in and I see him realize he’s very much real — I was like, maybe like four heads from the front — and he’s like right there, and I just started sobbing. He was playing all my favorite songs. I knew every single word to everything.”

For Huddleston, Bryan’s lyrics mean a lot. “I was listening to ‘Burn Burn Burn’ because that’s the first ones I played for [my mom], and I’m not really a lyricist, I don’t listen to the lyrics of songs most of the time, but, I was listening to the songs as he sang it at the concert and it just resonated with me, and that made me start crying so much,” Huddleston said.

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About the Contributor
Lizzie Freehill
Lizzie Freehill, Online Editor

Number of years in The Coat of Arms: 3

Favorite aspect of journalism: Watching the pieces come together as everyone does their part. It's a really fun and unique experience

Interests outside of school: politics, lacrosse, playing with my puppy Roxie, hanging out with my friends

Class of 2024

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