Kelsea Ballerini Stops Gig to Ask if Taylor Swift Song Made Eras Tour

Kelsea Ballerini had a question about Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour — and she wasn’t afraid to pause her own sold-out concert in New Jersey to get her answer.

The country star, 29, briefly stopped her show at the Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena in Atlantic City, NJ to ask fans about one particular song, and if it made Swift’s 44-song set list during her opening night.

“Can I level with you for a minute,” Ballerini said in a new viral TikTok, filmed on Friday. “Is anyone stalking the Eras Tour, has it started? I’m gonna stalk it after this, but I have one question: Is ‘Cruel Summer’ on the setlist?”

“Cruel Summer,” a cut off Swift’s 2019 LP Lover, has managed to remain a fan favorite over the last four years. During her opening show in Glendale, Arizona on Friday, Swift, 33, performed the song with 43 other career-defining tracks — six in total from Lover. She also played “Cruel Summer” on Saturday night at the same venue, during her second show of the tour.

“It is? Wow, that’s my Super Bowl, I gotta be honest,” Ballerini said in response to fans. “All right, wow, that’s all I needed to know. Thank you for that. It’s like live updates.”

Of course, “Cruel Summer” wasn’t the only standout from Swift’s massive set list, which ran for an impressive 3 hours and 13 minutes on Friday night. The selections featured a bit of everything, from debut-era standout “Tim McGraw” to her latest No. 1 smash “Anti Hero,” as Swift ran through cuts from all of her studio LPs, from Taylor Swift to Midnights.

The singer-songwriter also treated attendees to “Betty,” “Mirrorball,” “Invisible String,” “Last Great American Dynasty,” “August,” “Illicit Affairs,” “My Tears Ricochet” and “Cardigan” off Folklore, performed three Fearless tracks, five Evermore cuts, four favorites from Reputation, “Enchanted” from Speak Now, and later four selections from Red. The Red era moment wrapped with Swift sharing her Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 single, “All Too Well (10 Minute Version).”

“The fact that you embraced [Red] the way that you did when it came out in 2012, that blew me away,” Swift said on her opening night. “But then, I never imagined then what you would end up doing a decade later when I wanted to claim that album as my own. So, thank you.”

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Opening Night of Taylor Swift’s “Eras Tour”.
Kevin Mazur/Getty for TAS Rights Management

Swift’s Eras Tour also kicked off with selections from 1989 — such as “Shake it Off” and “Blank Space” — and a venture into Midnights with tracks such as “Mastermind” and “Karma.”

“I’m gonna take a wild guess and say, that if you’re here tonight, there’s a pretty good chance that you went through a considerable amount of effort to be with us tonight, is that true,” Swift asked her crowd, which erupted in applause. “Well, first of all, let me say, on behalf of me and every single performer that you see on this stage — all the band, all the crew, every single person who has been putting together this tour for years — thank you from the bottom of our hearts for wanting to be with us on night one.”

Swift and Ballerini’s friendship first began publicly in 2015, when Swift shared some social media love for her debut EP, tweeting at the time: “Driving around with the @KelseaBallerini EP on repeat.. SO lovely:) #yeahboy #lovemelikeyoumeanit.”

Since then, they’ve been supportive of each other on social media and beyond, with the country star wishing Swift luck ahead of her Reputation Stadium Tour in 2018. “Happy tour kickoff to my friend that is equally as inviting, warm, and entertaining drinking wine on the couch as she is on stage,” Ballerini captioned an image of her with Swift. “That being said, I can’t wait to come fangirl and get inspired. Potentially with a sign. Potentially also with some kind of snake apparel. Go get ’em, sister.”

Ballerini even gave Swift a shoutout during the 2022 Grammy Awards red carpet, when she said Swift “constantly makes people proud, whether you know her or not.”

“She’s always just advocating for change and moving everything forward for everyone,” she said. “I haven’t seen her in so long. I hope I get to hug her tonight if she’s coming. I’m always on her team.”

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