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Shake, shake, shake – Taylor Swift’s LA fans created earthquake-like tremors on ‘Eras Tour’

Taylor Swift‘s fans in Los Angeles caused earthquake-like tremors when watching the singer perform live at the SoFi Stadium last summer.

The ‘Midnights’ pop star played six concerts at the huge Inglewood venue in August 2023 as part of the North American leg of her ongoing ‘Eras Tour’.

According to a new study from Caltech and UCLA researchers, the third night of Swift’s stint at the stadium (August 5) saw signals from the show register on seismic network stations within approximately 5.6 miles of the SoFi, and on “strong-motion sensors placed near and inside the stadium” (via the LA Times).

The report – titled ‘Shake to the Beat: Exploring the Seismic Signals and Stadium Response of Concerts and Music Fans’ – said the researchers were able to identify “the seismic signature” of each track performed at the three-hour-plus gig.

Additionally, it found that the seismic activity was most likely a result of the “dancing and jumping motions” of Swift’s LA crowd, rather than the beats and reverberations from the venue’s PA.

Researchers calculated each song’s “radiated energy” in terms of its equal earthquake magnitude. The performance of Swift’s 2014 single ‘Shake It Off’ resulted in the “largest local magnitude of 0.851”, according to the study.

The singer’s rendition of ‘Love Story’ resulted in a notable amplitude too (0.800). Other tracks that registered high readings included ‘You Belong With Me’ (0.849), ‘Cruel Summer’ (0.741) and ’22’ (0.645).

Caltech seismologist Gabrielle Tepp, who oversaw the research, explained in the study: “Keep in mind this energy was released over a few minutes compared to a second for an earthquake of that size

“Based on the maximum strength of shaking, the strongest tremor was equivalent to a magnitude-2 earthquake.”

Speaking to the LA Times, Tepp said: “It’s been well known that concerts make these harmonic signals and it’s not always been clear as to why. This was one thing that we were kind of interested in seeing if we could really nail down what was causing it.”

She told the outlet that “jumping is very effective at creating these harmonic signals”, adding: “The stronger or the more people you have jumping, the more energy is going into [the ground].

“I would definitely say for the stronger songs, you probably have a lot more people excited, a lot more people jumping around.”

Tepp said that she and her colleagues were interested in conducting further research into stadium response to seismic activity.

They have already been in contact with the scientists who measured the earthquake-level activity registered at Swift’s gigs in Seattle earlier on the tour. These dates resulted in tremors similar to a 2.3-magnitude quake, with a fan at the shows saying: “You could literally feel the ground shaking beneath your feet.”

Tepp explained that there was “certainly more you can do” with this kind of research.

Taylor Swift – ‘1989 (Taylor’s Version)’. CREDIT: Beth Garrabant

Earlier this month, Swift wrapped up a six-night run of concerts in Singapore following performances in Melbourne, Sydney and Tokyo.

She’ll resume her career-spanning ‘Eras Tour’ in Europe this May before visiting the UK and Ireland the following month. Swift is due to play eight shows at Wembley Stadium in London this summer as part of the run, with support coming from Paramore.

Before heading back out on the road, Swift will release her 11th album ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ on April 19.

The pop star recently said that writing the upcoming record “was really a lifeline for [her]”, adding: “Just the things I was going through and the things I was writing about.”

She continued: “It kind of reminded me of why songwriting is something that actually gets me through my life, and I never had an album where I needed songwriting more than I needed it on ‘Tortured Poets’.”

Meanwhile, Swift’s new concert film The Eras Tour (Taylor’s Version) arrived on Disney+ last week – check out the full setlist for the movie here.

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