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Tuesday, May 21, 2024
The Observer

‘Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour’ hits theaters nationwide


In a stunning reproduction of one of the biggest tours of the decade, the “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” film is a diamond reflecting all the shiny elements of Swift’s concert experience. From the fans to the production to Swift herself, one thing is certain: You best believe she’s still bejeweled. 

The film, which was captured by an independent camera crew hired by Swift’s team over the course of the first three nights of Swift’s last stop of “The Eras Tour” at SoFi Stadium outside of Los Angeles, gave fans who had been unable to see the show in person the chance to experience the magic that is Taylor Swift. 

This decision to make the concert available to a wider audience was preceded by criticism over the difficulty and cost of obtaining tickets to the tour. A movie ticket, which usually costs no more than $20, seems like a no-brainer to the hardcore Swifties and to the pop star's more casual fans. 

Whichever group you might identify with, Swift fully intended the film to replicate the concert experience for audience members, telling fans during her announcement on social media, “Eras attire, friendship bracelets, singing and dancing encouraged.” This encouragement has generated a more collective viewing by fans, which is supported by the community of followers that Swift has garnered. 

However, even moreso than the movie encapsulates the concert experience, it somehow sets up a more intimate connection between Swift and the audience as a whole. The film features close-ups of the performer and clips of fans from the LA crowds, which I can proudly say I was a member of (yes, I saw myself in the audience). 

Song selection was another aspect debated when the concert-to-film adaptation was announced. The film excluded “The Archer,” “no body, no crime,” “‘tis the damn season," “Long Live,” “cardigan” and “Wildest Dreams,” which sparked outrage from some fans. However, the surprise songs chosen, “Our Song” and “You’re on Your Own, Kid,” were met with resounding support. 

The film masterfully interweaves elements of film and the concert performance with different transitions between eras and nights of the concert, using film techniques, camera angles and graphic titles that welcome the audience into each era. 

Seeing the event on a movie screen shows just how much of a performance and spectacle the concert was. Swift is depicted with the bedazzled outfits and musical instruments that we have come to expect from her. But, in this tour specifically, the set design, choreography and graphics highlight her storytelling ability. For example, look to empowering performances like “The Man,” in which Swift puts on a sparkly blazer and kicks her feet up while sitting on a desk, or her sorrowful presentation of “tolerate it,” as she uses a massive dining table in the center of the stage to set the scene. 

Whichever persona she dons, nothing is more evident in the film than the light-hearted playfulness she exhibits throughout the show. When announcing the movie, Swift said, “The Eras Tour has been the most meaningful, electric experience of my life so far.” That electricity is overwhelmingly abundant in the movie. 

Whatever your personal feelings on Taylor Swift, the newest addition to her portfolio of cinematic performances and the nearly $5 billion generated by The Eras Tour are a reminder to the world that the star is as much of a force in the music industry and beyond as ever.