Arts, Movies

‘Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour’ Transforms Movie Theaters Into Artificial Concert Experience


On Oct. 13, the highly anticipated Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour brought Swift’s once-in-a-lifetime concert experience to theaters, attracting an enthusiastic audience of Swifties. 

Swift’s movie depicts her almost three-and-a-half-hour long concert celebrating nine eras of her career thus far. This movie is dedicated to the thousands of fans who could not overcome the almost impossible mission to secure tickets to The Eras Tour. The movie was filmed over the course of three shows at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif., where the final leg of Swift’s U.S. tour was held.

The opening scene displayed the iconic Eras Tour clock and then gradually zoomed in from a bird’s eye view into SoFi Stadium. The audience in the theater cheered loudly as Swift sang her opening song of the concert, “Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince.”

Throughout the two-hour and 48-minute film, the crowd’s energy persisted: As Swift transitioned from one era to the next, everyone applauded and cheered as if they were experiencing the concert from SoFi. 

For Swift’s second era of the show, her album Fearless, the audience stood up, transforming the energy in the room. For Swift’s classic, “You Belong With Me,” everyone danced with the people around them and sang along. Each time Swift sang the bridge of one of her songs, the singing in the audience turned to screaming. These nostalgic songs were celebrated by audience members as they danced along with Swift. The camera close ups showed her smiling as she sang the songs from her second album.  

During Swift’s song “marjorie,” which shares a name with her late grandmother, the audience turned on their iPhone flashlights, a moving tradition at The Eras Tour. In fact, all of the traditions from her world tour were mimicked by the people in the theater, creating an environment that brought the show to life. The choice to show fans in their outfits from different eras, holding up flashlights or singing along, brought the experience to life. 

The majority of the crowd seemed to be in its Reputation era, as viewers rose from their seats and applauded louder for Swift’s “…Ready For It?” entrance than for any era before. 

During the transition from “Don’t Blame Me” to “Look What You Made Me Do,” the camera quickly circled around Swift as the lights flashed in the stadium. This specific shot was incredible because it was something that fans would not get to experience at the concert. The different camera shots showed a mixture of Swift’s facial expressions, backup vocalists and dancers, and birds-eye views to show the animations on the stage, ensuring that each angle of the incredible production of the concert was captured.

The already short Speak Now era, with only two songs in the setlist, was cut shorter with only “Enchanted” to represent Swift’s third album. The energy during Red was similar to that of Fearless, and later, 1989. The audience stood and sang along to the lively pop songs of Red, but quickly took its seats again for Swift’s, “All Too Well (10 Minute Version).” Sitting down did not have an effect on the energy of the crowd, as everyone screamed the song’s bridge.

“Well, maybe we got lost in translation, maybe I asked for too much / But maybe this thing was a masterpiece ‘til you tore it all up,” everyone sang along with Swift. 

Folklore followed Red, showing the intricate details of Swift’s set—even her microphone stand was disguised as a tree to match the ambiance. The movie highlighted the cinematic masterpiece that was the Folklore era, something that perhaps was not as clear from far away in SoFi stadium. Each era came with a new complementary outfit, stage set, and energy. The Folklore songs bring out emotions on their own, but coupled with the close ups on Swift, showing her emotion, the performance was all the more meaningful. 

Swift’s performance of “Tolerate It” was my personal favorite. The camera work enabled the viewer to see the cinematic masterpiece that was Swift setting a table. Each detail of the show was captured in the film. She carefully set the table for a man to come tolerate it. 

After 1989’s animated set, Swift sang her much-anticipated surprise songs. The excitement in the theater to discover which songs would be sung was reminiscent of the feeling before each show when the songs remained a mystery. A combination of two songs from two different Los Angeles tour nights, Swift sang “Our Song” and “You’re On Your Own, Kid.” The first song, from her debut album, was the perfect choice to bring fans back to the start of her career. “You’re On Your Own, Kid,” a song from her latest album Midnights, captured perfectly the pride felt by Swift and her fans for how far she has come. 

Audience members wearing their friendship bracelets raised their arms into the air as Swift sang, “so make the friendship bracelets.”

The last song of the movie, and of The Eras Tour, was “Karma” from her album Midnights. The crowd rose once more, gathering their remaining energy to break into song and dance. 

The following songs were excluded from the movie: “The Archer,” “‘tis the damn season,” “no body, no crime (feat HAIM),” “Wildest Dreams,” “Long Live,” and “cardigan.” Additionally, Swift left out her Folklore introduction, a spoken version of the lyrics of “seven.” The realization that “Long Live,” a song thought to be dedicated to Swift’s fans, was left out of the movie was upsetting because it left her Speak Now era section of the movie with only one song. 

“Long Live” played as the movie credits rolled, however. The song, as well as the credits designed as friendship bracelets are symbolic of the incredible community formed because of Taylor Swift.  
Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour created an interactive and vibrant experience for the audience, bringing it to The Eras Tour through the screen and environment the movie created.

October 22, 2023