At the youthful age of seven years old, I found myself fixated on just one thing: scoring a CD of Taylor Swift’s sophomore album, “Fearless.”
From that point forward, I could admittedly be deemed a Swiftie. Though not all her albums have been ones I found myself listening to on repeat, when news of the Eras Tour was released, I was all in…until, of course, I saw ticket prices.
Thankfully, news of the movie being released gave us less financially flushed fans a way to take part in the experience, and, wow, was it an experience.
I’m someone who’s a fan of film and frequents the movies fairly often and never have I been to an experience like “Taylor Swift: The Era’s Tour.” Right off the bat, the theatre was filled with fans of all ages wearing Taylor Swift-inspired outfits and friendship bracelets.
From the climactic opening of the film, you could sense the slight stir in the crowd that eventually erupted into chanting the lyrics to every song and dancing in the aisles.
One of the most heartwarming moments was seeing a group of elementary-aged fans gather together in the front row to sing and perform every song. I can’t recall another artist like Taylor, who has transcended this many generations.
The atmosphere was truly more like an intimate concert experience rather than a movie screening, making it all the more enjoyable. However, the concert performance itself was incredible. Trying to pick a favorite song, or even era, is impossible, with each being as unique as they were.
I was amazed at the sheer dedication and spectacle of the sets and screens. The song “The Man” had one of my favorite designs, as Taylor performed while walking through this elaborate 9-to-5-style office.
“Folklore” and “Evermore” were also juxtaposed against one another, with “Folklore” having an airy, dreamlike forest quality to it, while “Evermore’s” forest was darker with a witch-like atmosphere. In addition to the gorgeous sets, the background dancers were truly stunning.
There were moments I couldn’t help but to be mesmerized by their dancing and acting. This choreography mixed with the design made the film feel like a Broadway show.
On top of this, Taylor made songs the radio played to death, “Look What You Made Me Do” and “Shake It Off” — I’m staring at you two, ones that I was completely rethinking. The performance of these, and other overplayed songs, was given with such power and showmanship that I couldn’t help but dance and sing along.
However, one era that I was missing from all this was her debut album. “Our Song” was one of her surprises of the night, which I belted out every word to. I also wished that “Speak Now” had featured more beloved favorites, like “Mean” or “Back to December.”
I was also not a fan of the fact that “The Archer,” “Tis the Damn Season,” “No Body, No Crime,” “Long Live,” “Cardigan,” and “Seven” were all cut. I went with a friend who was lucky enough to scramble for tickets when Taylor came to Chicago, and she pointed out that many of the gaps between eras were cut out as well.
After seeing how iconic some of these interludes were, I wished they had stayed in. I understand that time was a concern, as this movie is already close to three hours; however, I think many fans, myself included, would’ve sat there until midnight to catch every moment. Here’s to hoping that there’s an extended-release version when it comes out on DVD/streaming.
The only other shortcoming I found worth mentioning was the price of the tickets. Tickets were priced at $19.89 without tax. Sure, it’s significantly less than the $500 some had to shell out to see her in person, but it’s a lot for a movie ticket.
That being said, it was completely worth the experience, but keeps me from going back to see it again, despite wanting to. Despite these shortcomings, they collectively only took half a star off, proving how amazing the experience was.
“Taylor Swift: The Era’s Tour” brings back the community experience of cinema and reimagines the possibility of concert features.
As Taylor requested of her audience at the start of her show, these songs have all taken on new meaning, and when I hear each one of them, this one-of-a-kind experience will be what’s playing in my head.