‘Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour’ Will Never Ever Go Out of Style


Roxie Lara

Swift and her dancers linger in a round of well-deserved applause.

Sitting through an almost three-hour concert recording may not appeal to the average person, but when Taylor Swift announced her release of her iconic “Eras Tour” concert in movie form, fans were willing to risk their attention spans and vocal chords to attend viewings of the film. If you’re searching for an entertaining concert but don’t want to pay the steep cost, look no further; this is not your average blockbuster.

For starters, the quality of the movie alone was enough to draw in fans from all over the world, and even those who did attend the concert were thrilled to see a higher-resolution version of Swift’s performance.

“When I was at the concert, there was a lot going on, so [I couldn’t] really focus on everything at once or really see anything that was going on at the actual stage,” sophomore Emma Vallenilla said. “It was cool to see the movie because they [filmed it] from above and you could see a lot of different takes.”

Going to a movie theater with a handful of people will never result in the same experience as attending a concert with 72,000 spectators, but “The Eras Tour” movie made up for any of the countless subtleties that even the closest fans would have missed at the actual performance. From the theatrical depiction of “Tolerate It” to the special effects in “Delicate,” and through over a dozen bedazzled outfits and carefully choreographed dances, this movie gave every little detail of the performance the appreciation it deserved.

“There are no movies like it nowadays,” junior Olivia Weber said. “She’s the only one doing a movie like this, and she’s the only one doing a tour like this.”

Creating a concert movie is not an approach many artists take, which means that these films stand out when they are released, but Swift immediately outshone any concert recordings of years past by hiring her own production company to film the event. With the final grossing resulting at around $93 million, this self-directed celebration of the musical powerhouse’s career certainly paid off.

“I thought all of the camera work and the transitions were really well done,” senior Kayla Kernan said. “It was pretty seamless, and it was almost like being there at her concert.”

Accompanied by a notable amount of editing between sets to cut out changing times, Swift’s use of CGI added an entrancing new layer to her performance. Whereas the actual tour only revolved around the use of projections onto a screen, the movie made the use of special effects seem magical. During the introduction to one of her albums, “Reputation,” a large black snake, which fans know to be symbolic of the album, coiled around the stage and created a tunnel shape for Swift to emerge from.

But not all albums were given equal recognition. The film begins with “Lover,” an upbeat, romantic set that matched well with the energy of the crowd, but was not necessarily the best album to start off on.

“I don’t really like the ‘Lover’ album in comparison to her other albums, and I don’t think it was the best opener for the tour or for the movie,” Olivia said.

After a few songs, Swift switched into her “Fearless” era, which is best known for the classic “Love Story.” While the amount of special effects used for that set was minimal, the moment where the artist holds up her hand in a heart shape, only to be met with the same gesture from the crowd, was enough to make anyone love the album.

Undoubtedly, a fan favorite was the “Reputation” era, which acted as a comeback to the hate that Swift received in the media back in 2016. Breaking away from the energy of the previous albums, this set resulted in a complete mood change in theaters as fans screamed and danced their way through each of these compelling songs. Freshman Emma Dougherty said, “I loved Reputation. I liked the transitions and how powerful it was.”

Swift then dove into the category of songs she’s best known for: catchy pop tracks from her “Red” and “1989” albums, with a break in between to explore “folklore,” her album created during the COVID pandemic.

“I really like her old stuff,” Kayla said. “I would always listen to it growing up.” Those who had bad blood with the countless overplayed songs from these two eras were expecting to hear more of the same old tunes, but Swift’s impressive new take on her classics showcased just how much she’s grown as a singer.

However, Taylor Swift isn’t perfect. After a few outstanding sets, fans sat on the edge of their seats in anticipation of “Speak Now,” Swift’s third album, only to just get one song from that era. “I think there should have been a lot more of her new songs on there, or just a lot more ‘Speak Now,’ because it’s a very old album so we haven’t heard it performed in a while,” Olivia said. Although “Enchanted” was a crowd-pleaser, she doubled down by cutting out half of the song, ensuring that experiencing this era was not the same as hearing new songs from Swift’s recent re-release of the album.

Similarly, the only song she played from her debut album was in the special section of the movie: the surprise songs. It may have been too late for her to change the actual concert entirely, but there were steps she could have taken to maximize the effect of the shorter sets in the film, such as using more noticeable CGI features for these parts of the movie.

Yet when Swift revealed that the “Eras Movie” would be coming to theaters, she did not explain that she would be getting rid of multiple fan-favorite songs, including “cardigan,” “Long Live,” and “The Archer.”

Kayla was sympathetic to Swift’s decision. “She can’t include every single song, or else the movie would be like four hours long,” Kayla said. “I think she did include some of her most popular songs.”

Some fans were also disappointed that Swift did not include more shots of her behind-the-scenes process, yet Swift’s choice to focus solely on the actual concert brought many people closer to being at one of her performances. As for the concert itself, she gave devoted fans a breath of fresh air by putting the four albums she hadn’t had individual tours for—“Lover,” “folklore,” “evermore,” and “Midnights”—in the spotlight. However, that focus didn’t allow for newer fans to hear some of her older songs. “Not all of the albums were equally represented,” Emma D. said. “She definitely could have given some of them a little more time.”

But the real gem of this film? Ironically enough, Swift blew fans away with her depictions of some of her relatively underappreciated albums. Everything about the performance of “evermore” was beyond breathtaking. The visuals of woodsy elements, the use of fog machines, and the choreography mesmerized the crowd for the duration of the performance, despite it being one of her lesser-known eras. Similarly, the “folklore” album boasted a literal house as a prop and showcased dozens of beautiful graphics that even the closest fans at the concert could not have pictured in their wildest dreams.

The grand finale of the movie was her newest album, “Midnights”, closing the performance for the night by energizing the audience with some of her newest hits.

“[The movie] shows what her brand is, about how it’s not just about one demographic of fans, but all of her fans are super important to her,” Olivia said. “She does everything she can to make them all feel special and involved.”

Without her devoted fan base, Swift would not have been able to achieve her current popularity. In a way, the friendship bracelet trading, chanting, and dancing that occurred at theaters throughout the country is an ode to fans’ connection to the artist and her appreciation of them, both of which shined during the film and in the credits of the movie.

“Thank you to the most generous, thoughtful, loving fans on the planet,” Swift wrote out on a beaded friendship bracelet as the film came to a close. “This is all because of you and for you.”

This journey through Swift’s musical career will be a reference point not only for future artists, but for the music and film industries in general. Those who didn’t want to see the movie should not be so quick to judge. Kayla said, “She has music for everybody, so no matter what you’re into, she definitely has one album that’s kind of catered towards your taste.” So if you have three hours to spare, consider taking the time to stand up, cheer, and enjoy the “Eras Tour.”