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Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” film dazzles audiences, brings concert experience to cinemas

Zoe Karibian
Taylor Swift’s concert film, released Oct. 13, is achieving tremendous success in cinemas. According to Forbes, “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” accounted for 70% of box office grosses in the U.S. in the days following its release.

The music world witnessed a milestone as Taylor Swift’s concert film, “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour,” debuted Oct. 13, garnering an astonishing 130 million dollars at the box office by Oct. 16, according to Variety Magazine. Swift’s musical prowess and global influence have once again taken center stage, cementing her as arguably one of the most iconic artists of our time.

The concert documentary, filmed over several nights at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles in August, closely mirrors the live show’s setlist. A few songs were trimmed to avoid a lengthy film, including “The Archer,” “Long Live,” “No Body, No Crime,” the “Seven” interlude, “Cardigan” and “Wildest Dreams.”

The Eras Tour concert showcases Taylor Swift at the peak of her abilities, taking the audience on a 17-year journey from her country girl beginnings to her current status as a global superstar. This journey is brought to life with stunning stage design, jaw-dropping visual effects, endless amounts of energy and, of course, hit after hit.

A significant part of the show kicks off with Taylor Swift’s 2019 album “Lover,” giving you a taste of the excitement to come. Throughout “The Man,” Swift and her backup dancers buzz through a makeshift office complex. In contrast, the enchanting “folklore” segment transports you to a cozy cabin, where Swift dances in a flowing white gown during a stormy rendition of “August.” Furthermore, the “Evermore” album’s track “Willow” gets a fiery routine that resembles a Druidic ritual. 

The tour and film both cycle through bubbly dance-pop, mainstream country, rustic folk slick R&B and trap while jumping around her albums out of order, impressing upon the viewer how much Swift has grown artistically and how much ground she remains capable of covering. Strumming the guitar, playing the piano and working through modest choreography – she can do it all.

Despite my initial skepticism about the on-screen concert experience, Swift’s songs retained their magic and tangibility through the screen. Editors cut any redundant set transformations and costume changes that often occur during live concerts.

The concert energy started to rub off on the people in the cinema as well. During tracks like “The Man” and “Cruel Summer,” audience members started singing along and swaying their arms. By the time the “Red” segment began, about half of the audience was on their feet, caught up in the performance’s energy. I initially tried to stay seated, but halfway through “All Too Well,” the music’s power became irresistible, and I too found myself up and dancing.

Moreover, getting tickets for live shows can often be a tiresome process. Now, instead of waiting five-and-a-half hours in Ticketmaster’s online queue and paying anywhere from $800 to $11,000, as stated by the Los Angles Times, I had the opportunity to see Taylor Swift up close for a much more affordable price.

Masterful camera work makes sure the audience can appreciate just how impressive Swift’s singing and dancing really is. Alternating between pans of the crew onstage, wide shots of the entire set and close-ups of screaming audience members, the film does more than place you within the experience. It gives you the best possible seat in the house, one that most never would have access to otherwise. 

It’s possible to see Swift’s every little smirk, dance move and bemused look in a way that even the biggest monitors in an arena could not communicate. With a large part of Swift’s appeal being how endearing she’s able to make herself seem to her fans, this is a huge highlight of the film experience. Having this kind of intimate access to Swift’s performance is remarkable.

The movie format even made me enjoy signs that I previously did not love. I’m not a huge fan of “Reputation,” whose lyrics I find introspective at best and embarrassing at worst, but with the camera hewing so closely to Swift’s facial expressions and dazzling costumes, along with her live vocals coming through so strongly, the fun she’s having onstage becomes palpable. “Look What You Made Me Do,” one of my least favorite pop songs, became a showstopper on the big screen.

“The Eras Tour” film is, in essence, a masterpiece for die-hard Taylor Swift fans, offering a sensory overload of musical brilliance and on-stage magic up close. However, if you are not already a fan, it’s unlikely to convert you. Similar to other concert experiences, an unfamiliarity with the songs can detract from the overall enjoyment of the performance. 

While the film doesn’t bring anything radically new to the concert film genre, it undeniably captures the unique experience of witnessing Swift at the peak of her musical journey, taking you through the various eras of her ever-evolving artistry.

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About the Contributor
Zoe Karibian, Media Team
Zoe Karibian ('26) is a member of the Media Team for The Standard in Advanced Journalism.

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