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Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

REVIEW: “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” provides dazzling view of “The Eras Tour”

Sarah Armosky / Hilltop Views
Friendship bracelets that I made and traded with fans before the movie began.

For most ticketless fans, the only way to experience Taylor Swift’s “The Eras Tour” is through shaky livestreams and videos. With the release of the concert film “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour,” fans finally have their long-awaited access to the best seats in the house.

But “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” isn’t just a movie: It’s an experience.

The experience begins before one even walks into the theater. Dotted in the concession lines were fans in “The Eras Tour” outfits. For instance, someone was dressed in all key lime green, a nod to a line from “The Last Great American Dynasty” off of Swift’s album “Folklore.” 

A poster for “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” at a Regal movie theater. The movie is also showing at AMC and Cinemark. (Sarah Armosky / Hilltop Views)

Once in the theater, the friendship bracelet trading began. A group huddled by the entrance swapping and handing out bracelets with references to different song titles, album eras and fandom jokes.  Bracelet swapping began as a fan project during “The Era’s Tour” and is something ticketless fans missed out on, but now was a part of this long awaited experience. 

Throughout the film, the audience sang along, clapped after each song and danced in their seats. As someone who didn’t go to the tour, it was surreal to do the call and responses with fans both on and off the screen.

Overall, the viewing experience is an upgrade from watching the tour on live streams. For instance, fans seated higher up and farther away missed out on seeing some of the detailed acting, interactions and facial expressions the dancers and Swift displayed throughout the show. If the jumbotron wasn’t showing it, you missed it. Alternatively, fans on the floor didn’t always have a clear view of the visuals on stage’s surface, whereas the movie experience clearly shows the screen  throughout.

While “The Eras Tour” concert is over a three-hour show, the film was cut down to two hours and 45 minutes. In other words, some songs and interludes were cut for the sake of time. While I was a bit disappointed by what was excluded, the choices made sense. Either the song took up too much time, was less popular or was not essential to the section’s narrative. The songs that made the cut displayed Swift’s deep knowledge of what her fans want.

Other fans also brought homemade bracelets to trade and share with attendees before the movie began. (Sarah Armosky / Hilltop Views)

With each album era, the film sets a different tone. One moment you’re watching a stadium performance and then suddenly an intimate concert, and at times it was like watching a theatrical stage production. This was achieved through altering how close the camera was to Swift and what parts of the stage were focused on. The shifts allowed the viewer to stay engaged all throughout the production’s proceedings. If fans had to watch the tour from a panned out view the entire time, the long film might have gotten tedious.  

The surprise songs of the acoustic set, “Our Song” and “You’re On Your Own Kid” were a perfect choice for the film. “Our Song” was one of Swift’s first hits and is the only song off Swift’s self-titled debut album on the movie-version setlist. Without it, Swift’s debut album era would be missing from the film. “You’re On Your Own Kid” is off Swift’s most recent non-re-recorded album release, “Midnights.” Together, the surprise songs create a poignant, full-circle moment that fans and casual viewers alike will be able to appreciate.

Landing the “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” five out of five goats.

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