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Film Reviews

Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour (dir. by Sam Wrench) 

90.0
Score

Pros

  • 3 Hours have never moved so fast, even during the Acoustic set.
  • A little Country, a little Pop, a lot of Fun.
  • Bright and colorful, Swift makes quite a performance.

Cons

  • Note that you're just getting the concert here - none of the backstage elements are here.
  • "Wildest Dreams" wasn't on the set list. Can't have everything, I suppse.

Final Verdict

Covering six eras of her performing life, The Eras Tour is a best of everything Swift. At 3 hours, it's a marathon, moving from song to song. I would have liked to have seen more behind the scenes elements, and some songs were edited out, but that's why we have albums. I was suprised to find myself singing along to it all.

I know how it feels to get caught up in someone’s music. Two short stories, and then I’ll get into it. My apologies for rambling here.

Way back in the early 2000s, my best friend and I got into The Foo Fighters something huge. Anyone who’s followed me for a while knows of my adoration of Prince, Underworld and Nine Inch Nails, but this was something different. We knew all the band members names, watched all their concerts and even bought guitars to learn how to play them. I still have the songbook for the In Your Honor album back home, with the guitar. I didn’t learn it as well as I liked, though I’ll admit that the game Rocksmith helped me more than anything I tried beforehand. Eventually, all of the Foo Fandom reached a head when my friend suggested that maybe we should go to a concert. We caught the Foos in East Rutherford, New Jersey, in the former stadium of the New Jersey Devils, where Weezer opened for them. In the mosh pit area, we had a fantastic time. All of the band members were in screaming distance from us, and we enjoyed it so much that we caught them again at Madison Square Garden. Serj Tankian (lead vocalist for System of a Down) opened for them that night. We were once again in the mosh pit area and almost got in a shoving match. The energy in the stadium was amazing.

Over the years, though, the world changed. With the lockdown, pandemic and shifting ideologies, my friend no longer enjoyed the Foos the way I did. They went against what he believed in. Despite this, I look back at the shared concert experiences with joy, happy to be able to say “We did that, it was the best.”

Earlier in the year, my sister was able to score tickets for Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour. She drove out from North Carolina to Kentucky with her kids to see it, which amazed me. If you ever have the chance to take a good long road trip, don’t hesitate. Trust me. Pack up your favorite ride with snacks and friends and just head out. It’s truly the best.

Anyway, she told me about the concert and how much her family enjoyed it. She kind of went off tangent (much like I do, we are family after all) and mentioned that Swift likes to leave clues around for different projects she works on. I’ll admit that I was jealous. I don’t usually do jealousy when it comes to people. Everyone comes from a different walk of life. Some have advantages, others have great mindsets and approaches, all of which we can aspire to. With my siblings, however, we all had the same starting point. While I won’t say I have to take the lead in any race I have with them – I was more than happy for and proud of my sis and her family – there was a part of me that truly felt that fear of missing out with it all. So finding out that The Eras Tour was coming out in theatres was a chance to maybe capture that same sense of euphoria my sister did.

If you’ve ever found yourself unable to stop humming “Shake it Off”, “Delicate” or “Wildest Dreams” or perhaps suffered through all of Cats just to see and hear “Macavity” – yeah, you just might be a Swiftie. To get a feeling of what The Eras Tour is like, you could even watch the Retribution Stadium Tour on Netflix. Even if you haven’t, it’s easy to appreciate Swift’s work in The Eras Tour. There isn’t much one can say about a concert. It’s either music and a performance you appreciate, or you don’t.

“Wait,” you may ask. “Why throw a concert using songs from ages ago instead of just focusing on her latest album?” Good question. It’s a long story, but Swift had most of her music collection bought out by a third party and held under lock and key. Since she couldn’t buy back the Masters of her recordings, she went ahead and start re-recording them as “Taylor’s Version”. The Eras tour covers music from Lover, Red, Evermore, Folklore, 1989, Reputation, Speak Now, and Midnights. That is a lot of music to cover. With a runtime of 3 hours, there’s a lot of music, and it’s edited well enough to keep everything moving along at a nice pace.

It’s not perfect, though. To be able to keep the runtime low, five songs were removed from the playlist:

The Archer
No Body, No Crime (with Haim)
Long Live
cardigan
Wildest Dreams

Additionally, I would have liked to have seen more of the behind the scenes that went into the show. The staging for the show is pretty elaborate, with an LED dance floor that’s used just like a screen. Although this doesn’t have the floating stages of the Reputation tour, it still packs a visual punch. One of the best sequences had Swift diving down beneath the stage and appearing to swim through it, only to show up somewhere else. Christopher Nolan would be proud, I’d imagine.

Despite not having the ones listed above, I had a great time with the concert. I listened and noted the songs I was unfamiliar with and belted out the ones I did from my seat in the front row. Thankfully, my showing was so early in the evening that it wasn’t really packed. I’d say there were probably maybe 10 people total in my showing. A pair of women approached me at the start, and I told them about my sister’s trip. They laughed and also remarked on how empty it was. They were as shocked as I was. We didn’t have anyone dancing in front of the screen (which I can imagine probably happened at the Lincoln Center IMAX), but there was much joy to be had. At the end of the day, the whole thing put a smile on my face and I walked out the theatre humming songs.

I still don’t know about the importance of the number 13 (which seems to be a big thing), but I guess that’s something to figure out later down the road.

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