Francesca Rico ‘27 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
On October 13, 2023, Taylor Swift’s film Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour opened in theaters across the world. Impressive is an understatement; at this point, Swift wows audiences with every piece of art she releases. Completely blowing the audience away, however, was a separate feat the artist achieved with this film.
Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour is a must-see for people from all walks of life. The concert film is meant to appeal to fans of Swift, but, it also can turn non-listeners into fans. Because the film itself celebrates every one of Swift’s musical eras, there is bound to be at least one performance that speaks to everyone watching. Viewers who have seen it get to relive the tour but those who haven’t get it brought to them.
Here are the best moments of the film, in chronological order:
Opening up the show with the Lover set, Swift introduces herself after singing her number-one hit song, “Cruel Summer.” In this moment, Swift connects with her audience right after the live performance of a fast-paced fan favorite. The introduction gives Swift a moment to interact with the audience, thus inviting them to interact with her. The film takes this a step further as it brings the show to a larger audience.
Filled with magic and heartbreak, the evermore set lures the audience into a magical new world. However, there is one performance in particular that results in a minutes-long standing ovation for Swift: the “champagne problems” performance. The film captures the momentum of the bridge of the song, arguably the best part, and as the audience’s voices grow louder through the screen, the energy in the theater grows. The performance is followed by a few minutes of the crowd cheering Swift on as there is an understanding of the power she and her songwriting have over a crowd—she moves people—and it compels the viewers in the theater to applaud as well.
It is impossible to talk about this film without mentioning the performance of “All Too Well,” the ten-minute version, of course. It is one thing to listen to this epic of a song and block the whole world out, but watching Swift perform it in front of tens of thousands of people on the big screen is a separate experience in and of itself. She takes the viewer on a journey from start to finish, and all she needs is her guitar and a microphone to tell the tale. This performance becomes all-encompassing in a theater, so much so that when it ends,the viewer realizes that they are not on stage singing with Swift.
During the folklore set, Swift brings the album to life. The stand-out performance is “my tears ricochet.” There is one moment in particular where Swift and the editing of the film take the viewers’ breaths away. As she sings the lyric “just not home,” Swift falls to the floor and swishes her dress to the beat of the song. At this moment, the camera focuses on Swift’s face and cuts to the fan right in front of her in the first row. This moment shows the audience the perspective of Swift, not just that of the audience. This perspective switch reminds those watching of the very real connection being formed between Swift and fans at this moment. It also strengthens the connection between Swift and the people in the theater as it places them in the feet of the audience member who was face-to-face with Swift.
The acoustic set is possibly the most special part of the whole show. Swift starts it by performing “Our Song” from her debut album, which does not have its own set during the concert. The choice to perform this song for the film allows for the inclusion of her debut album, which others who attended the concert and did not get a surprise song from this album would have missed otherwise. After this performance, Swift sits at the piano to play “You’re On Your Own, Kid.” Despite the song’s title, Swift’s choice to include this in the film and the crowd’s screaming voices make the viewer feel that they are not, in fact, on their own.
The final set is the Midnights set. Reaching the end of the film, the audience becomes aware of the fact that the hours-long fun they have had is coming to a close. But because of the film’s ability to bring the audience into the show, there is a sense of gratitude, rather than sadness, for what has just been witnessed. With this in mind, Swift encapsulates every bit of fun she can as she dances to upbeat pop songs, and the screen sparkles with a rainbow of colors and fireworks displayed on stage.
This film is easily one of the best concert films to date. Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour has made a mark on pop culture. Watching Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour is a must in order to truly participate in the culture.