Photo Credit: Taylor Swift
How the movie made me cry, laugh, and dance as much as the show
Darian Trabold, Managing Editor
Taylor Swift has brought her record-breaking Eras tour to the film screen for us to enjoy and experience at home or in movie theaters. Swift really knows how to put on a show. Though the runtime was almost three hours, it felt like only five minutes: I was completely entranced the entire time. The way she seamlessly moves between eras, the costume changes — both the concert and the film set a high standard for the music industry. My only disappointment with the film is that she cut a few songs on the Eras tour setlist for the recording, including “The Archer,” “cardigan,” and “Wildest Dreams.” These cuts do not detract from the film, but it would have been nice to have the entire show included.
She begins in the “Lover” era with “Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince.” It fits seamlessly with her iconic introduction. The colour palette fits perfectly not only with the album, but also with the setting sun, which makes her bodysuit shine. The Lover House in the background brings the lore of the track together. The plus of seeing her film is that you can hear her vocals, and they sound amazing. She is thoroughly engaging when we get to “Cruel Summer” and she asks the audience to sing the lyrics with her. I do, albeit silently to myself, as to not disturb the people around me. The symbolism of the “The Man” set — her climbing up the corporate ladder — is clever and fits very well.
We then enter the “Fearless” era, and Swift begins with the title track and does her iconic twirl, wearing a gold fringe dress with heart hands. While this portion of the show only has three tracks, it features two of Swift’s most iconic songs: “You Belong With Me” and “Love Story.” As she says, it really does take us back to high school. Seeing the band come out with her is reminiscent of the “Fearless” days and makes it feel like she is taking us through a journey of 17 years of music.
One of my favourite eras, “evermore,” while having a less upbeat tone, packs a punch. The forest is magical, and the dancers do an amazing job of making it feel like we are in a cult. I also really liked the capes and light orbs. Of course, it includes a tear-jerking tribute to her late grandmother Majorie with her solo performance of “marjorie.” It ends with a shocking performance of “tolerate it” in which Swift does a great job of telling the story by setting the table and then throwing the dishes across the stage, conveying the message of the song. The “evermore” set is simply captivating. I could go on forever about why I love it so much.
The energy is brought back up with the “reputation” set. I was not “…ready for it?” It includes one of my personal favourite songs, “Delicate,” so naturally I cried again. Swift’s microphone was definitely on for the “Don’t Blame Me” high note at the end. Then, in my opinion, the best transition of the show — “Don’t blame me for what you made me” goes from “Don’t Blame Me” to “Look What You Made Me Do.” Having the dancers dressed as her different eras of music locked in glass cages is symbolic of what was going on in her career and fits perfectly with the song.
“Speak Now” only has one song included in the film, “Enchanted.” Swift comes out by herself and performs it in a stunning purple ball gown, and her vocals sound amazing. While I was a little disappointed to see “Long Live” cut from the film, I still enjoyed this portion of the show.
She then performs her biggest hits from the “Red” era, including “22,” “I Knew You Were Trouble,” and “We Are Never Getting Back Together.” It really brings the energy back up after a more slowed-down part of the concert. Her outfit is a nod to the “22” music video and includes a touching moment in which she gives her hat to a fan — in the film, it is the late Kobe Bryant’s daughter. She then slows it down with “All Too Well (10 Minute Version),” a fan favourite. I couldn’t help but sing along.
Following this, we see the dreamy “folklore” cabin, which indicates the start of the “folklore” era. I particularly loved the storytelling in this set. During “The Last Great American Dynasty” she sings “and then it was bought by me” and nods to a dancer who is meant to portray the character in the song. To me, this was an amazing touch. The incredible vignettes really bring the era together. The short portion of “illicit affairs” was so good that it made me want to scream. During “august” I wanted to get up and run around singing the song. The attention to detail and storytelling of this era really reflects the album beautifully.
“1989” brings us back to the high-energy pop part of the concert. It was hard to stay in my seat. I enjoyed during “Blank Space” when she swung around a golf club — a nod to the music video. Following the conclusion of this set, I just wanted her to keep singing songs from “1989.”
Then the scariest part of the film for Swifties is the acoustic set, in which she sings two different songs every night. The first song on the guitar was “Our Song,” the only song from the Debut era in the film. It really took me back in time, and she sounded so good that I’m now eagerly anticipating Debut (Taylor’s Version). The second song, “You’re On Your Own Kid” sent me into a spiral. I had the incredible privilege of seeing the Era’s Tour in Tampa, Florida, on April 14, and our surprise song was also “You’re On Your Own Kid.” Not only is it my favourite song on “Midnights,” but also to see a surprise song from the setlist of my Eras tour show meant the world. If you know anyone from Tampa Night Two, you may want to check on them. She sounds incredible acoustically. She also dives into the stage following the set, which is jaw-dropping and really fun to watch.
The film ends with her latest era, Midnights. It really felt like we were completing a journey of her music from the beginning to today. The costume change during “Midnight Rain” is incredible considering she only has a few seconds to do it live on stage. The “Vigilante S***” dance is iconic. Using her dancers as chess pieces during “Mastermind” really brings the song to life. She ends with “Karma” — an upbeat song to help curb some of the sadness of the film being over. As she danced around the stage, I couldn’t help but want to dance with her.
Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour is an incredible and brilliant way for Swift to bring her show to fans who may not have had the opportunity to see her live. It also gives them an opportunity to relive what was probably the most amazing night of their lives. The film cements her status as the artist of the century and paves the way for other big artists to bring their concerts to the big screen. At the conclusion of the film, this is all I could think: “she really is the music industry.”