This past year, Taylor Swift has taken the world by storm, selling out American football stadiums for multiple nights and raking in $14 million in nightly ticket revenue. And now, with the release of the full The Eras Tour experience in theaters, Swifties can relive the best 2 hours and 48 minutes of their lives in their sweatpants.
Swift embarked on the international Eras Tour after the release of her album “Midnights.” For someone who has been a Swiftie since 2012, this year has been a wild ride. From the long battle against Ticketmaster to the random announcements of her album rerecording, Swift has not let fans breathe for even a moment.
After the premiere date on Oct. 12, the 13-week exclusive movie will be available at Cinemark and AMC and will leave the screens in January 2024. When I walked into the theater, I received a small poster and traded friendship bracelets with the employees, a homage to the bracelets traded between fans during each concert. As we walked through the hallway to our theater, we could feel the excitement in the air as we heard different songs and people singing from the rooms we walked past.
As someone who was victorious in securing concert tickets and seeing Swift live, seeing her onscreen was a different experience. The lack of sequins and bold make-up made the theatre audience more laid back and ready to vibe rather than scream their hearts out. In my theater, viewers were more courteous to each other, enjoying songs in their seats. However, as I peeked into other theaters, they had full-on dance circles and bedazzled Eras-themed outfits. Your experience will vary depending on the crowd you watch with.
The movie itself was beautifully filmed. Swift knows how to command a stage and perform in a way that traps the audience’s attention. Her concert outfits consisted of jeweled leotards, high-heeled Louboutins, beautifully designed dresses and a ball gown. The leotards have been a staple concert outfit of hers from her last tour, “Reputation,” and have become an iconic Swift look. She wears different variations of the one-piece outfit for each night but changes them slightly for songs like “The Man” when she wears a blazer over it or the long, sparkly jacket when she sings the iconic “All Too Well 10 Minute Version.” I loved the dresses Swift originally wore for the “Evermore,” “Folklore” and “Speak Now” eras, and they fit the shifts in albums so well. The loose, flowy dress as she sings “August” while running across the stage and the green cape during the well-known “My Tears Ricochet” bridge are well-tailored for the impact she wants to leave on the audience. Each outfit is carefully crafted to fit the colors, tone and set of the specific songs.
As she takes us through all her albums, the set she places on the stage and the images on the large screen drastically change to fit that particular era, so it feels like you’re moving between worlds. My favorite set was “Folklore,” as Swift sings on top of and inside a literal wood cabin. She talks to the audience about how the album was written from her imagination running free during the pandemic, and she felt like an author who lived in the 1800s in a wood cabin. Another huge highlight was the images portrayed on the floor of the stage. During “Willow,” there was a light that would shine under all of the dancers as if they were radiating while performing the choreography; then Swift “shattered” the stage piece by piece during her song “Delicate.” Her music and lyrics have always been my number one reason for being a fan, but when she adds the full glam and dance, it takes her magnetism to a new level. I felt myself gasping in realization many times as I put together the pieces of her outfit, stage and song because of all the small easter eggs Swift is well-known among fans for hiding.
Seeing her not as a tiny ant on the stage or as a pixel on my screen increased my awe at the little details, like the expert choreography, animated facial expressions and stage lighting. At the live concert, I missed a lot as I was in a fangirl-induced haze, but sitting in a nice, upholstered chair, I got to see details such as her self-painted stage mic on the “Folklore” set and the guitar her parents decorated for her “Fearless” set.
Overall, The Eras Tour in theaters is an excellent way for someone to gain a concert experience if they could not go in person, or for someone to relive it if they did. If you want to be up on your feet dancing and trading bracelets, I recommend a larger auditorium with more people. For a more laid-back experience, find a more reclusive space with fewer people. Even if you are not a fan, I would highly recommend seeing the tour, and maybe you’ll gain a new appreciation for one of the biggest pop stars in the world.