New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

Review: Taylor Swift brings the stage to the big screen in The Eras Tour concert film

In this cinematic cut, the Eras Tour “Hits Different.”
Manasa Gudavalli
Fans sang, danced and cheered throughout the film. (Manasa Gudavalli for WSN)

Since Taylor Swift last filled stadiums with her “Reputation” tour, she has released four new albums: “Lover,” “folklore,” “evermore” and “Midnights.” Due to the pandemic, she had to forgo the tradition of each album being followed by its own tour. Through Taylor’s ambitious union of her newer music with her past work, The Eras Tour was born. With each album representing one of Taylor’s distinct eras, the tour takes the audience through her “Timeless” discography. 

Tickets for the live concert were nearly impossible to get due to high demand. Only “The Lucky Ones” survived “The Great War” and were able to see Taylor in person. To share the concert experience with more fans, Taylor recorded three of her Los Angeles shows to turn the show into a movie: “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour.” It premiered worldwide on Oct. 13, with a day early release in the United States and Canada. The movie is now in theaters with tickets costing $19.89, a nod to her fifth album and upcoming rerecording.

Our theater was full of fans decked out in tour merchandise, cardigans and themed outfits from every era. The environment was reminiscent of Taylor’s tour, with fans coming together with concert traditions like chanting “1, 2, 3 let’s go bitch!” and clapping during “You Belong With Me.” Everybody could find “A Place in this World” — or a place in the audience — where they felt comfortable, with some fans singing and sitting while others were up and dancing. 

Fans clapped along to “You Belong with Me.” (Manasa Gudavalli for WSN)

Despite fans in the almost sold-out theater belting, Taylor’s vocals could still be heard above the noise. Dolby Atmos, Dolby Laboratories’ surround-sound technology, helped create an immersive soundscape — Taylor’s notes during the “reputation” set were notably crisp and highlighted her strong vocal performance. Dolby Vision, technology that improves the quality of displays, created darker darks, brighter brights and perfectly saturated colors, making every image pop in the film so we could see more vivid colors and every detail.

With The Eras Tour’s over three-hour-long runtime, Taylor understandably made some cuts in the movie. Among the lost songs were “The Archer,” “cardigan” and “Wildest Dreams.” Even songs specific to select shows on the tour — like “Long Live” and “no body, no crime” featuring HAIM — were missing. When we attended one of Taylor’s live concerts in Foxborough, Massachusetts, a few months ago, it was before “Long Live” was added to the setlist, so don’t blame us for our disappointment in its absence.

The film made up for its missing songs with themed visual effects during the transitions between eras. A giant snake wrapped around the stage for “reputation,” phone lights in the audience changed into stars for “folklore” and balloons cascaded into the sky for “Red.”

From the beginning of the film, seeing Taylor up close on the big screen revealed the intricacies of the show, from her outfits to her facial expressions. In “tolerate it” during the “evermore” set, we watched Taylor carefully set a table and sing with raw emotion. She stood on the table, threw vases to the floor and held onto her partner’s face. It was a full-on drama that would have gone underappreciated without the up-close and personal footage in the concert film. 

We experienced the live concert from the 11th row of the floor, so the angles shown in the movie gave us a completely different perspective of the stage. Before watching the film, we had no idea that there were dancers alongside Taylor during “Enchanted,” or that they wore red bottoms during the “Midnights” set. We learned that Taylor’s microphones change to match each era, and that each of her nails is a different color to match her album themes. The visuals were even clear enough to note her chipped “folklore” nail design. We watched her hair change from shiny and pin-straight during the “Lover” set to curly as the hours passed by.

Some movie watchers danced in the front of the theater during the film. (Manasa Gudavalli for WSN)

Seeing the details on the floor screen emphasized Taylor’s dedication to making the experience memorable for all of her fans. During “Delicate,” Taylor walked around the perimeter of the stage, stomping at key moments during the song, with long cracks snaking from her boots to the center of the performance space. As the beat dropped, Taylor jumped into the center of the stage, and all the cracks came together to create a shattered mural emphasizing just how “Delicate” it was. 

After the acoustic set, Taylor dived into the stage with a splash and appeared to swim under it, introducing the “Midnights” era with a giant crashing wave. The illusion of her traversing the stage was amplified by the overhead shot in the film, allowing us to see the entire ocean she created on the floor.

The Eras Tour is known for its show-specific surprise songs, and the ones included in the film did not disappoint. Taylor played her debut album’s hit “Our Song” on guitar, and a heartfelt piano rendition of the fan-favorite “You’re On Your Own, Kid” from “Midnights.” The contrast between the upbeat throwback and the more recent ballad made the two songs the perfect combination for every type of Swiftie.

The film experience showed that the fans were not the only ones enjoying themselves — Taylor herself was clearly having the time of her life. Her smiles and interactions with her dancers and the band exuded pure joy. In the introduction to the song “champagne problems,” she said how thankful she was for her fans and this tour, and her expressions throughout the performance confirmed her words.

Even the movie’s credits were fun to watch, with colorful friendship bracelets — a longstanding Swiftie tour tradition — thanking Taylor’s team, director and fans for making the tour possible, as “Long Live” played in the background. The side of the screen compiled footage of fans decked out for the tour with viral bloopers, a set of clips fans call “The Errors Tour.” Overall, the ending was the perfect nostalgic nod to all the Swifties that made both the film and the tour itself a success.

Emily Genova, Natalie Thomas, Naisha Roy and Manasa Gudavalli stand in front of a door posing with "The Eras Tour" posters.
Emily Genova, Natalie Thomas, Naisha Roy and Manasa Gudavalli pose with “The Eras Tour” posters. (Kevin Wu for WSN)

Contact Manasa Gudavalli, Natalie Thomas, Naisha Roy and Emily Genova at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Manasa Gudavalli
Manasa Gudavalli, Editor-in-Chief
Manasa Gudavalli is a super senior studying a super strange combination of psychology, mathematics, journalism, and chemistry. When they are not editing the Washington Square News, they are probably reading Freud, watching college football, or developing film photos. You can find them on Instagram @manasa.gudavalli and
Natalie Thomas
Natalie Thomas, Editor-at-Large
Naisha Roy
Naisha Roy, Editor-at-Large
Naisha Roy is a second-year studying journalism and Spanish & Linguistics. She loves covering topics like immigration issues and NYU policies. In her free time, she's probably doing the daily crossword or cooking while listening to Taylor Swift. She loves spending her weekends finding cheap food spots around the city with her four best friends. You can reach out to her on Instagram @naisharoy9 if you ever need to rant about how AP Style doesn't use the Oxford Comma.
Emily Genova
Emily Genova, Managing Editor
Emily Genova is a senior studying Media, Culture, and Communication and Creative Writing. She spends her free time reading, obsessing over pop artists and speed walking around campus. You can find her on Instagram @emilygenova or email her at [email protected]
Kevin Wu
Kevin Wu, Digital Director
Kaiyu (Kevin) Wu is a senior double-majoring in Media, Culture, and Communication and Journalism. He directs everything digital at WSN. You can directly reach him digitally at [email protected].

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