‘Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour’ Has a SAG-AFTRA Interim Agreement, Duncan Crabtree-Ireland Tells Us
ManOfTheCenturyMovie Film The ‘Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour’ Experience: Breaking Down Sing-Along Moments, Fan Freak-Outs, and More

The ‘Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour’ Experience: Breaking Down Sing-Along Moments, Fan Freak-Outs, and More

‘Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour’ Has a SAG-AFTRA Interim Agreement, Duncan Crabtree-Ireland Tells Us

Are you ready for it?

Several IndieWire staffers met up Friday night for what was supposed to be opening night of “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” at a NYC theater. Anticipation? High. Energy level? Even higher. Drinks consumed? Unprecedented.

Taylor’s Eras tour concert film is so much concert film. It’s nearly three hours long and Swift is her supernova self, hustling through 17 years of music with eras both mellow (hi, “evermore”) and nostalgic. (A high point in our particular theater was the euphoric in-your-seat dancing to high school throwback “You Belong with Me.”) While the audience energy level was definitely higher than the kind you’d find with your typical Friday night cinephiles, the crowd mostly remained seated, and the singing along was kept simply to key lyrics.

It was a night filled with friendship bracelets, light up Taylor glow sticks (more on that later), and at least one homemade Taylor T-shirt. All to be expected. But as the self-appointed Taylor expert of the group —yes, I went to see the Eras tour twice previously, thank you very much — I wondered how the concert film would work for those not steeped in Swiftie mythology.

Related Stories

Martin Scorsese Calls ‘Barbenheimer’ the ‘Perfect Storm’ to Boost Theaters: It’s ‘Wonderful’

Still Sandra Hüller in "Anatomy of a Fall" standing in a court box, framed by people watching her in the gallery of a courtroom.

Neon’s Tom Quinn Calls International Oscar Selection a ‘Horribly Broken Process’: This Isn’t ‘Eurovision’

Ryan, did the movie live up to your expectations of the concert tour you haven’t actually seen?

RYAN LATTANZIO: Having been shut out of buying Taylor tickets thrice — and even after enlisting in various “verified fan” presales — I was feeling a bit burned by the whole affair. But this concert film, directed by Sam Wrench, I have to say blew me away. Swift is a consummate professional as ever but what stood out to me this time was the strength of her vocals. I’m coming at this as a “folklore” era fan and previously a “1989” head and otherwise casual listener prior, and the movie offered up a nice sampling of all these, even opening with tracks from “Lover” to ease in those listeners who aren’t so familiar with her earlier stuff. But now I must say I am all in on “Red,” an album that eluded me in my youth that I’ll now be spinning endlessly.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 11: Taylor Swift attends the
Taylor Swift attends the “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” Concert Movie World Premiere at AMC The Grove 14 on October 11, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for TAS)Getty Images for TAS

My takeaway from the “Eras Tour” movie is similar to what I’ve gleaned over the years from seeing opera simulcasted in movie theaters, which is that in a sense it’s better to see on a giant screen in front of your face. And anyway, the reveling tweens singing and dancing and twirling around the theater were in no short supply, so it basically felt like being at a concert anyway. In a year in which every movie is seemingly two and a half hours and counting, this nearly-three-hour concert film flew by, whereas other films this year that rival its running time crawl.

ERIN STRECKER: Yeah, I was still raring to go when the credits rolled. Kate, a thing I love about you is your enthusiasm for the ~whole deal~. What was your take on the die-hard fans around us and the overall experience?

KATE ERBLAND: In the lead up to our trip to “The Eras Tour,” I vowed to go all-in on the experience, to really let the communal joy of Swifties (of which I don’t count myself, though I certainly enjoy a lot of Swift’s music, particularly of the “Red” and “1989” vintage) wash over me, to trade friendship bracelets with whoever I could find (my first trade: a very kind AMC employee who sold me the first of many cans of hard seltzer), to sing along with whatever songs I did know, to dance in my seat, and to break out my own big guns (a Travis Kelce jersey, which I have owned for years, and which has taken on new, bizarre resonance in recent weeks).

I, of course, was no match for some of the more ebullient of our audience-mates, including a trio of gals who brought their own glow sticks (not to be confused with the very game AMC employees who had their own glow sticks at the ready, deploying them as part of a choreographed run around the theater during the first act of the film; this sounds insane, but it was really cute) and danced around the auditorium during the entire run of the show. (Of note: when I noticed the glow sticks, I did gently hiss at Erin, “Why don’t you have any of these?,” meaning, of course, “Why don’t you have any of these that I could have borrowed and also waved around?”)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 11: Taylor Swift (C) with dancers and band attend the
Taylor Swift with dancers and band attend the “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” Concert Movie World Premiere at AMC The Grove 14 on October 11 in Los AngelesGetty Images

To some people — including me, who can get so annoyed at screenings in which people are on their phones or talking too much, I nearly break out in hives — this might sound awful. But it wasn’t! It was fun and cute and giddy and it made for a communal movie-going experience like I haven’t had in years. I didn’t have to vow to go all-in on the experience, it was sort of baked in already. I dare anyone to go to “The Eras Tour” and not have a delightful time and, perhaps oddly, walk away from their showing not only feeling a deep admiration for Swift and her level of live-show pageantry (I may have yelled, “I’m converted!” at least twice) but also remembering the pure joy of taking in a show with a bunch of strangers. I don’t know if Swift is going to save movie theaters, but she did remind me of their power as gathering place for people looking to revel in something, together.

My query for you, oh great and wise Taylor stan: we knew the concert film couldn’t include the full run of Swift’s show and thus some songs were cut, so which did you really miss? What heartbreakers were snipped? In short, which missing jams are going to (maybe) lead to some light in-theater rioting?

ERIN STRECKER: Oh, man! Well, happily, there really were only about four songs that were cut from the proceedings. But I was hopeful that “no body, no crime” — her duet with Haim — which she only performed at the West coast dates would make the cut so I could finally, finally watch that barn burner live. But it wasn’t met to be.

I have to say I was a bit surprised she cut “Wildest Dreams” from her “1989” mega montage set. It, like the other “1989” tracks, are a bit truncated in “Eras Tour” (likely due to the fact that she has toured them extensively already, as opposed to several of her newer albums). So it would have only added about two minutes to the run time. I missed it!

Proma, you had to deal with me sitting next to you volunteering info like “OK, so ‘reputation’ is under-appreciated” and “That guitarist has been with her since 2007.” How was the rest of your newbie Swift experience?

PROMA KHOSLA: I also would not consider myself a Swiftie, however I did make “1989” my entire personality for several weeks in 2014 and expect to do the same again when Swift releases her version (cutting “Wildest Dreams” was a personal attack!) Erin might be the Taylor expert here, but I think I was the most strongly prepared among the rest of us as someone who spent her whole life watching three-hour Bollywood movie musicals. I was highly amused at the concern leading up to this film’s release for people singing and dancing in theaters; in India this is just called “going to the movies.”

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - MARCH 31: EDITORIAL USE ONLY Taylor Swift performs onstage during the
Taylor Swift on the Eras tourGetty Images for TAS Rights Mana

And as a Bollywood fan with my own performance background, I was blown away. Not only is Swift a magnetic performer as Ryan mentioned, but the entire concert is nonstop, seamless, brilliant spectacle. From fire shooting across the backdrop to Swift diving into the stage (how?!?) to detailed sets corresponding with each album, the production was impeccable. And those dancers, my god — I think I genuinely had my mouth hanging open for chunks of this movie, definitely for the entirety of “Ready for It?” The great thing about watching this in tightly-edited video form and not from distant seats in a stadium was being able to form a connection to each individual performer, to see how they all engaged with the music and lyrics and brought that to life with their bodies — including Swift herself, I see that Broadway diva ballet hand, girl.

I see that none of you have mentioned Ryan’s effusive love for “My Tears Ricochet,” easily one of the standout moments of this viewing experience. Erin, you were right there with him ascending to the heavens during that funeral anthem — any final thoughts now that we’ve all ascended?

ERIN STRECKER: I have to say that watching you three relative newbies enjoy this film really was something out of my wildest dreams. As you know, there have been times over the last several years where Swift wasn’t as massively popular as she is right now (though, point of clarification: She’s been one of our biggest stars for at least a decade, internet approval or not). I admit over the last year watching her became the biggest star in the world, I’ve been a bit smug. See? I’ve thought. You just give her a chance and my girl will blow you away. The fact that “Cruel Summer” wasn’t a single or hit when it came out four years ago but now is a top five song in the country and the tune that soundtracks the “Eras” concert film trailer, well, patience in a virtue.

Everyone will become a Swiftie eventually. I’ll be there to greet them when they give in and surrender.


Related Post