Taylor Swift Lives Up to Her Big Reputation in The Eras Tour Concert Film

Swift delivers for fans wanting to experience or relive “The Eras Tour”

Photo: Taylor Swift Productions.

Swifties all from all over the world are swarming to their local movie theater chain to experience (or relive) “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour.” Clad in outfits inspired by Taylor Swift’s different “eras”—or albums—and armed with themed cups and popcorn bins costing $19.89. That’s not-so-coincidently Swift’s birth year and the name of her fifth album. One of 10 albums celebrated in “The Eras Tour” film in which TS performs 45 songs in a runtime of just under three hours. Super fan or not, it’s enjoyable to watch a talented artist doing the thing they do well, and Swift does it all too well.

The beauty of her performance is in the details. The mastermind cinematography, lighting, costumes and set design that tell the story of each of Swift’s distinct eras. The film, recorded at three different SoFi Stadium performances, opens with songs from the 2019 album, Lover. Swift stuns in a bejeweled bodysuit as she breaks into an excerpt of her song Miss Americana & the Heartbreak Prince. That sparkle never leaves the screen. In her folksier eras, Folklore (2020) and Evermore (2020), Swift’s flowy gowns have subtle sparkly floral imprints as she gets out her guitar in front of the Folklore cabin. The audience even looks likes sequins from the perspective of the stage, but up-close shots reveal fans of all ages crying, screaming, or singing.

To really put the longevity of her career into perspective: I saw “The Era’s Tour” film with my 10-year-old niece. When I was her age, Swift had already released her second album, Fearless (2008). Whether one was 15 years old when the song Fifteen came out or currently 15 years old, born when the song was released, Swift’s music is as relatable as it has always been. The timeless nature of her music is part of the fandom’s magic. My niece made eras-inspired friendship bracelets—an Era’s tour tradition based on a song lyric from You’re On Your Own Kid—and gave them to a few college-aged girls sitting next to us.

This is all important context to the film because I’m not sure if I can’t think of any other artist whose recorded concert would garner this big of a crowd, apart from Beyonce, who is releasing a film of her Renaissance tour soon. But both Renaissance and Eras tickets were hard to come by. Even for swifties willing to spend the hundreds of dollars, the 2022 Ticketmaster controversy (an event that has its own Wikipedia page) caused calamity for fans hoping to see their idol. Perhaps that’s why Swift partnered directly with theaters as opposed to a major studio for the film. But, those who missed out on the live show get the next best thing—a beautifully shot, multi-angle, high-definition full-length video on a 45-foot screen. That sure beats the FOMO-inducing iPhone clips uploaded to Tik Tok. For lucky fans who managed to make it to one of the 146 tour dates, the film is a chance to relive an enchanting night.

Madalyn Chapman, 23, is a social media specialist by trade but a Taylor Swift fan by heart. She’s been a Swiftie since 2008, but really got back into the fan base during college. Chapman traveled from Maryland to attended night two of the Philadelphia tour stop on May 13, 2023. She described it as the most amazing experience she’s ever had.

“I love her music because even if I haven’t experienced everything exactly the way she has, the raw emotion behind the songs is something I can relate to and think about in my own life. Her music has become the soundtrack to so many of my own ‘eras’ throughout my life.”

Madalyn Chapman at The Era's Tour
Chapman at The Eras Tour Courtesy of Madalyn Chapman

Unlike her experience attending The Eras Tour by herself, she went to see the film with friends who liked Swift’s music but weren’t at the same level of fandom as Chapman. Some notable changes from the three-and-a-half hour live show were the cutting of a few songs, including the beloved Cardigan, and some of Swift’s speeches like the one about deciding to re-record her albums.

While the film allowed Chapman to see everything that she couldn’t from her floor seats twenty rows back, there are moments that can never be replicated in a movie theater. Like, the night of Chapman’s concert producing a viral moment in which Swift yells at a security guard for disrupting a fan. The concert provided a safe space for fans to unapologetically be themselves and let the music move them.

“The atmosphere at the concert is just so much better,” Chapman said. “The film was still a lot of fun, and the first night that I went, we traded bracelets with a bunch of Swifties and everyone in the theater had a great time. But there’s something about being at the concert, knowing you’re in the same space as Taylor Swift and she’s about to be right in front of you.”

With so many individual theaters playing the show, as opposed to one big stadium, this leaves some variation of experience not typically associated with seeing a movie in a theater. My niece and I didn’t know what to expect, but hoped to see people dressed up like we were. I pulled out my light blue tutu skirt out of a bin and bought some heart-shaped sunglasses for Lover while my niece donned a fringed red dress for the 2012 Red album (a tour I attended a decade ago.) While there were plenty of people wearing TS merch and era’s outfits, we realized that this was not going to be like the videos where fans held hands and danced in a circle. Everyone remained seated.

In hindsight, that makes sense. After all, Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour is a film, not a concert (albeit the highest grossing concert film of all time.) Going to the movies is like the introverted sibling of going to a concert. If concert films are about to be the next be thing, that could really be a benefit for people who don’t like the chaos or costs of concerts but love the music. But I certainly don’t think concert films will ever replace the real thing, a one-night-only, never replicated event and the bond with those who experienced it too—Chapman was seated next to a stranger who she keeps in touch with.

Friendship Bracelets at The Era's Tour
Friendship Bracelets at The Eras Tour Courtesy of Madalyn Chapman

“Being a Swiftie has given me so much joy throughout my life in a way few other things have,” Chapman said. “I’ve met some amazing people through her and her music and I’m so grateful to her for that.”

Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour is an unprecedented cinematic experience. It’s not a consolation prize for not getting to see Swift in person. Rather, the film and concert work in conjunction to document and celebrate the creativity, stamina, and versatility of one of the most prominent artists of the 21st century. But for those looking to sing and dance along, they might have to wait until it starts steaming.

Written by Joyelle Ronan

As a pop-culture enthusiast, Joyelle particularly enjoys television, film and theater. She is interested in writing about how the media arts help people relate to, explore and find meaning in life. You can check out more of her stuff at

Leave a Reply

Film Obsessive welcomes your comments. All submissions are moderated. Replies including personal attacks, spam, and other offensive remarks will not be published. Email addresses will not be visible on published comments.

Dracula welcomes Renfield to his castle

Where to Start with Universal Pictures Horror, Part II

A man and a woman appear threatened by an unseen monster.

On Blu-Ray, Roger Corman’s Beast from Haunted Cave Returns