25 March 2024

After watching Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour, I finally got the hype!

| Jarryd Rowley
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Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour is a fantastically shot and brilliantly focussed concert film that deserves all its praise. Photo: Taylor Swift Productions.

I know I’m a little late to the show with this one but with the release of Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour on Disney+ this week, it was time to see what all the fuss was about.

Now less than 24 hours removed from finishing the film, I only have one thing to say: I’m sorry Swifties!

Normally I wouldn’t bother with watching post-recorded concerts because apart from Hamilton, (yes, I know it’s a stage play!), I haven’t been extremely interested in any.

Then shortly after the release of The Eras Tour in cinemas, constant memes and videos about fans acting like cult members and crying hit social media… and my interest dissolved almost completely.

But, after spending a quiet night by myself, I was scrolling through streaming apps and eventually landed on Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour. I sat there, preparing to turn it off shortly after starting. But much to my surprise, I watched all three-and-a-half hours of her film. I have now swallowed my pride and accepted, her tour looks pretty freaking cool!

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Beginning the show with Miss Americana & the Heartbreak Prince before transitioning into Cruel Summer was clearly a smart move. The upbeat, fast and no-nonsense pop song moves into one of her biggest hits and sets the standard for the show.

The cinematography is incredible, constantly pulling in and out of Ms Swift and the sold-out SoFi Stadium. It looked like a dream.

About 70,000 people guest star, singing loudly and with passion. If it wasn’t for my sibling’s Taylor Swift concert recording at the MCG in February, I could have sworn the noise was funnelled in for effect. But no, it’s just that loud.

I’m most familiar with Taylor’s older work so gravitated to hits such as Fearless, Love Story and You Belong With Me. What I didn’t expect was how much I enjoyed her newer material. Getaway Car and Anti-Hero are now saved on my Spotify and this show is to thank.

The show could have easily gotten by on its sing-along vibes alone, but the stage presence and clear confidence of Taylor and her backup performers elevated it from karaoke to something actually worth watching.

Swift’s dancing could use some work (please don’t kill me in the comments). But the way she works the crowd and the interactions she has on stage are akin to that of a high-budget stage play. Add lights, glamour and the larger-than-life props and you’ve got a fantastic show!

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A couple of negatives are more to do with the streaming platform than the actual show.

Disney+’s audio setting means it’s almost impossible to hear the music at its best quality. Add the fact Disney is no longer providing physical media, which offers better audio and visual quality, and it also makes it impossible to see this at its best without ordering something from the US or UK.

The second issue I have is the length. Three hours and 28 minutes is an eternity!

I learnt there was an extra half an hour added to the digital version, so maybe this one is on me for not seeing it in cinemas. But watching all this in one sitting is exhausting. It won’t deter the mega fans, but if you are expecting your boyfriend/girlfriend or spouse who isn’t a Swiftie to watch all of it, don’t blame them for checking their phones.

Ultimately, Tay Tay and her travelling circus’s film is a lot of fun. There’s always something impressive on the screen, her songs are undeniably catchy and her showmanship is second to none. Just like Michael Jackson in the 80s and 90s or the Beatles in the 60s, there is no denying Taylor Swift is this generation’s MEGASTAR.

Original Article published by Jarryd Rowley on Riotact.

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