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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Tell them how the crowds went wild for ‘Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour’

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Paolo Villanueva/Flickr

Friday, Oct. 13, is often considered an unlucky day, with superstitions and spirits swirling on people’s minds. But for Taylor Swift, it marked the widespread release of her newest project, “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour.”

The concert movie premiered in theaters with record-shattering numbers, officially  heralded as the highest grossing domestic debut for a concert film of all time and one of the biggest opening weekends for a film this year. And while the numbers are certainly impressive — and prove once again that this really is Swift’s world for the taking — the movie itself is even better.

I was fortunate enough to attend The Eras Tour in person. And while I was naturally excited to relive one of the best nights of my life on the big screen, I’ve never been the kind of person who gravitated towards concert films. I naively assumed that while I would enjoy it, “The Eras Tour” would be the same.

I will be the first to admit it — I was completely and utterly wrong.

As the coming attractions came to an end and the lights dimmed, a familiar sight popped up on the screen: a countdown clock set to 13 — the same one that counted down Swift’s arrival to the mainstage during The Eras Tour. And suddenly I felt the familiar twinges of excitement in my stomach.

From a technical standpoint, it’s easy to realize how visually and audibly impressive the film is. The quality of the visuals are so good it feels like Swift is standing directly in front of you, performing her three-hour setlist just for you to see. The audio of the cheering fans, screaming and singing along to every song, submerses the audience into feeling like they’re right there in the stadium.

But for most of us Swift fans, the technical aspects are not the most important part. That comes about seven minutes into the film, when dancers lift gorgeous pieces of multi-colored fabric to reveal Swift, standing in the middle of the stage in one of her bedazzled “Lover” era bodysuits.

This was a sight I’d seen before. I’d been in the audience, screaming and crying and jumping up and down as Swift began singing “Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince.” I’d looked around me at the rows of people feeling the same thing as I was, feeling beyond lucky that the fates had aligned to put me in this moment.

And yet, as I sat in an IMAX theater in the middle-of-nowhere New Hampshire, I felt the same thing. That’s the magic of Swift and the most impressive thing about “The Eras Tour:” there is never a moment throughout the two hour and 48 minute run time where she doesn’t make you feel.

The concert movie takes audiences on a journey through Swift’s 10 eras of music, spanning 17 years of a truly groundbreaking career. Each era is introduced through a fun title card that shortens the transitions in the show from each album (for longtime fans, keep an eye out for Karyn’s exciting upgrade).

Swift’s setlist stays mostly intact, though devastating losses can be felt when “The Archer” and “cardigan” disappear from their respective sets. Why she does what she does, I could never say, but I would’ve happily sat in the theater 10 minutes longer if it meant hearing each set in its entirety.

Perhaps I’m biased, but “The Eras Tour” shows Swift at her best: singing and dancing around the stage with her band, her dancers and her fans. Everyone who is there — at the concert and at the movie theater — is there because they love something, and they love it together.

I was five years old when I fell in love with Swift. One of my earliest memories is sitting in the backseat of my mom’s first minivan, singing along to “Tim McGraw” in my booster seat as we drove home at the end of the day. Now, I drive around in my own car, listening to Swift’s music so loud that everyone in the neighborhood gets to enjoy it.

While I’ve been a fan since the beginning, my theater was full of little kids who had definitely been born no earlier than the “reputation” era (and I get it — “Dress” is a really sexy song). But what could’ve easily been a distraction was nothing more than another thing to bring a smile on my face. I watched as young girls in tulle and sequins jumped up and began to dance uncontrollably, their high-pitched giggles Swift’s back-up singers for the showing.

“The Eras Tour” movie is groundbreaking. But for many of us fans, it’s also like getting to come home again. So when Swift starts her show singing, “It’s you and me, that’s my whole world,” it’s impossible not to believe it.

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Zoe Leone, Arts & Life Editor

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