Commentary: "Eras Tour" film captures the Taylor Swift concert experience – Yakima Herald-Republic

Taylor Swift performs as fans pack Lumen Field for her Eras Tour concert Saturday, July 22, 2023, in Seattle. (Luke Johnson / The Seattle Times)
Taylor Swift performs as fans pack Lumen Field for her Eras Tour concert Saturday, July 22, 2023, in Seattle. (Luke Johnson / The Seattle Times)
Fans will finally be able to see Taylor Swift’s popular “The Eras Tour” film in their own home via Disney+ starting March 15. This expanded edition of the movie is titled “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour (Taylor’s Version)” and will include a performance of “Cardigan,” which wasn’t part of the theater version of the film. It will also feature four additional acoustic performances.
The Eras Tour concert
I had the privilege of seeing the queen of the music industry perform live last summer, and it was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Taylor Swift has been on tour since March 2023. Ticket sales were an ordeal and, ultimately, every single show sold out. I owe an endless amount of thanks to my best friend’s stepmom, who snagged tickets during the Capital One presale, guaranteeing us spots for the first of her July 22-23 stagings of The Eras Tour in Seattle.
That entire day of the concert was surreal: putting on the outfit I had chosen, the drive to Lumen Field and, finally, the wait. This all led up to the moment that Swift herself walked out on stage and began singing “Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince” from her seventh studio album, “Lover.” It felt like a dream.
The openers for night one of the Seattle show were Gracie Abrams and Haim. The latter had been featured on Swift’s 2020 album “Evermore,” and later in the concert they performed with her on the song “No Body, No Crime.”
Prior to attending, I had tried to scroll past any Eras Tour-related content on social media that reported on things such as the costumes and set list, but it was pretty difficult to avoid it completely.
One of the staples of the tour is what became known as the “surprise songs.” These could be any songs that weren’t a definite part of the set list. There was a catch, though: Each song could only be used as a surprise song once. They are played acoustically, either on guitar or piano.
“This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things” from 2017’s “Reputation” and “Everything Has Changed” from 2021’s “Red (Taylor’s Version)” were the surprise songs for that first night in Seattle.
Dressing as a specific era from Swift’s past music and videos was the unspoken concert dress code, and it was fun to see the costumes that people wore. There were pink outfits inspired by “Lover” and snake-themed “Reputation” outfits. I saw a group wearing robes inspired by the “Willow” performance, and a few people had even fully recreated some of Taylor’s iconic outfits.
The stadium was packed and all us Swifties were fully engaged in the performance — singing along, dancing, jumping up and down. The wristbands that we had gotten on the way in flashed different colors, creating a sea of light.
Getting to see Taylor Swift perform live was far beyond my wildest dreams (get it?), and The Eras Tour concert was nothing less than amazing.
The concert film
On Oct. 12, “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” concert film was released in theaters nationwide. The movie was filmed from performances during the singer’s Aug. 1-3 shows in Los Angeles. At nearly 3 hours in length, it doesn’t include two of the song performances that were part of the set list from the 3½-hour live concerts.
I think it’s cool when people come together to enjoy the things that they love. I was surrounded by strangers last July in Seattle and then last October in the theater, but there was an atmosphere of belonging in both.
One of the most iconic things from The Eras Tour was inspired by a line from “You’re On Your Own, Kid,” a track from “Midnights.” In the song, Swift says to “Make the friendship bracelets” and to “take the moment and taste it.” So, Swifties began making and trading friendship bracelets at the concerts.
Bracelet trading wasn’t something that I had the opportunity to do when I went to the concert in Seattle. But a week before I went to see the film, I got supplies to make bracelets — all of which I traded at the theater.
The movie feels immersive, and it is clear that the filmmakers had put a lot of time into perfecting the shots used. The film provides a closer and clearer view of the choreography, the incredible costumes, and the performances themselves.
The “Eras Tour” film does an exceptional job of capturing the performance and the feeling of the concert I experienced with more than 72,000 other fans that night last year in Seattle. 
Jillian Strother is a senior at Riverside Christian School.
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