Ladies and gentlemen, will you please stand, because Taylor Swift has hit the ground running.
In early 2023, Swift announced her second stadium tour after Reputation in 2018 — the now coveted Eras Tour. The live concert, which crashed American ticket sales and distribution company Ticketmaster’s website, began on March 17, 2023 and is projected to end in December 2024, making it her biggest concert yet.
So far, the tour has left a remarkable mark on culture, economy, and politics, as reflected in its unprecedented demand, ticket sales, venue attendance records, and the need for price regulation and anti-scalping laws in the US. It also boosted economies, businesses, and tourism, and garnered significant attention in news cycles and social media. It is an open-and-shut case. This is Taylor Swift’s world, and we are all just living in it.
Towards the end of the first leg of the tour, Taylor announced the Eras Tour concert movie. Concert movies are an artist’s way of bringing the experience to a wider audience without having to figure out live show logistics. It makes them accessible to an audience who live for the hope of it all.
For the Indian Swifties who have heard every album, listened to the radio, and been wonder-struck by her music, it’s been a long time coming. We knew that a live show would not be in the cards, but still the yearning stays. The saving grace comes in the form of the concert film that was released on November 3 in India, 21 days after it was originally released worldwide.
We counted days, made our own playlists, rewatched Instagram Reels of fellow swifties across borders dance in theatres, just like we had watched them dance at the stadiums. Drunk on this pain, when the tickets finally dropped, we did not hold back. Over 25,000 tickets were sold for opening day all over the country.
The 2 hour 45 minute-long spectacle was filled with moments that will never go out of style, like when she hugs Kobe Bryant’s daughter Bianka, and offers her hat while singing ‘22’. Spanning through all ten of her albums, the show pays homage to the ‘eras’ of Taylor Swift.
The sold-out shows were a hopeful sign. The theatres were filled with fans dressed in pastels, purples, blacks and blues, representing different ears, and singing “Are you ready for it?’”. The answer was a resounding yes! It was time to escape this town for a little while and enter the world of song and dance.
The stars had aligned perfectly. There was dancing, exchanging bracelets, screaming the chants and lyrics with the loudest women this town has ever seen. Picture me thick as thieves with the group of girls beside me. A sisterhood was formed. I can’t make any promises, but you might just come back home with a bracelet on your arm and a memory of a lifetime.
The movie does not provide any further info on set design, stage, lighting, sound, projections, costume design, and other aspects of the mega production, but focuses solely on making you feel like you’re part of a live show. Still, if I did not know better, I would have believed it. The surreal visuals of how the crowds in the stands went wild, the dancers, laughters, and tears were everything I could have hoped for.
It’s difficult to predict Taylor’s next move, but it would be interesting to watch a documentary or a ‘behind the scenes’ for the Eras Tour, like we got the Miss Americana film which went into the makings of the Reputation stadium tour.
Perhaps the most disappointing moment of the movie, apart from the songs that were cut out (‘Archer’, ‘Cardigan’, ‘no body no crime’, ‘Wildest Dreams’) was the placement of the intermission. All my saddest fears came creeping in when we went into intermission before the end of the fifth era (Red), right before Swift’s award-winning 10-minute song ‘All too well’. It’s clear that the Indian theatres had not consulted with a Swiftie. Champagne problems.
Besides being a good writer and singer, Taylor is also an exceptional performer, and everybody agrees. The cynics can take several seats because the strength and stamina it takes to sing, dance, run, climb, play the guitar, the piano and do it all while in high heels will go down in history.
Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour is currently running in theatres