All The Best And Worst Bits Of The Religious Experience That Is ‘Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour’

Pray to mother.

On Friday night, I dolled myself up in my best Reputation black (with Speak Now purple eyeshadow because how is a girl to choose?) and donned my ‘Mirrorball’ and ‘F**ked In The Head’ friendship bracelets to attend Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour movie.

Honorary dry white wine in hand (exactly as Swift would have wanted it), I followed the staircase of my local theatre into the cavernous space where I would behold one of the most magical experiences of my life.

But – would I recommend you go if you’re not a hard-core Swiftie? And what should you expect if you do? Let me, a mega fan of Miss Taylor Alison Swift, take you through the peaks and pits of this unique experience.

Should You See Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour Movie Before The Concert?

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Everyone is going to feel different about this one. Of my entire group of Swiftie friends, I was the only one who braved the cinema at the risk of knowing too much before attending the concert in person.

Completely fair dues if you’re a Swiftie who wants to wait until after February to see the movie. However, having absorbed every single snippet available on social media, I was prepared to enjoy my movie experience before the actual show.

I do not regret a thing. I’d seen it all already in grainy TikToks, so getting to feast my eyes on what I think is the GTOAT (greatest tour of all time), in high definition, was about as close to a religious experience as I’m going to get. I didn’t find out anything I didn’t already know, but I did finally get my front row seat to chant song lyrics to my heart’s content and shed a tear during ‘All Too Well’. Safe to say that Swifties aren’t about to shake that ‘cult’ moniker any time soon.

I’m so glad I was able to see all the detail up close before I actually sit in my highly coveted nosebleed seats at Accor Stadium, four rows from the very back. I think it will give me that much more context when the show actually happens live.

The Best And Worst Bits Of Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour

Win: The Opening Moments

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Surrounded by other Swifties in ‘Not A Lot Going On At The Moment’ t-shirts and a LOT of gold flapper dresses, the theatre hum turned into a kind of frantic silence as the opening clock ticked down to start the show. Attendees were unsure whether they should speak, sing, or simply try to inhale and exhale in anticipation, but as the countdown clock hit five some brave movie goers yelled, ‘five, four, three, two, one’ before the ‘It’s a long time coming’ intro played.

I wasn’t sure my heart could feel quite so full, surrounded by so many likeminded people, all waiting to see a show that means so much to us. A highlight, for sure.

Win: The Cruel Summer Bridge

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The thing about the Swifties attending opening night is that they’re probably pretty hardcore fans. Yet, overcoming the trepidation of singing out loud in a theatre, where you’re conditioned to keep quiet and respect other movie-goers took a second.

It was all demure seat-swaying and chorus humming, until we got to the bridge of ‘Cruel Summer’ where all attempts to be civil were quickly forgotten as hundreds of Australians yelled “I love you, ain’t that the worst thing you’ve ever heard (he looks up grinnin’ like a devil)” in perfect time.

You best believe we crossed that bridge with Tay Tay, and from there, people were singing. Loudly, but nicely.

I’ve since seen videos on TikTok of generalized mayhem lining the front of cinemas, as fans yell, cry and descend into Swiftie mania. While I actually would have liked that vibe, I know there have been a lot of other Swifties saying they actually want to watch the show in detail and not be interrupted by their seat neighbour’s unhinged singing.

After attending, I’d say there’s a happy medium. Key moments like bridge on ‘Cruel Summer’ and ‘All Too Well’, the breakdown in ‘Illicit Affairs’ and the spoken word bit of ‘We Are Never Getting Back Together’ are all fair game for loud singing and off-key yelling. But in general, a more civilized singalong with in-seat dancing appears to be the way to go.

Win: The Surprise Songs

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If you’re not down for spoilers on which surprise songs Swift picked for the movie, scroll through to the next point.

Ok, now I’ve got the rest of you…holy heck! I simply can’t believe that she chose ‘Our Song’ from her first album Taylor Swift (Debut) and then ‘You’re On Your Own Kid’ from her final album Midnights, as the chosen songs.

As a YOYOK stan, I cannot believe my luck that I can watch her perform it over and over again in my spare time when the movie inevitably is released on streaming. Given it’s already been performed so many times in concert I’m resigned to her not playing it when I attend in Sydney, so this was a salve to that heartache.

Secondly, ‘Our Song’ is such a fitting choice, given it has literally been an anthem for so many Swifties over the years. They say Swift doesn’t pick the right singles but here she could not have been more on the money. What a special way to pay homage to the fans turning out in droves to watch her sing these songs.

Win: The Chants

Don’t forget the Fearless ‘You Belong With Me’ double clap during the bridge. (Credit: Image: Getty)

Before you attend the Eras Tour movie, I suggest you prep for some of the chants you’re likely to hear (and enjoy) while you’re there. It’s a majorly fun inside joke and a great opportunity to practice before you go to see the concert.

There are a lot, but the most popular ones are as follows:

  • You Belong With Me Double Clap: Honestly one of the most fun songs on the set list, when Swift sings ‘You Belong With Me’, fans include a double clap in the bridge after the line, “I’m the one who makes you laugh, when you know you’re about to cry.”
  • Delicate 123LGB: One of the more popular chants that rose to fame after one Swiftie yelled it at a concert and posted the video to TikTok. You’re supposed to yell “One, two, three, let’s go bit*h” after she says “We can’t make any promises now can we babe? But you can make me a drink.”
  • The Holy Church Of Don’t Blame Me: I did say religious experience! In this one when Swift sings, “Every time you’re, every time you’re loving me”, Swifties reply “Take us to church, Taylor!”
  • All Too Well Expletives: During ‘All Too Well (10 Minute Version)’, fans are encouraged to yell and not sing the line “F*ck the patriarchy”.
  • Bad Blood Rap: If you remember the original version of ‘Bad Blood’ featuring Kenrick Lamar he raps over one segment, which fans now repeat in concert. She sings, “Band-Aids don’t fix bullet holes, you say sorry just for show and if you live like that, you live with ghosts”, to which Swifties sing, “You forgive, you forget, but you never let it go.”
  • Karma Facts: Another rap moment where Ice Spice says the word ‘facts’ over Taylor’s backing vocals in ‘Karma’, which fans like to yell. Swift sings, “Karma takes all my friends to the summit” and Swifties yell Ice Spice’s line “Facts”.
  • Anti-Hero Commiserations: Given the general tone of ‘Anti-Hero’ Swifties wanted an opportunity to console Swift about her self-loathing. She sings “Did you hear my covert narcissism I disguise as altruism, like some kind of congressman”, to which Swifties reply “Taylor, you’ll be fine.”

Win: Frothing The Songs You Thought Would Be Your Toilet Break

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The most unexpected win about witnessing Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour was that my usual ‘skips’ ended up being ‘slaps’.

NB: No Swift song is ever a ‘skip’, but we all have the ones that speak to our soul more than others.

As a writer, and evermore, folklore and Fearless girlie, I tend to like the more lyrically inventive tracks rather than bops like ‘Shake It Off’, ‘You Need To Calm Down’ and ‘Look What You Made Me Do’. However, I have to admit that Swift was very right to include them in the setlist, they were so fun!

I have completely changed my expectations of those songs and am even more excited to get to see them live now.

Win: You Get To Plan Your Toilet Break

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If the Eras Tour concert is a test of pelvic floor endurance, then consider Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour movie your opportunity to train.

Having seen the concert now, I realise I was foolish to think I’ll be able to last the whole show like a camel…I’m going to need to go at some point during the full three hours. While I would have said that the boppier Rep tracks around halfway through may have been my time to escape, I have changed my mind on that. They’re SO fun. Like so fun.

But no… I will not be sharing when my chosen point is because I would like there to be NO LINE when I arrive after frantically scaling the very steep steps of Accor Stadium.

Win: The Vigilante Sh*t Dance

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I don’t think I need to say a lot about this except that there were people in the theatre replicating the saucy moment that Swift drops into her Chicago-inspired chair during the ‘Vigilante Sh*t’ performance, and it was the most iconic thing I’ve ever seen.

A piece of sheer magic in high definition.

Loss: What Songs Got Cut From Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour movie?

RIP to ‘Long Live’. (Credit: Image: Getty)

We can’t talk about the amazing performance, the stellar concert filming, the heart-wrenching lyrics yelled gutturally during ‘Champagne Problems’ without a few losses. In this case, in an effort to keep the run time of Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour movie down, Swift had to cut a few tracks from the setlist.

I did not think that after finally winning ‘Long Live’ as a part of the show, following the release of Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) that we would lose it now in such spectacular fashion. When ‘Enchanted’ finished and we went straight into ‘22’, there was an audible gasp in the audience. It wasn’t made up for by the fact that it was the song used in the closing credits.

We also lost some other iconic battlers, including ‘The Archer’, ‘no body, no crime’, ‘Wildest Dreams’ and ‘cardigan’. However, some Swifties think they will be added back in when the film finally goes to streaming.

Loss: Being Called L.A.

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Given the show was filmed across four nights at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, all of Swift’s speaking interludes have her referring to the audience as L.A., a disconcerting moment when you’re tuning into the show from Sydney.

A nitpicky moment, but I am all the more keen to see what she says when she finally arrives in Australia (will we get the iconic ‘Sydney x Bad Blood’ TikTok loop? A girl can dream).

Would I Recommend Attending Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour Movie?

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Absolutely, without a doubt, yes. I went with a friend who only knows a few key songs and she says she came out a certified Swiftie. She was crying during YOYOK, grooving during ‘22’ and asking me ‘Is this about Jake Gyllenhaal?’ during ‘All Too Well’. I couldn’t be more proud.

For those expecting a documentary-style film, it’s not that. There is no backstage access or ‘how the costumes were made’ interludes, it’s just 2 hours and 48 minutes of pure music, joy and camaraderie.

If you didn’t like Swift before you went in, you’ll have a brand new appreciation for her after viewing. And if you’re already a Swiftie, prepare to, as Swift once said, “die dead” due to your emotions.

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