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Taylor Swift Eras Tour Movie vs Concert: Which was better?

Taylor Swift Eras Tour Movie vs Concert: Which was better?

By Katherine Panas ‘25

Source for photo above: popbuzz.com

Taylor Swift, one of society’s most beloved singer-songwriters, has had an incredibly successful and busy year. With the release of her newest albums Midnights, Speak Now (Taylor’s Version), and 1989 (Taylor’s Version), the start of her well-known and sold out tour: The Eras Tour,  she recently released a nearly three hour movie in theaters about The Eras Tour.


Taylor Swift has been releasing music for seventeen years and her genre has shifted significantly over the years, from country to pop to almost rap then back to pop and indie/folk with a final return to pop music. Consequently, she has accumulated an extremely large fan base. Unfortunately, since so many people wanted tickets to The Eras Tour,  not everyone who wanted to was able to attend and many “Swifties” were left disappointed.


During The Eras Tour, many of her fans, especially those who were unable to get tickets, would watch her perform on live streams through social media platforms like TikTok. But, this was most certainly not the same as dressing up (many fans donned specific "era" themed costumes from her various albums) and attending the concert in person. Additionally, there was no one to trade Taylor Swift themed friendship bracelets with, as people do at her concerts. However, these fans are now able to experience a simulation of the live concert with the release of the concert movie in theaters. But is the experience really the same?


The movie is essentially a film version of her concert, specifically filmed during one of her LA shows. When the film was announced, many people were thrilled with the news and intended to treat this movie as if it were a live concert, just one shown in movie theaters. Taylor Swift herself wrote in an instagram post, that “Eras attire, friendship bracelets, singing and dancing [are] encouraged.” Taylor Swift intended for this movie to be just like the concert for her fans and her production team worked to make this possible. However there were still some differences that may have seemed small, but still made the movie slightly less fun when compared to the concert, though both were fun for “Swifties”.


According to fans who attended both versions of the show, they were both amazing in their own ways, but there will always be something more special about the actual concert in comparison to the movie. Yes, in the movie, the view of Taylor Swift’s performance is much better, unless of course one were to have front row seats. However, just seeing Taylor Swift perform and listening to her music is not why fans enjoy her concerts so much. We all like to listen to our favorite singer, but can’t you do that from home, in the car, or essentially anywhere else?


One major reason people love her shows so much is the community that her fan base has created. They even have a name for themselves. They refer to themselves as “Swifties”. Unlike for some other performers, Swifts arrive early at the stadium venues to tailgate, and many even dress up. For this particular concert, they would dress up as their favorite era, and  they make sure to make and friendship bracelets to trade. Although some fans chose to dress up and make bracelets for the movie, a large portion of them did not make friendship bracelets and several simply wore Taylor Swift merchandise to the movie, to be comfortable, rather than going all out to dress like a Taylor Swift era with sequin dresses or cowboy boots. Furthermore, movie watchers did not participate in the tailgating part of the actual Taylor Swift concerts.


The stadium concerts are unique experiences because of the setting. The stadiums allowed for more special effects that could be seen in person that were not shown or experienced in the movie. Two examples of this include the fire in front of the stands and confetti falling to the ground. The giant staid setting setting has allowed for higher intensity singing and dancing from the fans. All theaters are different, but most people who attended both found that the people in the theater had a tendency to sing less than those in the concert. This is most likely due to the open air of a stadium that movie theaters just do not have.

But the greatest reason that the film is not as good at the concert is the fact that there is only so much you can fit into a movie, so some songs including The Archer, Long Live, Wildest Dreams, Cardigan, and no body, no crime were cut from the film. Additionally, a major part of the concert where the crowd cheered for an aggressive amount of time after listening to Taylor Swift sing her song entitled Champagne Problems was excluded from the movie. This was extremely meaningful to those who were present at the concerts, as this song's message resonates with many fans in a profound way, yet the extended cheering is not included in the movie, so those who are only able to see the show at the movies will never experience this.


Lastly, Taylor Swift loves to form a connection with her fans. During her concerts she does this by singing two surprise songs that were not on the set list. She does this, so that each city has some special songs that no other group of fans had heard live yet during that tour. Unfortunately, this is not an option for moviegoers. The movie was only recorded once, so everyone gets to see the exact same surprise songs: Our Song and You’re On Your Own, Kid. This makes this version of the concert feel less special, because it is not as personalized as when you are in person.


It is wonderful that there was a movie released for fans who were unable to attend the concert to see Taylor Swift perform. The movie truly is amazing and a fantastic simulation of the concert; however, the live music, surprise songs, over the top enthusiasm from the Swifties, and general excitement of seeing the concert live make the experience much more magical.

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About the Writer

Katherine Panas '25

Staff Writer

Katherine Panas is a Junior at Central Catholic from Dracut. She is a member of the Central Catholic Varsity Swim and Dive team.  Katherine loves listening to Taylor Swift and going to the beach.  She also enjoys skiing and even teaches others how to ski.

Click here to meet more of the Staff of the Raider Review.