In one sense, it should be incredibly easy to film a Taylor Swift concert. Just point the camera at the woman while she’s at work and her talents will do the rest. In another very real sense, how can you ever capture the adoration and connection that those in attendance have with the artist? That’s the trick, which the concert documentary Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour manages to work out through close ups of Swift in action. Even if you went to the show, like I did, you didn’t have this seat. You’re up close and personal with an incredible talent at the height of her powers.
Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour manages to give you the front row seat only the absolute elites could have had during the concerts. I had okay seats when I saw her live and the electricity in the air still permeated for three hours. Here, we spend 160 minutes with the best seats in the house. Not only do you see the show in all its glory, as well as the fans enraptured by it all in the crowd, you get to see the effect it all has on Swift. She’s as into it as anyone, which makes the connection all the more palpable.
The documentary is, as you might imagine, a filmed concert. Showcasing one of Swift’s final shows on the tour, at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, we watch her perform from her entire catalogue. Pulling a few songs from each of her albums (or eras), she sings, dances, and connects with the crowd. If you know the songs, it’s a greatest hits or sorts, jumping back and forth throughout her career. If you’re new to her music, first of all, welcome to the planet, but also…this kind of welcomes you with open arms. It’s obviously for the fans, but very much accessible to anyone and everyone.
Director Sam Wrench wisely keeps the focus on Swift, only periodically jumping to the crowd. Considering the amount of cameras being used, Wrench is able to see the show from all angles. There isn’t really any added style on display, but was any needed? Too much of a directorial imprint would have taken away from what everyone is here to see.
Swift is the consummate performer, making sure every moment in Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour that could mean something to a fan is given full force. The upbeat pop tunes are electric, the somber ballads are crushingly earnest, and there’s almost always a smile on her face. This is a musician taking stock of her catalogue, as well as letting the love she’s given sink in. I don’t see how anyone can’t be won over by this show.
Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour is mana for any fan of hers, whether you saw the concert in person or not. If you’re not into her work, this is actually a nice entryway too, as it really does put forth the relationship she has with her fans. It’s infectious, in the best way possible. You won’t find a more purely entertaining music documentary this year than this one.