Discovering the Distinctive Elements of Taylor Swift’s Eras Concert Movie and Live Tour

When you’re watching Taylor Swift’s concert film, The Eras Tour, it’s hard to tell how it differs from her live show. Fans decked out in sequins eagerly whip out their phones and sing along to all 40 songs on the set list at both events. The popularity of both has skyrocketed, with The Eras Tour selling out and nearly breaking Ticketmaster, while its accompanying movie has already pre-sold over $100 million in tickets a week before its release, surpassing Justin Bieber’s Never Say Never as the highest-grossing debut for a concert film.

Although many Swifties wished for the singer’s stadium tour to be identical on screen, some adjustments have been made to shorten the three-hour-and-15-minute show to a still impressive two hours and 45 minutes. The alterations include minimizing costume changes and cutting down on intros like the prolonged piano introduction for “Tolerate It.” Nevertheless, certain elements, such as the symbolic snakes that represent Swift’s Reputation era, have been kept intact.

Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour had to go through some changes as five songs were removed from the setlist. Among them were the popular 1989 hit “Wildest Dreams”, her joint performance of “No Body, No Crime” with the opening act Haim, Lover’s “The Archer”, Folklore’s leading single “Cardigan”, and Speak Now’s “Long Live” – a track that was included during her first show in Kansas City this July to coincide with the release of Speak Now (Taylor’s Version).

I had the pleasure of attending Swift’s concert at Arrowhead Stadium where she premiered the music video for “I Can See You,” a bonus track from her album Speak Now. She even surprised the audience by bringing out the video’s stars, Joey King and her ex-boyfriend Taylor Lautner, on stage. While some speculate that the Kansas City shows also marked the beginning of Swift’s relationship with Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, there are no clues of their romance in the video or any behind-the-scenes references.

Director Sam Wrench dedicated all three hours of the film to Taylor Swift and her fans, without featuring any celebrity guests or collaborators such as Jack Antonoff, Aaron Dessner, Ice Spice, Gracie Abrams, and Phoebe Bridgers. Filmed during Swift’s six-night performance at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood last August, the concert saw some song switches, including “No Body, No Crime” for “‘Tis the Damn Season” when Haim was opening for Swift, and “Invisible String” for “The 1” after Swift’s breakup with Joe Alwyn made headlines. As a result, these tracks were excluded from the movie.

During the Eras Tour, Taylor Swift made it a nightly tradition to surprise her audience with acoustic performances of two songs – one on guitar and the other on piano. In the concert movie, she showcased six different surprise songs, including “I Can See You,” “Maroon,” “You Are in Love,” and “Death by a Thousand Cuts.” Despite this, her guitar rendition of “Our Song” from her first album and her piano performance of “You’re on Your Own, Kid” from her latest album, Midnights, were featured in the film. Fans, including Kelce, were inspired by the lyrics of “You’re on Your Own, Kid” to create friendship bracelets for the tour.

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