First of all, 17 years doesn’t even make a single era, never mind plural eras but I can overlook that. Secondly, $13.50 to see the film certainly beats the ridiculous $1,350 cost of actual tickets for this tour, but wait that’s not the best tickets. On StubHub for tickets in row four, which came as pairs, it cost $92,000 and change EACH last May. This is way over the top, greed run riot, but in this case, this is not Taylor’s fault, though like other artists, she could do something about that in the future. So what did I think about the 2 hour and 48 minutes movie? Well let me show you the trailer first.
First of all, Taylor Swift has matured as a singer and performer over the last 17 years. Kudos to her stamina and her vocal cords to able to do a show that long with that much dancing around and singing while on the movie. She is certainly fit. And we are talking a multi-million dollar production for this tour– lots of sets, lots of costume changes, lots of hired dancers, lots of musicians. And also kudos for the way Taylor has regularly treated her fans. It was really amazing to see thousands and thousands of persons in Sofi stadium in L.A. singing every single lyric to every single song. This tour was a retrospective, and as such it shows some of Taylor’s growth as a songwriter, and make no mistake she and her collaborators are good at writing pop tunes with big singable choruses. But what about the actual content of the songs? Most of them have to do with heartbreak and lost love and anger about both those things (e.g ‘We are never never getting back together’ or ‘Shake It Off’). I actually like her earlier stuff when she was trying to mainly appeal to a country audience, and then her later excellent lp Folklore. There is the occasional F or S word when anger is being punctuated but most of the lyrics are alright as long as you’re not expecting poet laureate material.
I haven’t even mentioned that Taylor Swift is a tall show woman and has no problem dominating the stage and capturing people’s attention. She is in fact an inch taller than me, and I’m 5’10”. And no, I’m not a Swifty, at my age I’m more like a Slowy. But it is an interesting study in pop culture to go and see what’s going on with the Swifty’s which not surprisingly are mostly girls and women. And what I saw surprised me a bit on the first weekend of the movie’s release— there were young girls standing up and dancing during some of the songs, or waving their arms, and numerous of them dressed up, and I only saw one of an astounding 38 showings of the film at the one theater I go to at Cinemark. It was like there were no other movies in the theater! This movie is surely going to break all weekend records for an opening weekend this year, and maybe ever.
Taylor Swift has become a cultural phenomena, which most of us did not see coming before she morphed into a pop star with catchy pop tunes with a wider audience. I’ve seen her earlier on when sometimes her voice seemed weak, and occasionally a little off key. Not anymore. And no, she was not using autotune.
Is the movie worth seeing? Well it depends on what sort of music you like. For many of us older rockers, the movie was too long, as would have been going to the concert. But there is no doubt that Taylor has a huge loyal following, and in general it is good for the music industry which took a huge hit during the pandemic. So, well done Taylor. I wonder what the person from Chapel Hill for whom she is named would think. And one last thing— good luck Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift. I wish you the very best, and hope people will give you some space to see if the relationship could blossom into some Taylor often has dreamed and written about.