Just like The Eras Tour itself, Taylor Swift is making her Eras Tour film all about the fans.
At Wednesday’s (Oct. 11) premiere of Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour at The Grove in Los Angeles, a host of VIPs were on hand — from Beyoncé (more on her below) to Adam Sandler, Maren Morris and Julia Garner. But when it came time for Swift to rub elbows ahead of the movie, the pop superstar chose to spend her time on the other side of the red carpet, where fans invited to the film’s debut were lined up along a barricade waiting for a glimpse of their idol.
They ended up getting more than just a glimpse, as Swift took selfies with dozens of fans and personally thanked them for supporting her most ambitious tour yet, which now has its own ambitious movie to match.
And the gratitude train was just getting started, because Swift also made her way to each AMC theater at The Grove that was screening her movie on Wednesday night to gave a three-minute speech about why the tour meant so much to her.
“We did this show rain or shine, in sickness and in health, no matter what was going on in our lives,” she said from the stage of each theater. “And we did it with a grin on our face because of what greeted us on the other side.”
Before Taylor Swift: The Eras Tourhits theaters early on Thursday night, see some of the best moments from the film’s Hollywood premiere — and also what was left on the cutting-room floor from the first three nights of Swift’s six-night stint at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif.
Swift made sure to have a moment with every guest in attendance, traveling to each theater — starting from Theater 14 and ending at the Theater 1 IMAX — to give a three-minute speech ahead of the film. “I’ve always had fun doing this,” she told each crowd. “I can’t believe I get to do music as a career. That’s crazy. I’ve always had so much fun doing it. I’ve never had this much fun in my life as I have had on The Eras Tour. It is far and away just the most electric experience of my life.”
Beyoncé’s ‘Fairytale’ Cameo
There were murmurs among the crowd before the movie started that Beyoncé might be in the building, but until photos and videos of Swift and Bey together started emerging, it felt too good to be true. After the film wrapped, Swift posted an Instagram video of the pair in an empty theater tossing popcorn with a heartfelt message about her pop inspiration.
“I’m so glad I’ll never know what my life would’ve been like without @beyonce‘s influence,” Swift wrote. “The way she’s taught me and every artist out here to break rules and defy industry norms. Her generosity of spirit. Her resilience and versatility. She’s been a guiding light throughout my career and the fact that she showed up tonight was like an actual fairytale.”
Taylor’s Viewing Party
The luckiest moviegoers in all The Grove had to be in Theater 2, with Swift choosing to host her personal viewing party with them. “You’re stuck with me, because I’m gonna, like, sit with you and watch this thing,” she announced as she entered the theater. Billboard News’ Tetris Kelly was right in front of Swift for the full movie, catching her doing arm choreography to “Willow,” jamming out to “Love Story” and chanting “1, 2, 3, let’s go, bi—!” along with the crowd during “Delicate.”
The Dancers’ Viewing Party
To be fair, Theater 1 had it pretty good too, with all of Swift’s Eras Tour dancers in the crowd. All the scenes that highlighted the dynamic dance troupe got a lot of extra love, and the crowd was treated to a dance party with the dancers onscreen for the film’s closing number, “Karma.”
A Whole New Perspective
Whether you never attended The Eras Tour or you went dozens of times, you will leave this movie with a new perspective of the career-spanning trek. While front-row fans or the JumboTron cameras might have captured a cute facial expression or dance move here and there, the cameras caught everything, making it feel like you’re onstage with Swift and crew. There are some impressive camera shots leaving you scratching your head about how they achieved them — like in “Mastermind,” when a camera swivels 360 degrees around Swift but then a wide shot shows no onstage cameras in sight. But the film’s best trick might be providing a look at Swift’s own perspective throughout the night, when you can truly marvel at the size of the massive stage and catwalk that the singer/songwriter somehow makes feel small or when you can take in just how far fans span across the 70,000-person SoFi Stadium crowd.
What Didn’t Make the Cut?
With a run time of 2 hours and 49 minutes, it was clear something would need to be cut from the three-hour-plus concert. We’re not here to ruin your Eras Tour viewing experience, so consider this your SPOILER ALERT if you want to go in to the movie blind.
Only two eras were spared from any song cuts: Fearless and Midnights. Judging from the setlists from the first three nights at SoFi, the songs that were slashed include “The Archer” (Lover), “No Body No Crime” alongside opening act HAIM (Evermore), “Long Live” (Speak Now – more on that one below), Cardigan (Folklore) and “Wildest Dreams” (1989).
What Made the Acoustic Set?
With three nights and six songs filmed from the acoustic set, what were the lucky two chosen for the film? (Again, SPOILER ALERT for the purists!)
Swift represented her self-titled debut era thanks to “Our Song” on guitar, while she paid tribute to the fan-driven friendship bracelets omnipresent on The Eras Tour with the Midnights track “You’re On Your Own, Kid,” whose lyric inspired the movement (“So make the friendship bracelets/ Take the moment and taste it”). It was sweet that the film’s acoustic set bookended her career with her first and (so far) last studio album.
So which four songs didn’t make the cut? The Speak Now vault track “I Can See You” and Midnights‘ “Maroon” from night 1, 1989‘s “You Are in Love” from night 2, and Lover‘s “Death by a Thousand Cuts” from night 3.
Justice for ‘Long Live’
Even though the Speak Now fan favorite was chopped from the film, “Long Live” gets its own moment at the end, soundtracking the friendship-bracelet-inspired closing credits. Fans should stick around for the credits to see some Taylor bloopers from the tour and maybe even a photo of themselves, as a Swiftie slideshow plays throughout.