With the recent release of singer-songwriter Taylor Swift's album, "1989 (Taylor's Version)" and film, "Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour", Michigan State University students and swifties alike have had a lot of muscial content to engage with.
When linguistics and professional public writing senior Cammie Houle took her niece to the concert film the day after it came out, her niece told her it felt like they were "actually there."
Some movie theaters were filled with bracelet trading, sing alongs and dancing. Two weeks later, on Oct. 27, Swift released the rerecording of her album "1989" and became the most streamed artist in a single day in Spotify's history. In addition to the original 1989 songs, the album also includes five new "vault tracks" – “Slut!,” “Say Don’t Go,” “Now that we don’t talk,” “Suburban Legends” and “Is it Over Now.”
Digital storytelling sophomore and Social Media Chair for the MSU Swift Squad Patrick Kraft listened to the album at midnight, right when it came out.
“I just think it’s just so sick,” Kraft said. “It’s crazy to think that right when I think she’s the biggest, she just breaks more records. I feel like ('1989') really got me into Taylor Swift, so it was cool almost reliving it all the way through again.”
According to Variety, “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” sold 507,000 album units. Psychology sophomore and MSU Swift Squad Secretary Molly Page said the singer's success is “well-deserved” and that “it was very cool to see how much she’s grown.”
However, Page noted there were some differences between the original "1989" album and the rerelease that made the songs sound less appealing.
“There were a few changes I didn’t like, like with 'New Romantics',” Page said. “It sounds like a little kid, almost. I’ll probably get used to them."
Page felt the intro to the song 'Style' was also not as good. However, she said she's happy about the rerecording and is looking forward to future album releases.
Page, who attended an Eras Tour concert live over the summer, also saw the concert film at an Emagine theater in Ann Arbor.
“Seeing her live is definitely a more surreal experience for me,” Page said. “It does not compare to actually being there.”
Kraft said the concert movie does the tour justice. He said it's "a hundred percent worth it" for those who did not attend the tour in person and "unlike anything" he's ever seen.
“When you go to the movie theater, you can tell that everyone is there to go see it,” Kraft said. “When you’re normally in a movie theater watching a movie, you’re in silence, but I’ve never seen so many people kinda like not disturbing the movie, but at the same time everyone is clapping after every song and everyone is being loud, which you don’t normally see at a movie. So I feel like (Swift) is redefining the industry.”
Houle, who will attend the Eras Tour concert in person in 2024, was excited to see the movie with her niece as a prelude for the inperson experience. Watching the film made her realize the importance of dancing and singing, she said.
Zoology sophomore and MSU Swift Squad Treasurer Abby Snelling watched the concert film twice. Having attended the actual tour in Cincinnati, Snelling said the movie was a great way to “relive that experience.”
Snelling said the biggest difference between the movie and in person concert experience was the audience; people were more respectful, she said, and the movie was a great option for those who were physically unable or scared to attend a concert.
“There's a lot of people who aren't comfortable in the large crowds with the bright flashing lights and noise of a stadium,” Snelling said. “I mean, it's pretty nerve-racking, and I think Taylor Swift has a very safe fan base. Stadiums and events like that can often bring people to those areas that don't have the best of intentions. And that might be pretty anxiety-inducing for a lot of people.”
However, Snelling said "a few things could have been better," including a separation of movie theaters for those who wanted to sing along and dance and those who wanted to sit down and enjoy the show like a typical movie.
Overall, she emphasized the importance of continuing community events like the Eras Tour movie to bring people together.
“Her fan base is more than just people who like her music,” Snelling said. “It's people who relate to her lyrics on a really deep level. Because when we are so emotional and vulnerable, it's really like it's more than music. It's like if you find somebody who relates to a similar song that you do, then you already have like a million different things that you have in common.”
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