Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Concert films are just as impactful as live performances

Kloe Witt, Maleigh Crespo, and Addison Laird at the premiere of “The Eras Tour” at AMC Clearview Palace 12 in Metairie on Oct. 30, 2023. Photo Courtesy of Maleigh Crespo

2023: The year of larger-than-life concerts and women dominating the film and music industries with Barbie on the big screen, Taylor Swift on her record-breaking tour, and Beyoncé’s RENAISSANCE, which both made their way to the big screens, as well.

Do you really wanna know where I was April 29?

I was in Atlanta, Georgia for night two of “The Eras Tour.” And call me “the lucky one” because I also have tickets to her upcoming show in New Orleans, which is seven months and 10 days away, but honestly, baby, who’s counting?

Even though I traveled 13 hours (*wink, wink*) to another state to see Swift perform and have plans to see her again on the same tour, when she announced the film version of the tour, I immediately bought tickets.

For super Swifties, like my friends and I, every announcement and release from Swift is a reason to “make the friendship bracelets, take the moment and taste it,” and of course, dress up in our sparkliest outfits and accessories.

After Swift announced the film premiere, however, there was discourse in the fandom on whether attendees would follow typical theater guidelines of sitting, watching, eating popcorn, and sipping on Icees or the standard scream-singing and jumping up-and-down that occur at live performances.

Ultimately, it was up to the theater and the person. Before the film’s debut, AMC Theatres released a statement about guidelines, “Taylor Swift Eras attire and friendship bracelets are strongly encouraged! We encourage dancing and singing throughout this concert film event, but please do not dance on our seats or block other guests from viewing.”

Many Swifties (myself included) took this as their golden opportunity to take full advantage of the concert film experience by making and trading bracelets, dressing up, waiting in line to get the coveted pink popcorn bucket, and for me, recreate and relive The Eras Tour experience.

For others who were unable to get tickets, this was their version of “The Eras Tour,” and Swift made sure the experience could be just as special for them by giving attendees free posters and selling “merch” by way of themed popcorn buckets and cups.

Even though I’d already been to the show, being in that theater transported me back, and it was exhilarating. I cried just as hard, sang just as loud, and danced just the same as I did at the concert.

And I’ll probably do the same from the comfort of my living room when the film is released on Disney+ this Friday.

As a lover and massive consumer of media, I am definitely a fan of concert films in general, not just of Swift’s.

So when “Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé” was released, I ran to buy tickets for its on screen premiere.

Although the superstar had a tour stop in New Orleans, I opted not go even though I would’ve undoubtedly had a good time, I had a prior commitment.

The film, which also had tour-inspired cups and free posters, was the perfect alternative.

However, unlike Swift’s “The Eras Tour” film, Beyoncé’s film, which was produced by the performer’s own production company Parkwood Entertainment, is a documentary rather than a filmed version of the concert.

While Swift’s film was footage from a single night in Los Angeles, Beyoncé’s film showcased behind-the-scenes moments leading up to the tour, the making of the show, and had featured editing that allowed for every costume, which was around 140 total, to be shown.

Both artists’ shows had similar runtimes, so the respective films were both 2 hours, 49 minutes.

Even though I was “cozy” in the theater, “Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé” brought me to tears with its poignancy and homage to the queer community, along with the vulnerability shared by the artist and mother of three.

Though different, these two films show that concert films can be just as impactful as a live concert. Whether it’s reliving the experience or seeing the hard work and effort put into the show, it’s an immersive experience that’s just as special.

“The Eras Tour” is now streaming on Disney+

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About the Contributor
Maleigh Crespo
Maleigh Crespo, Editor in Chief
Maleigh Crespo serves as the Maroon's Editor in Chief. Maleigh previously served as the Maroon's  Managing Editor for Print, Design Chief, Equity and Inclusion officer, and Op/Ed editor. When she’s not writing, she can be found listening to Taylor Swift on repeat, online shopping, or feeding the squirrels in Audubon.

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