Taylor Swift released her reputation Stadium Tour movie on Netflix exactly a month ago.
Having seen the tour live when it stopped in my hometown this past summer, I was excited to watch the concert again and re-live all of my favorite moments in stunning HD from the privacy and comfort of my bedroom.
I was also eager to see what kinds of behind-the-scenes content Taylor had to share with her fans. Would there be cameos from surprise guests? Bloopers? Brand-new footage?
I recently watched the reputation Stadium Tour movie since its New Year’s Eve premiere, and let me just say that Taylor did not disappoint. Here’s my breakdown of all the fun:
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“All Too Well” was never a single, and it always blows my mind that it is consistently one of the loudest songs the crowd sings when I play it. Moments like this defined the Reputation Stadium Tour for me, and I can’t wait for you to see it in full starting at 12:01 AM December 31, pacific
Stunning Visual Quality
I think what I enjoyed most about the movie was the quality of the footage. (I’ll never shut up about how stunning HD footage is. Seriously). There was a good balance between close-up shots of Taylor and her band and dancers as well as pan-overs of fans in the crowd. Every detail is magnified–from the costuming to the choreography to the confetti raining down throughout the stadium.
And here’s why this matters: when I saw the tour live with my friend over the summer, we were seated in Section 216. Our seats weren’t terribly high up, but we also weren’t as close as the fans sitting in the 100 level. We had a great time dancing and singing along, but if we looked away from the video screens and down at the base of the stage, Taylor was a tiny speck that was barely visible to us. (I’m not kidding. I have a video on my phone where my pinky finger is bigger).
Director Paul Dugdale puts the viewer directly on the stage in a way that almost feels 3D. (A great example of this is when Taylor sings “Blank Space” on the B-Stage and reaches directly into the camera). He also has his cinematographers use other shots that keep the viewer a little bit further back from the action, though still close enough to be aware of everything going on, which is both a cool and clever technique. Note: Pay extra close attention to this during the “Long Live”/”New Year’s Day” mash-up when the viewer’s placement within the stadium moves from hovering over Taylor’s shoulder as she sits at the piano to standing in the crowd multiple times–it’s awesome.
A Killer Setlist
What’s a concert without a setlist? Answer: nothing. And the setlist for rep Tour Netflix is killer. Taylor pulls out all the hits from her catalogue, both old and new–from “Love Story” to “Look What You Made Me Do” to “You Belong With Me” to “Delicate.”
There are even mash-ups of some of her most beloved tracks like “Bad Blood” and “Should’ve Said No” and “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things.” (My personal favorite is the aforementioned “Long Live” and “New Year’s Day”). Her tour mates, Charli XCX and Camila Cabello join her for “Shake It Off.” She slows things down mid-way through the concert with acoustic versions of “Dancing With Our Hands Tied” (which sounds amazing acoustically, by the way) and “All Too Well” (one of the most popular songs she’s written to date).
She also keeps the crowd entertained while she runs backstage to change costumes with a video intro to “Look What You Made Me Do,” a reading of her poem, “Why She Disappeared” before “Getaway Car” (the poem is featured in one of the reputation album magazines from Target) and an extended drum solo during “King of My Heart.” Most of all, she jokes around with her band and dancers while performing and works the stage with the confidence of a seasoned entertainer–which she is–the entire time.
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Thanks so much for all the birthday wishes! Today I finally get to show you something we’ve been working on for a while… the trailer for the Reputation Stadium Tour! The entire concert film will premiere on @netflix at 12:01AM PST December 31. You made this tour so insanely fun for all of us on stage, and I’m really excited that we will have this memento of the memories we all made together this year. I also got to share the stage with such wildly talented people @camila_cabello, @charli_xcx, my band and dancers who shine so brightly in this film. You’re the best. Thank you for everything.
Touching Speeches and Tributes
As someone who’s attended Taylor’s concerts for years now, one thing I always look forward to is her speeches and tributes between songs. While watching rep Tour Netflix, viewers will note quite a few of them.
She pauses to reflect about how damaging gossip and bad reputations affect things like finding real love and friendship before singing “Delicate” and thanks her fans for all the love they’ve shown her song “All Too Well” throughout the years, despite it never being a single. (Side note: It’s seven years later, and I’m still upset that song was never a single. It should’ve been. It’s one of her best songs and one of my favorites).
But the most touching tribute happens right before the “Long Live”/”New Year’s Day” mash-up when she thanks everyone involved with the tour–the crew, technicians, and security, etc.–for sacrificing their time with their loved ones to travel the world and help her put on a great concert every night. This is followed by the camera cutting over to a member of security who flashes a thumbs up from the crowd and Taylor leading her fans in a round of applause for everyone’s hard work. It’s a very sweet and poignant moment that stands out–not only because this is the point in the film where viewers will realize there are just a few songs left, but also because it was shot on the last night of the U.S. leg of the tour. (A word of advice: If you’re like me and this makes you emotional, have some tissues nearby). It’s a moment I won’t ever forget.
Something I’m always eager to see at the end of any film is bloopers. At the conclusion of rep Tour Netflix, Taylor treats her fans to some behind-the-scenes goofs where things just didn’t go as planned during rehearsals.
Laugh along as Taylor forgets her choreography, gets lost on her massive stage, and demonstrates just how quickly she needs to carry out her quick changes. (Fun fact: During the bloopers, one of Taylor’s techs shares that the decking for her stage alone is “bigger than a 767 airplane.” Again, massive). It’s the perfect ending.
Overall, rep Tour Netflix is more than just a “concert film,” it’s a magical musical production that will captivate and entertain viewers for the entirety of its two-hour, five-minute run. It’ll make you sing and dance along, cry, and laugh. Best of all, it’ll make you keep pushing “play” again and again.
Are you a Taylor Swift fan that’s seen rep Tour Netflix? What were your favorite moments? Comment below or tweet me at @cmsellers14.