Review: Taylor Swift’s reputation Stadium Tour on Netflix

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:

 

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: nothingAnd the setlist for rep Tour Netflix is killerTaylor 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.

 

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.

Behind-the-Scenes Bloopers

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. 

The world is mean and dark enough. Let’s be the love and the light.

Today started off as a normal Sunday for me.

I woke up, read my devotional, retrieved email, and checked social media. I was scrolling through my feed, glossing over most of what I saw until I noticed one particular post.

A singer that I like shared mean comments people made about her weight after a concert she’d just played. They even went so far as to include pictures to reiterate what they were talking about.

I cringed internally, debating whether or not I should share her post with my take on it. After a few minutes, I wrote a brief quip and posted it to my timeline. I told her I didn’t understand why people decided to say something mean, that I like what she’s doing in the music industry, and that I think she’s beautiful exactly as she is. Then I closed out of my social media accounts and continued on with my day.

But those mean comments stuck with me.

And I know that’s because I’ve been through similar things, albeit on a much smaller scale. I’ve had people say mean and unflattering things about my weight, my hair, and outfits I’ve worn and it’s made me feel bad, upset, and even angry. Worst of all, it’s made me feel insecure at times, too.

As a young woman, body confidence can be tough. Some days, I wake up and I feel great–my hair looks good, my skin is clear, and I’m wearing an outfit I really love. Others, I style and re-style my hair over and over, but it doesn’t look the way I want it to; or my face is breaking out and I’m focusing on all the zits and redness I see; or I put on an outfit from my closet and it’s too big here or too tight there, and I don’t feel great at all. And I don’t want to go outside and face the world.

Especially when the world wants to be mean. I honestly don’t understand why some people feel the need to make mean comments that they know will hurt someone else, whether that’s face to face or from behind a screen. We’re all human. We all struggle with confidence and certain insecurities. We all have days where these things might not bother us as much and days where they’re all we can think about. We all have feelings. 

And if we know that there’s a particular insecurity we struggle with–like weight, for example–then why would we look at someone else and criticize them or pick them apart? Why would we say or do something that we know might ruin someone else’s day?

I’m not sure if you can answer this question either, reader, but here’s something I am sure of: a little kindness never hurts. Treating other people with respect is cool. Being nice–genuinely nice–is vastly underrated. And being mindful of other people’s feelings? That’s super important.

If you know saying it will hurt someone–because you’ve been there and you know how it feels–then don’t say it. If you don’t think your parents or friends would be proud of you for doing it–then don’t do it. The world is mean and dark enough. Let’s be the love and the light.

Let’s judge less and show more empathy. Let’s talk less and listen more. Let’s stop bullying and start cheering for one another. Let’s spread kindness, not rudeness.

Most of all, let’s think about the gravity of our words and actions.

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This could be the start of something new.

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And magical.

And life-changing.

Just like that opening scene in High School Musical where Troy and Gabriella meet and sing together for the first time.

They have no idea how much their worlds are going to shift or what pushback they’re going to face, but in the end, they figure out who they’re supposed to be and what their dreams are.

I hope that by the end of 2019, I can sit down and re-read this blog post and say the exact same thing.

I hope I can say that every ounce of pushback–every struggle–was worth it.

That I figured out who I’m supposed to be and what my dreams are.

That through every achievement and every setback, I continued to grow as a person. That I learned something. 

But, for now, I think I’ll keep fighting and keep working hard.

I’ll keep challenging myself.

I’ll keep hoping.

Cheers to the new year, new opportunities, and a new book full of 365 blank pages.

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