Someone watched Taylor Swift’s Eras concert movie so you won’t have to

[An experiment by frequent contributor Elisa FG. – AC]

It was my first time, I hadn’t the slightest clue what I was doing – does anyone?

“Ok we’ve got Chuckie, Michael Myers, Black Sabbath… Alice in Wonderland? Does that work?” Everything was a no, I needed to correct my trajectory. “Sparkles! Twirly fabrics! I need Stevie Knicks meets Galinda the Good!”

Rifling through clean t-shirts, I noticed my bare-naked wrists – not a single homemade friendship bracelet, not one damn bead!!! I couldn’t help but think I was already doing it all wrong and it hadn’t even started! I wish I had someone to talk to, a confidant, someone to ask…what does one wear to the Eras Tour!?

I looked at my cat Phil and it hit me! “It’s a Taylor Swift concert in my living room, I’m covered in cat hair and sparkles, the women wore her own cat to a TIME magazine cover shoot, I’m good!”

Three things happened next – red lipstick was applied, every single curtain was drawn and Phil fell back asleep – the time was nigh!

“Alexa play the Eras Tour, Taylors Version” I said aloud, half-wishing Alexa would come to life and be a real girl so I could squeeze the crap out her hand and commence geeking out, which only meant one thing, the experiment was working. I wasn’t feeling 22 quite yet, but something was stirring. As the concert counted down from thirteen, I dragged the coffee table out of the way. 13,12,11…

“You are overthinking this.” I could hear Alan Cross in my head.

10, 9, 8 …

“You look like an idiot.” I quipped.

7, 6, 5…

Pink fluffy clouds soared across my tv screen, the sounds of cheering, people crying,
friendships climaxing filled my living room.

4, 3, 2…

“Shut up Brain! This is no place for you!”


Set and setting are monumental for any type of therapy, be it psychotherapy, psychedelic therapy, EMDR (Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) Balinese Colonic Detox retreats, equine therapy, baby goat yoga – whatever the aid, whatever the diagnoses, where the healing takes place is important and music therapy is no different. I had done many forms of treatment, enough to know the night Disney+ released the Eras Tour, my living room was just as good a set and setting as any, and it’s where I’d be taking my next stab at combatting major depression and complex – PTSD.

Whatever emotions surfaced in the next three plus hours, I was committed to feeling them, noting them, dancing with them and challenging them. I wasn’t putting all my eggs in Tay Tays folklore wicker basket, but I was willing to give the anti-hero a shot at being an anti-depressant.

Traditional music therapy consists of four methods – compositional music therapy, improvisation, receptive and re-creative. The Eras Experiment was essentially an unorthodox approach as I had made it up the day before and I wasn’t “a professional” and no matter what he tries to tell you, neither is Phil.

Reverse engineering a 40-ish year old brain back to 14 in order to unearth whatever the hell I could in three hours, was an idea I’d only had for less than twenty-four, and it was met with much internal resistance.

“Taylor Swift is not your Rosebud.”

“Shut. Up.”

Querulous George had arrived (right on schedule) and her seat was blocking my view along with all the other compartmentalized crap that was trying to stop me from massacring my comfort zones, but come hell, high water or Ludovico Technique I was watching The Eras Tour, and nobody was going to stop me, not even me! Dives off imaginary stage and swims away

‘Apeshit’ is the only word to accurately describe what happens to Swifties when Taylor hits the stage, but first things first, Tay needs the audience to know how kind it is to greet her that way and how grateful she is. Damn it! I was screwed. My anger didn’t stand a chance that night, I was dead on arrival.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” The resistance said.

“Heart-hands! See!?”

As difficult as it was, I raised my arms, I crumpled my hands together and made heart-hands.
It was miserable and magical (oh yeah) but by two hours into the concert ‘heart-hands’ had morphed into middle fingers in the air, as my inner Swiftie crept out of the closet, grabbed my depressions hand, threw Red confetti in the air and suddenly we were “Shaking it off” in tandem. It was Taylor Swifts world and as it turned out, I just needed to live in it for a bit.

I’ll spare you all the sparkly details, except the three things that happened next – my mood had shifted from ‘carrying the weight of the world’ to ‘carrying a super cute torch’ for Tay, I took to Pinterest to find out how I too could build a moss covered piano, and the concerts credits started to roll.. crediting everyone in a font that imitated friendship bracelet beads.

The Eras Experiment had been a success.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38065 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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