A Step in the Right Direction

The crowd screams as the lights dim, and the crowd shrieks as the first note of ‘Ever Since New York’ is played. A spotlight lights up his silhouette on the pink floral curtain and the crowd’s screams are now deafening, including mine. My heart begins racing, knowing what’s about to happen. My cheeks are suddenly damp with warm tears, a smile spread across my face. My best friend holds my hand as we both scream in anticipation. The curtain drops, and I see him.

I’ve been in love with One Direction, specifically Harry Styles, since 2011. It used to be hard for me to admit that I liked One Direction, as if liking a boy band made you shallow. But for me, liking One Direction was about much more than the music. Being apart of their fandom brought me so many friends, and helped me through some of the hardest times of my life. When One Direction went on an indefinite ‘hiatus’ in 2015, I was devastated — they had been such a huge part of my life for nearly one third of my existence. How could something so important to me be ending? After their year long hiatus, I was ready for new music — whether it was as One Direction or as solo artists, I didn’t care.

In May of 2017, before his album was even released, Harry Styles announced his solo tour dates. I knew I had to go. Luckily, just a few days before tickets went on sale I had officially committed to Chapman, so I knew I would have to get tickets to the LA show. The day the tickets went on sale, I skipped my fourth and fifth period (sorry Mom), because there was no way I could depend on my school’s laggy wifi. Twenty minutes before the sale time, I drove home blasting Harry’s first released single “Sign of the Times” for good luck.

The tickets sold out in less than 52 seconds, but somehow I was one of the lucky few to get a ticket. My seats weren’t perfect, but I knew it would be of the best nights of my life.

As I got to the concert, the familiar pre-concert jitters surged through me. My teeth were chattering, my hands were shaking and my heart was racing. I was in my happy place. Everyone in the theatre loved Harry just as much as I did. Everyone in the theatre knew exactly how I was feeling. Everyone in the theatre loved each other, because our love for Harry united us. I’ve never bonded with someone faster than I have at a One Direction concert. By the end of the night, I had made at least four friends.

The strangest part of seeing Harry in concert, was that it was just him. I kept expecting the rest of the band to come on stage with him. His new artist persona is much different than it was when he was apart of One Direction. but he’s still the same Harry that I’ve been in love with for the last six years. His wardrobe and music style may have changed, but he still loves dancing around the stage. This man knows exactly what to do to make the crowd go wild, he had the entire audience wrapped around his finger within seconds of the show starting. Harry knew just the right times to say the perfect compliments, “I am falling in love with you,” “You are the best friends any person could ask for,” “I’m pretty into you right now.” I knew he was doing it on purpose, but I couldn’t help but fall for his amorous words.

When performing “From the Dining Table”, the slowest and most intimate song on the album, all 8,500 people fell silent. However, when Harry performed Kiwi, an upbeat and fast-paced rock song, the crowd screamed the lyrics and jumped around with him. Harry’s mood throughout the show, was majorly shaped by our enthusiasm. The more we encouraged his behavior, the more he interacted with us. During “Sweet Creature,” Harry sang half of a line, then let the crowd finish it. Hearing 8500 sing the line “you bring me home,” from one of my favorite songs, filled my heart with joy.

I’ve seen One Direction live four times, so I had extremely high expectations for Harry’s solo show.  Harry defied those expectations. His show was more than I could have ever asked for. Seeing him on stage again filled my heart with joy. I’ll be seeing him again in Dallas this summer, only 250 days left.