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My Experience Seeing Harry Styles in New York

There was a long journey ahead of the Harry Styles concert shows. Initially I bought six tickets around the Florida and Georgia area in addition to the NYC shows, but then COVID-19 hit and HSLOT got rescheduled. Fast forward to me frantically exchanging my Florida and Georgia tickets for Massachusetts and DC tickets since the rescheduled tour was during the school year, only for HSLOT to be rescheduled again. Now imagine me a month ago getting my syllabi for classes, only to realize I had midterms during four of my shows — yay! After frantically selling and exchanging six out of eleven of my original tickets, we finally made it. We made it to the NYC shows!

October 3RD

Mere days before the show, Madison Square Garden announced that general admission ticket holders could not “camp” outside the venue. For reference, camping for a concert means waiting 8+ hours in line for a good spot in the pit. This announcement sparked chaos, and the anxiety only heightened when they later announced that only 450 out of ~3000 ticket holders would get wristbands for early entry. I knew I needed to get a wristband, but since this process had never been executed before, I had no idea when all the wristbands would be claimed. As such, I arrived to the venue at 4 AM, earning myself a wristband numbered 191/450. Madison Square Garden told us that the wristband system was a lottery, meaning one number would be drawn and everyone would line up behind that number in numerical order. Fast forward to 4:45 pm and 123 was the number drawn — if you’re wondering, yes I did cry. That meant I should be the 70th person in! However, many wristband holders were not at the venue by 4:45 pm, so I ended up being the 30th person to enter the venue behind LaneOne, which got me in the second row! Harry came out dressed in a feather-clad black suit, with no shirt underneath. Yes, I physically ascended when I saw his tattoos on full display. The show was magnificent as expected, but my back started hurting so I doubled over into a more comfortable position, which caught Harry’s eye. Unknowingly, he was staring at me (probably because it looked like I was puking) for a good 10 seconds until my friend tapped me and I looked up to find him staring at me. Once he saw I was okay he danced off, but looking him directly in the eye is the most terrifying feeling ever. Whether it was due to my bright pink boa or me doubling over, we locked eyes several times throughout the night which was honestly really intimidating. Halfway through the show, he sang his “she’s dressed as a banana” song, which was definitely one of my favorite moments of the night! Just when I thought night one couldn’t have gone any better, night two happened. 

October 4TH

Exhausted from the night before, I told myself that I wasn’t going to wake up early for a wristband — I was simply going to show up to the venue at 3:00 PM and start camping. However, I arrived at the venue and they gave me a wristband. What?! I later learned that they extended the number of wristbands to around 700, and I looked down at my wristband to see that my number was 650. How lucky can you get? I have to laugh because Madison Square Garden took all the general admission ticket-holders into this theater and made us sit down row-by-row. During this time, they told us that there would be no running and no water bottles left on the floor. It was honestly really funny — I felt like I was being lectured by my high school principal. Around 30 minutes later, they staggered us into the pit and I was third row! Despite being one row behind yesterday, my view was better because it wasn’t obstructed by the stage railings. I also went to the opposite side of the stage (cherry pit —> watermelon pit) so that I could experience the songs I didn’t physically see him sing yesterday. When Jenny came on, she pointed directly towards me and later said “I see some bananas and boas in the crowd tonight” because I was wearing a bright green boa. Moral of the story, ladies: always wear a neon boa to Harry’s shows! When Harry came out, he was wearing black polka dot pants with a sheer white shirt, which was completely unexpected! My favorite part of the night was when he spotted three dads in the crowd, and teased them since their shirts were tucked in. Also seeing Harry and Pauli dance together during “What Makes You Beautiful” was beyond adorable and fun — I love their dynamic! 

October 16TH

I truly do not know what it was about this show, but I was so emotional. As soon as I sat down, I started crying. Upon hearing the first note in “Fine Line”, I started crying. Halfway through “Cherry”, I started crying. For this show, I wasn’t in the pit — I was seated in row 15 in section 117, which was honestly a beautiful view. Contrary to being in the pit, I could see Harry dance around all areas of the stage, and I experienced the complete presentation of the stage and lighting. One new thing about this show was his pre-show playlist, to which he added “Stockholm Syndrome” by One Direction and “Toxic” by Britney Spears. I genuinely had war flashbacks when “Toxic” started playing because at one of my shows last tour he teased the crowd by singing a few words from “Toxic”. A girl can only dream that one day he will sing the entire song. Twenty minutes later, Harry came on stage wearing a black, red, and white color palette, which fit perfectly with the lighting during kiwi. I had a view of Olivia Wilde right behind pit dancing like crazy the entire time with her friends, which was adorable to see. As anticipated, the ground shook during half of Harry’s setlist due to fans jumping around. Fast forward to the end of the show, I was sitting in my Uber reflecting on how welcoming and homely Harry’s shows feel. For example, during Live on Tour, I had flowers to give Harry, but I wasn’t on the barricade so it wasn’t likely that I could reach him. The girl on the barricade noticed this, and she asked me if I wanted to swap seats so I could reach Harry (spoiler: he took my flowers, thanked me, and gave them to his mother). I genuinely could not believe how kind and selfless it was for this complete stranger to swap seats with me! Another wonderful experience I had was, during the October 4th show, I met a girl waiting in line for pit, and we’re becoming really great friends! Last night I talked with her for about an hour before the show started, and it was just beyond heart-warming to be in such an accepting and loving environment again. Harry’s shows are truly my home.  

I cannot describe the love and appreciation I possess for Harry. I’ve supported him since “What Makes You Beautiful” hit the radio in 2011. I essentially grew up with him, and I truly believe that he taught me kindness, self-acceptance, and peace that I would not have learned without him. His music, beliefs, and personality on and off-stage have helped me become comfortable with who I am, and for that, I am beyond grateful. He has always been a shining light in my life, making me crack a smile when nothing else could. Thank you endlessly, Harry. I can’t wait to dance with you again soon at Harryween!

Lauren Jones

Columbia Barnard '24

Hey! My name is Lauren and I'm majoring in Molecular Biology. When I'm not studying, I can be found reading, going to concerts, or impulse buying clothes.
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