It is 1:46 a.m. on September 22, and I am writing this now because I am high on post-show adrenaline. Harry Styles’ 15 night residency at Madison Square Garden has come to an end. Since his kickoff show on August 20, New York City’s streets have been lined with feather boas, flared pants and sequins, not to mention thousands of adoring fans who sold out each show without breaking a sweat. I attended four of Styles’ concerts this month (yes, I have a problem), but this final show brought an energy that I have never experienced before. Maybe it was Styles singing HS1 gem “Ever Since New York” for the first time since 2018, or his “Matilda” duet with Blood Orange’s Dev Hynes on cello, or the installation of a brand new MSG banner which reads, “HARRY STYLES 15 CONSECUTIVE NIGHTS AT THE GARDEN.” Needless to say, he went out with a bang.
I greeted three of my best friends on the general admission floor at 8 p.m., just as opener Blood Orange was taking the stage. I was worried I’d have to fight through crowds to find them, but Styles’ stage being set up “in the round” allows for free movement, a necessity for dance ballads like “Treat People With Kindness,” where fans form conga lines and run around like joyful maniacs. As soon as I saw my friends, I pulled them in for a hug. I could not believe that we were there, on the floor, at the final show.
Styles sparkled in a striped sequin jumpsuit with a plunging neckline. At the first glance of him, the crowd’s cheers were deafeningly loud, borderline unhinged, and undeniably ecstatic. Styles has made a tradition of allowing his audience to sing the “just let me adore you” line in “Adore You,” to which he grins and responds with, “Oh, okay then!” He is having the time of his life up there, and his happiness is contagious.
Fans were met with complementary boas draped over their seats. Each one had a postcard attached, which said, “thank you for joining us at the history making final show of Love On Tour, 2022.” MSG has been more than happy to hand the reins to Styles this past month; their social media presence has been overwhelmingly Harry, with regular posts of him on stage and cute graphics (like a subway stop reading “Last Stop: Harry’s House”). The arena found an unforgettable way to show their appreciation at the final show: a banner commemorating the residency, presented onstage by CBS Mornings host Gayle King. Styles’ reaction was priceless; he blinked back tears as he thanked the crowd saying, “anytime when you come to Madison Square Garden and you see that, you’ll remember that’s because of you. It’s ours.”