Harry Styles’ long awaited Love On Tour is finally underway in the United States, leaving arenas filled with feather boas night after night. My experience going to the first New York City show at Madison Square Garden was everything (and more).
Even though I went to the concert with my roommate and her best friend from home, I was not in the same section as them since the tickets were bought at different times. So, after we got merch, ate dinner, and took photos at a cute rainbow photo-op, I headed down to my section to catch the last two songs of Jenny Lewis’ set, who is the opening act for Love On Tour. From what I did see of her set, it was cute and fun – a perfect way to set the energy for the night.
The lights went back down, Styles’ band walked onto the stage, and before I knew it Styles himself took the stage, starting the night off with the Fine Line opener “Golden.” His stylist Harry Lambert chose the perfect outfit to start off his shows in NYC: a black suit with feathers on the sleeves, no shirt on, the butterfly tattoo out in all of its glory.
Styles then took a moment to introduce himself, and told the audience to “Be whoever it is you want to be.” The night officially started, and he took to singing mellow tunes “Carolina” and “Adore You” from his self-titled album and Fine Line alike.
One thing I noticed as the show went on was the insane amount of chemistry that Styles has with his backing band, which I was surprised by since most of his band consisted of new members. The only members of the band that also played Live On Tour with him were veteran members guitarist Mitch Rowland and drummer Sarah Jones (the duo also just had a baby!). New band members include Ny Oh on the piano/background vocals, Elin Sandberg on the bass guitar, Niji Adeleye on the piano, and Pauli Lovejoy playing percussion. There was never a moment where Lovejoy was not dancing around with Styles, both musicians seemed to be in their own little world on the stage. Rowland also had his shining moment during “She,” as everyone in the arena cheered on the fan favorite guitarist during his three minute guitar solo.
Styles was meant to be a performer, the way he holds himself on stage is enchanting. He took it all in when the audience screamed back the lyrics “I’m just an arrogant son of a bitch” during “To Be So Lonely,” smiling as we chanted. He practically skipped around the stage while singing “Canyon Moon,” “Treat People With Kindness,” and “What Makes You Beautiful.” During “Fine Line” and “Sign of the Times” he picked up a Black Lives Matter flag and a bisexual pride flag that people had thrown to him and proudly ran around with both. He even took a moment to thank his band and the backstage crew during the encore, right before singing the infamous “They’re all dressed as bananas” bit during “Watermelon Sugar.” The night ended with “Kiwi” and the entire arena shook as he sang “It’s New York baby always jacked up.”
If you ask anyone who has been to Love On Tour, they’ll probably tell you that it feels like they blacked out during the actual concert, and woke up when the show was over. Although I can attest to this feeling, as the memory now reads in my mind like a half-awake lucid dream, Love On Tour is a concert that I will never forget. Harry Styles managed to create a space for his fans to feel good during Love on Tour, and I will forever be grateful.