Harry Styles’ ‘Love On Tour’: A place to feel good
Alysa Guffey | Wednesday, September 29, 2021
Originally scheduled for the summer of 2020, the North American leg of his tour had to be pushed back twice due to coronavirus policies. Even now, all attendees were required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within the past 48 hours. Everyone was also required to wear a mask for the duration of the show, and let me tell you — if anyone can convince an arena full of people to wear a mask for three hours, it’s Harry Styles.
When it was showtime, the lights in the arena turned off and images of multicolored bunnies flashed on the big screens, with a voiceover saying, “Style is the difference, a way of doing, a way of being done.”
Sporting a bright pink dress shirt and blue, cotton candy, high-waisted sparkly pants, Harry emerged from the middle of the stage and sang the opening song: “Golden.” Right away, the arena was electric. With “Golden” serving as the opening track on his most recent “Fine Line” album, it was the perfect song to kick things off and allowed Styles to feed off the crowd’s initial energy. Styles played guitar and sang for the duration of “Golden” and “Carolina,” the third track off his debut album.
The tempo slowed down when sad boy hours arrived in the form of “Falling.” The simplicity of the set during “Falling” set it apart from the rest of the show, with Styles standing at the end of the stage with just a mic plus his guitarist Mitch and pianist Niji Adeleye. It matched the simplicity of the song itself as well. This song was Styles in his rawest form of the whole show, and it was beautiful.
At one point during the show, a chant begun of fans screaming “To Be So Lonely” (TBSL) — the seventh track on Styles’ “Fine Line” album — to which Styles playfully replied with “We’re going to do ‘Canyon Moon.’” TBSL was the singular song off “Fine Line” that Styles did not play, to the crowd’s dismay. Following that, the band cued up “Treat People With Kindness” (TPWK) — the song named after Styles’ famous phrase. The screens in the arena flashed a variety of colors and featured different members of Harry’s band, who have strong vocals in TPWK.
The only cover Styles sang during the concert was “What Makes You Beautiful,” the first single his former band One Direction released during their 5-year era. Even though it was technically a cover, there was not one person in the building who did not know the words, “baby you light up my world like nobody else.” Styles clearly has a great time making this song his own by changing up the original pop tempo to a more mellow rock sound. One couple close to the stage even got engaged during the song, making Harry stop in his tracks and congratulate them.
Phone flashlights lit up the arena as Styles sang his 6-minute “Fine Line” anthem, bringing a chorus of “we’ll be alright” to Detroit. For the encore performance, Styles sang his debut single “Sign of the Times,” featuring two giant disco balls that lit up the arena, and followed up with the feel-good vibe of “Watermelon Sugar.” “Kiwi” served as the real finale, with the lights flashing white and red and Styles bringing out his rockstar persona. Both Styles and the crowd gave 110% to this song to end the night on a high.
One of the best parts of the night was when Harry stopped to talk to the audience in between songs and told everyone in the arena to be “whoever you want to be.” And I think that is what sets a Harry Styles concert apart. In the words of my dad, as we were leaving the arena and walking down the streets of Detroit: “I don’t think there is any better performer in music right now.”
Artist: Harry Styles
Tour: Love on Tour
Location: Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan
Date: Sept. 20, 2021
Favorite performance: “Treat People with Kindness”
Shamrocks: 5 out of 5