Concert review: Three ‘Golden’ nights with Harry Styles


Lovclyhes | Wikimedia Commons

Miosori Polanco

The roaring screams of a sold-out arena popped my eardrums, not once, not twice, but three times as Harry Styles took the stage, in his element as a natural-born performer.

An icon in his own right, Styles has just finished the 42-show tour, selling out the American leg of the “Love on Tour” for his sophomore album, “Fine Line.” The project went double-platinum and still holds a place in the Billboard 200 to this day, two years after its release in 2019.

The 27-year-old British singer gives his all on stage in any city he’s in, but the electric energy felt at his first night in New York, the second night of Harryween and show-stopping end of tour at the UBS Arena cannot be under exaggerated.

Although each of the shows marked different moments in the tour, and in Styles’ own career, each crowd was guaranteed a charismatic, heart-felt and floor shaking show from the popstar. The guarantee doesn’t come from the star’s own lips, but rather from the reputation that precedes him without fail. His setlist stayed virtually the same across his shows, except for a few surprises that only true fans would feel the weight of when drummer Sarah Jones hit out the first beats.

Madison Square Garden and the surrounding area was littered with glitter, flags and an absurd amount of feather boas on Oct. 3. His first night at MSG since his last sold-out show in 2018,saw Styles donned in an all-black Gucci suit, interwoven with sequins and full arms of black feathers, giving a performance fit for the city that never sleeps.

Spectators were over the moon hearing cult-favorites from his first and self-titled album such as “Carolina,” “Woman” and the ever sultry “Only Angel,” alongside the entirety of “Fine Line,” which is a rarity for this tour, considering only nine out of the 42 shows got to hear fan-favorite “To Be So Lonely.”

Styles was his usual charismatic and magnetic persona, but with a heavy undertone of emotion as he took in the arena with every few songs, as if to realize that he truly has made it to the big leagues, and all of these people were truly there to see him dive into his craft. He seemed to move with more confidence and ease than the last time the city had seen him, feeling the music down to his bones and making sure everyone was having a good time.

The night ended with a literal ground breaking performance of “Kiwi.” If you were along 34th street at 10:35pm and felt something mimicking an earthquake, it was the 20,000 people in MSG screaming and dancing to the lyrics, “It’s New York, baby, always jacked up” for the first time in years.

Harryween, his two-night Halloween-themed concerts, was a new venture for Styles, who hadn’t done a holiday themed performance before, unless Jingle Ball performances were taken into account. Emotions ran high the whole day as ticket-holders flooded the arena decked out in costumes mimicking Styles, referencing his songs and just an overall show of fashion that could put the Met Gala to shame. Another round of chaos was found among those outside the venue without tickets, as they tried desperately to find some to the sold-out performance.

Throughout the night the crowd chanted “Medicine! Medicine! Medicine!” no less than three times, a man shouting “Give us medicine for Christ’s sake!” To any casual fan, these chants would cause confusion. But to any die-hard, “Medicine” is the epitome of Styles’ rock influences and it hasn’t been performed live since 2018.

In the words of the star himself at his Arkansas show, “I give you what you want!”

Screams heard for miles rose up out of the arena as the intro to the song played, then abruptly stopped as Styles surveyed the chaos he was about to wreck. This then flowed into a full-blown rock performance of the cult-favorite. His matured vocals served the song well as he danced around the stage with the confidence of a seasoned entertainer.

The audience didn’t get a chance to breathe as Styles suddenly stopped “Medicine,” stared out at the crowd in fake shock and mischief as the introduction to “Toxic” by Britney Spears began to play. The night ended in a jaw-dropping and electrifying cover of the song.

And while Harryween was a celebration in its own right, nothing compares to the end of an era.

In this case, the end of the American leg of “Love on Tour” found fans at the newly built UBS Arena in Long Island. Whispers of a fan project made its way through the crowd as everyone walked around with signs that said “Welcome to the Final Show,” lyrics from Styles’ solo debut “Sign of the Times.” The energy was electrifying and bitter-sweet all at the same time, as Styles took the stage for the last time until the next leg of his tour.

As humble as ever, tears were shed on both parties as he thanked the fans and crew for their undying love and support towards him. His ability to encapsulate a space was truly put to the test as he pranced around the 360-degree stage trying to give every corner of the room a piece of him, one last time. He succeeded immensely in making sure everyone, from those on the floor to those in the nosebleeds, felt included.

The night, and tour, ended with a phenomenon seen only once, known amongst the fandom as “Thriwi.” Styles gave three back-to-back performances of the floor-shaking Kiwi, by which at the last round the arena was dripping in sweat, tears and the faint sense of goodbye as the singer screamed, “You’re gonna have to kill me to get me off here!”

It’s no secret that Styles has talent. But to see him live only emphasizes the fact that he loves his craft as much as his fans love him and his music. He has the ability to not only make one feel every emotion in his lyrics, but also the energy he exudes on stage. Mixing together not only music and fashion, Styles’ shows for “Love on Tour,” is, as he says, a place to feel good.