Tales from the Tour: Harry Styles

Categories:  Music    The Arts
Tuesday, November 16th, 2021 at 2:22 PM
Tales from the Tour: Harry Styles by Julia Petrovich
Photo: Getty Images

After over a year of halted performances, concerts have begun to resurface in the entertainment world over the last few months following advancements in COVID-19 efforts.

Big names of the music industry began announcing new tour dates and rescheduling old, pre-COVID-19 concerts making this fall and the months that follow packed with a new act each week. Harry Styles’s Love on Tour, for example, was originally scheduled to start in April of 2020, but it had to be rescheduled due to the pandemic. Styles evidently used his time off to develop his concert sets even further, as his recent tour debut has proved an extremely impressive comeback into the world of in-person performances. 

Love on Tour began in Las Vegas, Nevada on Sept. 4, 2021 and will run through Nov. 20 with an impressive forty show run. The tour is an audience immersive experience that provides an entertaining night of music, laughter and showmanship. I was lucky enough to attend the Pittsburgh show in PPG Paints Arena on Oct. 14, and to say the show was entertaining would be an understatement.

The show began with opening act Jenny Lewis, American singer and former musician in the rock band Rilo Kiley. Lewis gave an invigorating performance accompanied with fun movement and interesting music. Going into the night, I was unfamiliar with Lewis’s career or the nature of her music, but I was pleasantly surprised by her stage presence and overall performance.

Immediately following Lewis’s performance, the anticipation for Styles to finally hit the stage overtook the stadium, with the energy immediately changing and fans chanting for Styles to begin. Following a much awaited entrance, Styles began the concert with his hit song “Golden,” and immediately had the attention of the crowd. Styles continued the night with more of his hit songs and hilarious banter with the audience. He involved the crowd in nearly every way possible, floating from the middle of the stage down to each runway to ensure that the entire arena was involved. His mystical presence and charming manner captured the audience's attention and hearts as the night continued.  

Styles hasan impressive discography dating all the way back to his time on the British television music competition the X Factor (UK) Interactive, and in the popular boy band One Direction. Because of his long history in the music industry, the setlist guaranteed an emotional night for fans, with a total of 18 songs varying in performance type. Styles explored his most energetic songs to some of his most devastating, utilizing different parts of the stage and different instruments to create a different mood for nearly every song.  

Styles was backed by his impressive band with members: Elin Sandberg, Niji Adeleye, Pauli Lovejoy, Mitch Rowland, Sarah Jones, Ny Oh, Adam Prendergast, and Charlotte Clark joining him on stage. Styles put on a show as a man of many talents, dancing, singing, and often playing guitar at the same time. The entire show was filled with song after song of fans dancing and singing along, ending with several of his biggest hits, a One Direction original, “What Makes You Beautiful,” and an encore including “Watermelon Sugar” and “Kiwi.” Both songs had the audience dancing and jumping so much it felt like the whole building was shaking.  

 Not only was Styles’s performance impressive, but his ability to capture the attention of a room and command the stage was awestricken. He provided both musical and verbal entertainment, allowing his music and quick wit to engage the audience, using as many opportunities as possible to have conversations with audience members. One fan that called upon by Styles was celebrating being in remission from cancer, while her friend celebrated her birthday. Styles took both of their comments and engaged the entire arena, providing best wishes and the performance of the happy birthday song.   

 As one who has attended many concerts, I can without a doubt say that Harry Styles’s Love on Tour was one of the best concerts I have attended. His ability to entertain audiences while simultaneously performing personal music makes for a night that is truly unforgettable. Love on Tour will be continuing throughout the month of November, ending in Los Angeles, CA on the 20th.  

 Julia Petrovich, Voices Editor | @EdinboroNow

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