Harry Styles made his return to the stage on Sept. 4 in Las Vegas to kick off his “Love On Tour” concert, which was postponed for more than a year due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
A mere two weeks ago, a friend and I attended Styles’ Philadelphia show at the Wells Fargo Center, and the upbeat “Treat People With Kindness” tune is right, I did “just keep on dancing!"
Being a fan of Styles since his One Direction days, getting to watch him as a solo artist for the first time brought back a sense of nostalgia and an adrenaline rush, especially during the opening performance of “Golden."
As the concert proceeded, I began to reminisce on my first One Direction concert in 2013 for the “Take Me Home Tour." I remember being 11 years old, being so excited during the days leading up to the concert, making a t-shirt and a cardboard sign (that I thought the boys would see from the nosebleeds). It makes going to a concert like “Love On Tour” a little more special knowing that I grew up listening to Styles.
This being said, one of my favorite songs on the setlist was, surprise … “What Makes You Beautiful"! Yes, a stadium full of fans can still chant the lyrics to One Direction’s first hit single, released in 2011.
But, this doesn’t mean I didn’t shed some tears to the heart wrenching tune of “Falling," or enjoy the rock 'n' roll, risqué vibe of pieces like “Carolina” and “She."
While the 2015 split of One Direction was difficult to understand as a young fan, it has been interesting to listen to what the boys produce as solo artists, and how they have found their own musical style, reasons why albums like “Fine Line” exist.
Styles made his debut as a solo artist in 2017 with the release of “Sign of the Times," which was the lead single for his first album, “Harry Styles." After nearly two years since the split of One Direction, “Sign of the Times” reached No. 1 on the Billboard + Twitter Top Tracks chart for the week of April 22, 2017.
As a fan of Styles for many years, hearing songs like “Sign of the Times” and “Woman” for the first time came as quite a shock because my last impression of Styles performing was the playful, happy-go-lucky vibe of One Direction's final 2015 album, “Made in the A.M.” But based on the fanbase in the stadium, myself and many alike have enjoyed the new sound Styles has created for himself.
Although the performances during the concert were thrilling, Styles, alongside his band, is just genuinely entertaining to watch. One of my favorite parts of the concert was when Styles turned to the crowd and said, “You know what else is great about Philadelphia? WAWA BABY, WAWA!” Being a big fan of Styles and a big fan of Wawa, it really hit home!
The “Love On Tour” setlist concluded with one of my favorites, “Kiwi." The atmosphere in the venue was like no other, thousands of fans singing along together, and during a song like that the lyrics are just meant to be screamed, like its “none of your business!"
Having Styles be my first large concert since the start of the pandemic was truly amazing and worth the very long wait. If you told high school me she would have to wait until sophomore year of college to see “Love On Tour," she would have flipped out.
“Love On Tour” continues, with the final show being on Nov. 20 in Los Angeles. Similarly to how the older generations tell younger individuals about seeing The Beatles in concert, I will be sure to tell my children and grandchildren about Styles and One Direction. “Love On Tour” is a performance I will never forget.