By Eva Rice Howard
One man. Two albums. 60 tattoos. 40 shows.
No town in the world is unaware of Harry Styles and his legacy – not even Deerfield. The British singer stole everyone’s heart 11 years ago, and now, on his second tour, we don’t want our hearts back. Due to the pandemic, Styles was forced to cancel and postpone performances in many countries – limiting Love On Tour to the USA. After selling out post-announcement in November 2019, fans without tickets were sure they wouldn’t make it to see their idol this time. Until he added more dates.
Lucky for New Englanders, a new show was added in Connecticut – at the Mohegan Sun Arena in late October. Harry’s most dedicated will be there – and that includes Frontier.
If you need a catch-up, we’ve got you covered. Harry Edward Styles joined one of the most successful boybands of all time, One Direction, starting at age 16. After the band’s hiatus, Harry starred in Christopher Nolan’s war drama Dunkirk after the release of his first album. Styles released another glorious album, filmed two movies, and had dozens of other projects and successes. He guest starred and then hosted Saturday Night Live, did several Gucci modeling campaigns, co-hosted the Met Gala, and continued to gain success and adoration from the whole planet.
To hear more, I talked to Frontier’s Renee Hait. When asked for her thoughts on the musician, Hait responded, “I think that he’s – he’s great. I really enjoy listening to his music.” The interview proceeded to go into his brave and record-breaking Vogue article. Infamously, Harry got backlash from conservative politicians after being the first man to be photographed solo on the cover of the magazine – and wearing a dress. Hait continued, “…they need to open up their eyes a little bit and stop being so insecure about themselves that they have to reflect their insecurities onto other people who really shouldn’t be their concern.” Like Hait, Harry Styles didn’t let the criticism get to him. He made fun of Candace Owens’ infamous tweet complaining about his masculinity, titling his Instagram glamour shot post “Bring back manly men.”
Styles unforgettably opened the Grammy Awards in March wearing a black leather suit, a bright green boa, and his classic heeled boots. Oh, I didn’t mention a shirt? That’s because THERE WAS NO SHIRT. Personally, when I was watching the performance and saw him tear off the boa to reveal his tattoos shining freely underneath, I almost had a heart attack. Watching Harry go from wearing button-down shirts with suspenders back in the band to dancing in front of millions people, clad in glamorous black leather, is almost surreal.
Styles’ sophomore album, Fine Line, was released 3 months before lockdown began, barely giving the record a chance to take off. That doesn’t mean it’s not successful. In its first week, it sold nearly half a million copies – the biggest week for a male pop artist in 4 years. It became the first #1 album of 2020. After peaking at #1 on the billboard, it hasn’t left the top 200 since.
But enough about the album – let’s talk about the tour. On his last tour, Harry only had one album’s work to offer – the emotionally packed songs of his self-titled debut album. On this tour, he’s hitting us with songs from both albums – and classic One Direction hits such as What Makes You Beautiful. On the opening night of his first tour, Styles entered wearing a custom Gucci floral suit with a white button-shirt (the suit jacket eventually came off). In the last few months, it’s safe to say that Harry’s entered a new era.
Flash forward to September 4th. Enter Harry Styles in another custom Gucci outfit – with quite a different vibe. Flowy red trousers, heeled tan boots (adding to the singer’s muscular 6’0 stature) and a glittering red vest. With no shirt. The internet, as well as the present audience, immediately went wild over Harry’s appearance. Styles wore his typical rings and nail polish along with the shining Gucci over his muscles. The songwriter/actor/model/heartthrob showed off his famous tattoos, interacted with fans in the crowd, waved many pride flags, danced his heart out, and told us he loved us for 2 hours. From the heartbreakingly charged ballads like Fine Line and Falling that had the audience in tears to rocking anthems such as Kiwi and Only Angel, Styles did not disappoint.
With dozens of shows to go, fans are excitedly predicting song changes, outfits, and dad jokes to be seen onstage. Highlights so far include: Harry holding a limited edition barbie doll of himself from 2011, throwing water into the crowd, and Mitch the guitarist smiling for once.
Just like Harry, fans like to dress up. Some have taken the concert as an opportunity to put together the outfit of a lifetime. So far, there have been attendees dressed as watermelons, ghosts, and ballerinas (allusions to harry’s songs and an iconic Saturday Night Live photoshoot).
Is dressing up so extravagantly worth it? Fellow Harry enthusiast Emma Russo says absolutely. In an excited interview, I asked for her thoughts on the stress attendees are putting on themselves to dress up.
“…I think with his fashion sense, everyone’s trying to match that. And I think, it’s just, it’s fun to dress up and like, be different, and be totally, like, out of your comfort zone.” Russo said. “I think it’s a struggle and I think it’s a valid struggle.”
Styles’ dedication to his art and his fans showed through his willingness to safely perform to connect with the public again. After needing to use an oxygen mask due to the altitude in Denver, the audience remembered how much he loves us. Harry’s favorite thing to do is tell his fans how much he appreciates them. He thanks us for every award, performance, article, and opportunity. Throughout his stardom, he’s never lost his genuine kindness and pure heart. He sends snacks and treats to fans standing in line, or employees on a set. Whenever fans blow him kisses, he catches them to keep in his pocket. In a tweet thanking fans for 1 year of Fine Line, the musician wrote, “…thank you for listening, and for everything else. I always love you, but especially today. H”.