It is probably safe to say that those who follow me here on Fangirlish or anywhere online know that I am a fan of Harry Styles. Following the One Direction fandom since my late introduction in 2014, he has consumed my life in a way that no other artist has with his humor, his kindness and his undeniable talent.
When 1D chose to take a hiatus, I will admit I felt a bit of withdrawal for the first little while. What would we do now that there was no 1D to follow? No new appearances, concerts, music for who knew how long? Well, my worry was for not as we have been treated to four times the appearance, concerts and music as they each pursue their solo efforts.
In his latest tour, Harry Styles has taken the world by storm and last night (June 16) hit my home town of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I purchased the tickets exactly 1 year and 1 day prior to the show, having them attached to my fridge as a daily reminder of what was to come.
Yesterday was that day, and he surpassed all expectation. Taking in the show with 3 friends, we were treated to songs old and new, his usual humor and banter with the crowd, and the flare that can only be described as Harry. While the anticipation of the show for 1 year and 1 day should have been enough, fate seemed to have a sense of humor as it made us wait an additional hour outside the venue before allowed entrance thanks to the US-Canada border taking interest in the tour buses. The stage arrived only 4 hours before opener Kacey Musgraves was expected to greet the crowd, but thanks to the effort and determination of the stage crew, the show began less than one hour later than expected.
Musgraves wow’d the crowd with her sweet, strong, and captivating voice, encouraging the crowd to be who they are and thanking them for welcoming her with open arms.
Clad in a pink and black Gucci suit, Harry hit the stage to Only Angel, the crowd screaming the moment the first notes were played. For those wondering if his voice is as hypnotizing in real life as it is on an album….yes, yes it is. Woman followed, the rhythmic tune that has a very 70’s vibe, very fitting of Styles.
Of course, we all know Harry is all about inclusion. His mantra of ‘treat people with kindness’ was featured on all merchandise, as well as comments made through the show to be who you are, love who you love, and know that at his shows you are in a safe space.
‘Feel free to be whoever you’d like to be’ – Harry Styles, Toronto
Picking up his guitar not long into the show, we were treated to a talent that many fans were unaware of before Styles took off on his solo tour. ‘Ever Since New York’ had the crowd swaying, taking in a night we all knew we would never forget.
Of course, Styles couldn’t go without touching on his 1D roots, treating us to Stockholm Syndrome, and later, If I Could Fly and What Makes You Beautiful (during which Harry ran across stage carrying a rainbow Canada flag). As any who follow Harry concert news, two unreleased songs ‘Anna’ and ‘Medicine’ are live show only features, both of which were greeted by enthusiastic fans.
I have to admit I could listen to Harry banter with the crowd just as much as I love to listen to him sing. Looking through the audience, he interacted with various fans, including one man who Harry found his shirt quite interesting.
‘That’s a wonderful shirt. I however can see both of your nipples. But you wear it well.’ – Harry Styles, Toronto
And, for those who have seen Styles in Toronto before, he can’t come to Canada without mentioning his favorite things about the country. In a countdown of randomness and hilarity, it culminated in this:
‘Number eight of my favorite things about Canada…Michael Buble, riding a moose thing, covered in maple syrup, eating poutine’ – Harry Styles, Toronto
Braving the crowds, Styles walked through a narrow catwalk, greeting fans, signing autographs and accepting gifts on his way to B stage to sing Sweet Creature. Now, this was where the true magic of the 1D/Styles fandoms shone through…literally. Before the show began, fans passed out different colored filters for cell phones, with the message to use them during Sweet Creature. When the time came, the entire stadium was transformed into a rainbow of light and love to the sound of Styles voice. He looked around, captivated and awed, a smile on his face.
Nearing the end of the show, Styles humor came through as always.
‘This is our last song. Then we will go back stage, pretend we have left, and come back to sing three more.’ – Harry Styles, Toronto
Bringing the show to a close with the fan favorite tune, Kiwi, we were treated to Styles odd dancing and enthusiasm to cap off the night. And, of course, his infamous ‘whale’.
It was a night the entire stadium could feel was special, even if you had already seen Styles perform as part of 1D, or in his solo debut at Massey Hall in 2017. The connectivity, the sense of commonality and the love of this incomparable human brought me together with the three friends I attended with, and I know many others in the crowd were there with friends they had made because of Styles and his bandmates.
Congrats to Harry and his team on another incredible show, and for giving your fans more than just your music. You give them hope, safety, and comfort, more than you will ever know! Until next time, Mr. Styles.