Feathers of every color covered 34th Street in New York City Saturday night. Groups of girls in boas, crop tops, ripped jeans and exuberant makeup stood outside Madison Square Garden, waiting for doors to open to the 360 degree stage inside. It was the ninth night of a total of 15 shows at Madison Square Garden for Harry Styles’s Love on Tour 2022 residency.
Saturday’s show comprised mostly of songs from Styles’s most recent album, “Harry’s House,” which was released this past May. Styles opened with “Daydreaming,” one of the rockier, feel-good songs on the album. Styles rose up from the center of the stage decked out in a red Gucci jumpsuit with a green and white striped t-shirt underneath. The audience’s screams were so loud that it was almost difficult to hear Styles’s voice, but the energy was so exhilarating no one seemed to care.
“Golden,” featuring Styles on the guitar, and “Adore You,” both hits from Styles’s 2019 album “Fine Line,” followed. In the latter song, Styles encouraged fans to sing the line “Just let me adore you,” to which Styles cheekily responded “Oh, alright then,” with a large smile on his face.
Some of the stronger songs off of “Harry’s House” followed, such as “Daylight” and “Keep Driving.” The crowd eagerly screamed along to the iconic “Keep Driving” bridge: “Cocaine, side boob / Choke her with a sea view.”
Styles performed the ballads “Matilda” and “Little Freak” with such emotion and conviction that it was almost hard to remember that he was smiling and bouncing around the stage only moments prior. The variance of tone and energy suggested the depth of Styles’s starpower and emotional intelligence.
In between “Cinema” and “Music for a Sushi Restaurant,” Styles incorporated a transition with horn instrumentalists playing the introduction to the Village People’s “YMCA,” a surprisingly effective way to tie the two songs together. The addition of the live horn players also added an increased level of fun and excitement to the already extravagant show.
The only song on the setlist from Styles’s five year-stint in the boyband One Direction was their most popular song, “What Makes You Beautiful.” Styles added a rockier flair to the tune, which made it sound more mature. The audience was dancing and screaming so much that the floor of Madison Square Garden actually began to shake.
Styles’s latest single, “Late Night Talking,” began with a sensual trumpet solo before bursting into the groovy tune, which was quickly followed by Grammy Award-winning “Watermelon Sugar” and the underrated “Harry’s House” song “Love of My Life.”
The highlight of the concert, however, came after Styles sang his famous ballad, “Sign of the Times.”
During Styles’s first solo tour, Live on Tour, he would regularly sing his unreleased rock song “Medicine,” which some believe is a bisexual anthem. However, in recent years, Styles has rarely played the tune.
On Saturday night, Styles decided to play the song fans yearn to hear every time they see him live. The opening drumbeats and guitar chords had fans screaming even louder than they did when Styles first arrived on stage. It was an experience everyone in that room will likely never forget. Styles concluded his phenomenal show with “Kiwi,” a hit from his first album.
Throughout the show, Styles took the time to engage with his audience: He sang “Happy Birthday” to a fan and talked to two young children holding a sign saying it was their first concert. Even while he was performing, Styles made an effort to wave and blow kisses to fans in every section of the arena.
Styles is in the midst of the second half of Love on Tour, which originally began last September and continued this summer. The tour is currently scheduled to conclude July 22, 2023 in Reggio Emilia, Italy.
Rebecca Carcieri is an arts & culture editor. She is a senior from Warwick, Rhode Island studying political science.