I recently attended Harry Styles' concert at Madison Square Garden. To most people when you hear Harry Styles, you think of an ex boy band member that all teenage girls obsess over. While that is not wrong, he is so much more then that. Harry Styles is an idol to me and many others. He uses his platform for great things, and has changed so much of the way I think and hear music. I was never a big fan of One Direction, I liked some of their music but never went to their concerts or anything. I do regret that now. Harry is different to me. I don't see him as a boy band member, I see him as a loving person who wants to impact the world and I applaud him for that. When Harry's album dropped last year, I could not get tickets to his sold out Radio City show but was lucky enough to get two tickets to his second sold out night at Madison Square Garden. I scored them both for $150 right next to b stage. I personally was so happy I was able to get tickets and waited so long for the concert but it was all worth the wait. When Harry released his first solo single "Sign Of The Times," I immediately fell in love with everything about it. It was so much of what I craved in this pop filled music industry and the lyrics meant so much to me. When Harry released his album that I anticipated so much it was so much of what I wanted and more. From then on, I was a full time Harry Styles fan.
I arrived to the arena around 1 hour before the show started. I arrived to see many teenage girls and boys who looked like they stepped out of the 80s, the outfits were amazing and so well put together. I then proceeded to take pictures then go into the arena. I went through security and right after I went through it I felt so much safer. Ever since the attacks at concerts, I and many other concertgoers have felt anxious and nervous to be in any venue. Having that security reassured me that I was going to be in good hands that night. My sister and I then stood in a long but fast line for merchandise. I picked up a hoodie that says "treat people with kindness" and "Harry" on it. For any Harry fans, they know that treat people with kindness is something Harry really encourages people to do. The hoodie was a pretty decent price for official tour merchandise, priced at $65. I then got hair ties that say the same slogan on it. Harry donated all the money from the hair ties to charity which made me feel amazing to know that I was giving back. Throughout the main entrance hallway, Harry's album was playing and I was so excited due to the fact I was about to see all these songs live.
I said goodbye to people I talked to in line and walked side by side with my sister with a smile plastered on my face which could not be achieved from anyone else. Our tickets were scanned and we walked to the floor where our seats are. We walked up to two workers who were selling water bottles. I was confused because I have never seen water bottles being sold at an event. We asked what they were for and the worker responded, "Harry wants to make his tour more environment friendly, and plastic free so he is selling water bottles that will help him do that." I immediately took out $20 to buy one because I was so for the cause and thought it was so nice to do that. The water bottle says Harry and treat people with kindness on it and use it every day. I filled up my water bottle and ran to my seat about to scream from excitement.
I sat down and begin to really get into the zone. I was about to see someone I have been waiting to see for 2 years. I was also shocked by how diverse the crowd was. There were many male fans which was different but awesome to see judging how Harry's fan base consist of so many girls. There were many POC fans. People in or who supported the LGBTQ+ community and people of every race. It was amazing to be able to have someone next to me who I actually talked to for a while before the show started. Harry's fans are usually labeled as very nice and kind and the guy next to me was just that. The lights went down and the opening act was about to come out.
I am not that big of a fan of country music and for some reason, Harry chose a country female singer, Kacey Musgraves, as his opening act. During her short 45 minute performance I did enjoy it more then I expected, and am actually thinking about listening to more of her music. She then finished her act and the stage screen came down and surrounded the stage which means they were setting up for Harry.
At this point I began to get nervous, anxious, scared and excited. I felt all the emotions. Harry's pre show set list had me calmed down though. It included a One Direction song, which the WHOLE arena sang along to, which was so awesome to see. It also included "Hey Jude" by the Beatles, iconic New York songs, "New York, New York" and "New York State Of Mind." It included Shania Twain and others as well. During that an animation of what seemed to be Harry playing with a rubix cube appeared which according to the girls in our row meant 30 minutes until Harry came out on stage.
Harry started with "Only Angel," an almost 5 minute record that starts with the illusion of angels singing that goes into an 80s rock sounding song. As the beginning instrumental played, the screen setup went up and showed Harry, standing there looking up so confidently and so proud that he sold out two nights at Madison Square Garden, ready to take all of us on a journey through his music. He even danced around on stage with a Pride and Black Lives Matter flag, two topics that are sensitive in this world, but he did it just knowing that everyone is equal and supported. The almost two hour show was full of singing, dancing and crying from me and probably many others. He sang all the songs off his album, many One Direction songs, two unreleased songs, a Fleetwood Mac and Ariana Grande song, and even did a surprise cover with Kacey of Shania Twain.
I walked out of the concert with a very odd feeling. I had a new appreciation for the world around me. I learned that all this world needs is love which is something I am able to do. Harry taught me that night to be kinder to people in this hate filled world. Harry's music and message is something this world needs. In a world where electronic beats under auto-tuned voices dominate the music industry, Harry stands out with his rock influenced music. Harry's music has no electronic sound and is all live music as shown in his concert with a live band standing right behind him during the show. Harry Styles' concert really impacted me and was an amazing night. I am so excited for future music from Harry and to be able to see him in concert again.