One Of The Few Performers I Would Get Up At 6am For: Harry Styles Concert(s) Review
There I was, sitting on the sidewalk near I-35 and Red River Street. No, I’m not a hungover UT student on their way to class. I’m in line for pit tickets for the Harry Styles concert. My mom took off a week from work, because she wanted to be there with my sister and I. She is the one who secured the tickets, and woke me up at 5:30AM to get in line for them. For now, I’ll say that she’s a bigger Harry Styles fan than I am. The two of us are neck and neck for second place. First place goes to my sister, who spent the night waiting in line. You see, infatuation with Harry is a family trait. My sister isn’t the only one who spent the night on the sidewalk, though. She may have been 235th place in line, but Harry is #1 in her heart. My Mom and I were in 636th place. I prayed my class would be canceled as we drowsily collected our wristbands. Thankfully, the good Lord was on my side. My class was canceled, so I gleefully returned to my bed for a nap before my next class.
Several hours later, we arrived early (again) to get in line for the concert. The security guards guided us through like cattle towards the entryways for the concert. While waiting for the opener, the jumbotron displaced a message: “Together, we can end gun violence. Love on Tour X Everytown for Gun Safety.” I really appreciated that Harry used his platform in a way to incite progressive political change. Especially in Texas, a state that recently had one of the deadliest mass shootings in history-Uvalde. Harry also had Headcount there, which is an organization that registers people to vote. This is important, considering that there’s many elections coming up this November.
I didn’t know much about the opener, Gabriels, either, but was impressed by him as well. They begin, and they play some jazzy, pop-y music. Harry must have had some influence over Gabriels, the music and outfit had Harry’s flair. Their vocal range was incredible. They played music that sounded old-school, but in a more contemporary way similar to some of Lizzo’s songs.
Next… the main attraction… Harry Styles himself! He rose from the center of the stage. The fans went feral. There’s a sudden lurch in the crowd of the pit; everyone was squeezing together to get the closest they can to Mr. Styles. I am reminded of the cattle-like process of lining up for the tickets. His outfit was either UT-themed or Halloween-themed. Or Orange Is The New Black themed. It’s this eccentric orange and black jumpsuit that only he could pull off. He began with his song Daydreaming and went through his anticipated set-list. His voice was even better than it was on his recorded albums. The list had clearly been reviewed by the pit prior to the concert, as some fans switched sides of the stage to get different angles for different songs.
What was unanticipated, though, and what made Night 3 the best was that he played Medicine. This song is a throwback to his first tour, and a song off the track that he sang at his first concert tour. My sister believes that she influenced Harry to perform the song. She was holding up a sign that said: “Play Medicine, or I’ll text my ex.” The pit wanted him to play this song, also, as they chanted the name of the song during his breaks, and the chanting of the name of the song during the breaks. Harry would pretend that he was leaving, and then come back for more. Eventually, he gave into the crowd (or so we would like to believe) and performed Medicine. He had as much energy as the fans that night; he engaged with several people in the arena. He mostly read off contrasting signs that talked about both being cheated on or getting married.
My mom, the “Ticketmaster,” as my sister and I affectionately refer to her, scored us tickets for Night 4 as well. For night 4, in the 200 level of the amphitheater. As an avid concert go-er, I’ve seen a range of performers’ stage presences, and I rate Harry’s as being the best. I say this because from both nights’ views, he was great. The colorful lighting and the effects on the jumbotron were fun to watch from the 200 level, as well. He jokingly used Texas slang and put on a cowboy hat that was thrown at him. Harry must have missed our city, Austin, as it had been 4 years since they had last seen each other. Chicago got Harry after us, which I’m sure my former classmates at DePaul were happy to see him. Austin and Chicago are rated as some of the best cities for young people to live in, and we are lucky to have his residency. I love Chicago, but hope Harry comes back to Austin for his third tour, whenever that may be. Everything is bigger in Texas, including the love for Mr. Styles.