Stop Your Crying: An evening with Harry Styles

The line for Harry Styles’ Sunday show in Atlanta wrapped around the inside of the Atlanta Braves Stadium. Such a line isn’t shocking for an artist with a fanbase like his, but it is shocking when the venue’s capacity is 3000 people. The tickets for Harry’s first tour promoting his debut solo album were sold out in literal seconds. To say his solo work was highly anticipated is an understatement. The former boybander already had a large following, but it makes me happy to say that his self-titled album takes a major step away from One Direction’s sound, and is gaining interest from a wide variety of music lovers.

I knew that the concert would be a big deal to a lot of his still die-hard fans, but I didn’t know exactly what to expect. In the end, my desire and excitement to see him perform live outweighed the unease of what the crowd would be like. Harry’s new sound is a perfect blend of 70’s Brit rock with a pop flare. The fact that Harry has such a new sound made me forget that he could still possibly have fangirls. Upon arriving to the venue with my two friends, we found our way inside the Braves Stadium where the line was moved due to a tropical storm. The girls at the front of the line had been there since four in the morning, so cue our worry of what was to come when the show started. Despite being so far back in line, we were still able to secure a place right in the middle of the small venue. However, we ended up hanging out at the back of the crowd after seeing the surrounding girls already aggressively trying to get closer to the stage. (It also didn’t help that every person there seemed to be at least 5’9” preventing us short gals from being able to see at all.)

The opening act, MUNA, brought their absolute A-game to the stage. The band was started by three queer girls from L.A., and currently includes two backing members that are traveling for the tour. This fact alone made me excited that Harry brought them on tour. We didn’t catch their whole set because of the time it took to get inside the venue, but what we did hear was a fun synth-pop sound paired with clean vocals. The set was so good that I actually almost forgot they were performing live. Needless to say, their album was added to my music library after the show.

Harry later stepped on stage to a chorus of screams and applause. After he played his first two songs, “Ever Since New York” and “Two Ghosts” (both of which got the crowd going), he asked everyone to take five steps back to ensure that there was enough room, and that no one was uncomfortable. Throughout the entire show, Harry was attentive and caring to the audience. I’m sure he knew that putting such committed fans into a general admission venue would be dangerous, but he was able to make sure that no accidents happened to anyone.

Along with the ten songs from his album, Harry also played “What Makes You Beautiful” and “Story of My Life” from his 1D days. It took me by surprise, but it was fitting that Harry would want to give a nod to the era that got his career off the ground as well as give a shout out to his older fans. In his set, Styles also did a cover of “Just a Little Bit of Your Heart” (a song he wrote for Ariana Grande) and “The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac. He even played his song “Kiwi” twice because it was such a crowd pleaser that had the whole house dancing. Every song that Harry performed was something special. His vocals were always right where they needed to be, and were paired with a stage presence that showed his love for his fans. Harry’s motto is “Treat people with kindness” and he uses his platform to do exactly that. He is constantly uplifting women and the LGBTQ+ community, and his shows are no different. Harry expressed his love and appreciation for playing to crowds of “strong women” on his tour, and kept repeating how lucky he was. He also had rainbow flags that he waved on stage and threw out to the crowd to show love for LGBTQ+. It is possible that Harry’s management team cooked this act up as a marketing ploy, but I didn’t personally get any false vibes from him. Harry has always acted kindly and a majority of sources (not including tabloids) have nothing but good things to say about him. From the concert and what I have encountered, I have no reason myself to believe that it is a marketing strategy. However, the jury is still out on this theory and I can only speak for my own experiences. Until the day I hang out with Harry Styles personally, I can only follow my gut.

Overall, it was a great concert. There are many occasions that artists act out at shows or really disappoint, but this time it was a genuine pleasure to attend a show where I didn’t regret any part of it. There were plenty of chances for things to go wrong, but Harry took matters into his own hands and took care of the crowd. I was very impressed with the positive impact he had on everyone that was there as well as the quality of the show he performed. The goal for his first tour was to play smaller venues that would give his fans a chance to have an intimate concert experience, and he accomplished exactly that.

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