I’m a 29 year old male and just attended my first Harry Styles concert.
Sundays, for the most part, are days of relaxation. They must have passed by watching the hangover To chase couch movies, where the most exciting and spontaneous thing one is likely to do is make the last-minute decision to go to a garage sale. And yet, somehow, last night I found myself at Wembley among 90,000 screaming teenagers watching Harry Styles.
It happened like this: The night before, I had gone out for a friend’s 30th birthday when another friend, Alice, texted me to say that more tickets had been released for sale at sold out Styles. love on tour show the next day – should we buy tickets?
“Why not?” I answered after several cans of San Miguel. Anyway I thought the chances of getting tickets were so low, Styles is a phenomenon after all and when the tour first went on sale in February it sold out so quickly it takes to click on a link and wait for the page to display. load.
When I woke up the next morning, it took me a while to piece together the night before when it hit me: did I agree to go to a Harry Styles concert? Yes I did and the doors opened at 4pm.
This is by no means a normal thing for me. I’m much more likely to listen to Bob Dylan or Leonard Cohen. The last gig I attended was Benjamin Clementine and before that it was Fleet Foxes. I’m also a far cry from the average Harry Styles fan, which from what I’ve been able to gather are young women aged 15-18 accompanied by mostly reluctant (but passionate) fathers and mothers (seemingly ) very happy.
And I admit it, I loved every moment. I may be a convert.
I’m not a fan of Styles’ music, although it’s nice enough – especially “As It Was” – but I’ve always been drawn to him. He is a fascinating cultural character, and if I could exchange lives with someone, it would probably be him. Not only is he currently selling out stadiums around the world, but he also recently starred in two movies that are slated for release later this year. He is essentially the Frank Sinatra or Elvis of this generation – at least culturally speaking.
My usual social bubble is to discuss writers who have been dead for a long time and niche books; it consists of cost of living crisis and Ukraine and scary headlines. Spending two hours in what must have been one of the happiest places on earth at that time was just wonderful.
Two rows in front of me was another man. He must have had the end of his forties and had a shaved skull and tired tattoos on his muscular arms. I don’t mean to stereotype but he wouldn’t have looked out of place with a plastic pint on the terraces of a football match or whatever. But there he was, pink feather boa around his neck with his two children – a boy and a girl around seven and eight – and frankly it was the sweetest thing, especially on Father’s Day.
To keep up to date with all the latest opinions and comments, sign up for our free weekly Voices Dispatches newsletter. click here
Then, almost halfway through the show, Styles spotted a panel in the crowd asking Harry’s help to go out. Styles took the sign (and a Pride flag) and asked the audience for help. “When the flag rises above my head, this man is officially eliminated,” he said. “I think that’s how it works.” Then he led the audience in applause as Styles finally raised the flag above his head after teasing and teasing … and when the flag was raised in the air, everyone in the crowd cheered.
All the many crises we face have been forgotten. For two hours, this new bubble I visited was happy. Styles’ enjoyment of being on stage in front of an audience was obvious, he was extremely confident, and man he’s a cool dude… I’m not going to attend one of his concerts with a boa and a hat. cowboy and heart-shaped glasses soon as his most loyal fans. But I felt like I was witnessing an important event.
It’s very easy to be snobby about these things. No, Styles is not Mick Jagger, but ignore someone as culturally relevant as styles at your own risk. He’s on the cutting edge of fashion (the first man to appear solo on the front of vogue), music – and now cinema.
He is already an icon for a whole generation. And while his message of “treating people with kindness” may seem wishy-washy to some, you don’t need a meteorologist to know which way the wind is blowing.