I’ll also be revealing the song because I just left “Harry’s House,” as Madison Square Garden is called during the British singer’s month-long stay there. And in “Harry’s House” no one feels bad about themselves.
Let me withdraw for a moment.
During the height of the pandemic, those early cold months in New York, locked up at home and filled with fear, I fell in love with Styles. I know people have loved him for much longer, but hey, excuse me. I’m on board now.
In May, when Styles released his third solo album, ‘Harry’s House’, I went crazy. It’s on repeat in the car and at home and my now 4-year-old daughter knows all the words to all the songs. It’s our happy place. So I was sorry to inform her that I was flying to New York to see “Love on Tour 2022” and that she was too young to go. But that was my birthday present to myself. Can’t I have a “mom” for a night? Couldn’t I make waffles, or vacuum, or fold the laundry, or scoop the litter box, or take macaroni out of the rug for just a few hours?
When my friend texted Tracy that she was getting tickets, I gave her money so quickly that the prize was not recorded until after. Oh, it’s Harry. What is a few weeks of Ramen Noodles and waiting for my husband to fill the gas tank?
Attending the August 21 show, I walked from my friend’s Chelsea apartment to MSG, which had been transformed into Styles’ colorful aesthetic, with rainbow, neon stripes illuminating the outside of the venue. I kept seeing the remains of feather boas, fluffy hair, and tinsel lining the streets. Thousands of people wore boas, along with watermelons, strawberries, kiwis, sequins, cowboy hats and, well, anything you really wanted. That’s the magic of Styles. Come as you are – or any technicolor dream of your choice.
So instead of forgetting my age for the night, I owned it. After all, ‘Harry’s House’ is a place where everyone who likes kindness is at home.
At 8:59 p.m., the roars and chants of “Harry! Harry Harry!” started. Tracy, who had been with Styles before, laughed and said, “See that little black box? Harry’s in there.” (To keep his outfit a surprise, Styles is wheeled under the stage while crouching in a small black box. He then pops up through a hole in the center of the stage.) I’ve never seen one like this in my life. screams heard in front of a box in motion.
He played with the crowd, read the fans’ signs and laughed twice. He blew kisses and talked about his ass. He played “in the round,” a term for working the entire stage in the center of the room, so everyone had a good chance of seeing him clearly.
“This show is in 360 degrees, we’re in the round,” he told the crowd. “Sometimes we’ll be face to face, face to face, window to soul to window to soul. That means I’ll be looking away from you some of the time, and you’ll be face to ass. If you find yourself discover a preference, let me know and I will evenly distribute the face and butt.”
“I’m just asking one very simple thing – I want you to have as much fun as you can possibly have,” he said, before counting 22 “golf dads,” a term he fondly used to describe dads in polo shirts who clearly show their young daughters to see him.
The stadium sang along with every song. Styles performed for nearly two hours, including “Golden,” “Adore You,” “Daylight,” “Keep Driving,” “Matilda,” “Little Freak,” “Satellite,” “Medicine,” and “As It Was.”
For the latter, MSG felt like the floor was shaking.
Throughout the show, Styles caught small gifts thrown at him, such as stuffed animals and balloons, more boas and hats. He danced around with the items before tossing them back into the crowd. His playfulness is part of the experience. To see all these people happy in one room because of one person is pure magic. There is no outside world while Styles is on stage.
For me, and for many others, Styles’ appeal lies in the acceptance and love he shows to everyone. It comes through in his music and it really comes through in person. Known for its own androgynous style, there were all kinds of people dressed in all kinds of ways in the audience and it was all ok.
At my age, Styles is a breath of fresh air. He has no toxic masculinity and he is also extremely handsome. He invites us to visit his world, where things are candy-colored and musical. It is a safe and joyful place.
I was still high on love at the airport the next day. About one in ten people who passed me were dressed in “Love On Tour” merchandise, including myself. We nodded at each other in mutual understanding.
On my flight home, a teenage girl sat next to me and had Styles as a screensaver on her phone.
“See the show?” I asked her.
“I still can’t believe he’s real,” she said.
“Same,” I told her. Then I listened to “Harry’s House” all the way home.