There are intrigued glances from those passing by as Broadway becomes flooded with droves of fans, primarily young women, migrating to Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.
Once in the arena, we claim a signature “Treat People With Kindness” t-shirt and the coolest tour poster.
Not long after we find our seats, the lights go down and Kacey Musgraves appears on stage in all silver sequins. Her long black hair and acoustic guitar drape over her shoulders. From “Slow Burn” and “Velvet Elvis” to “Butterflies,” she takes the crowd on a ride through her new album, Golden Hour.
Psychedelic graphics guide her audience through her songs. “Space Cowboy” lights up the arena in anthemic measure.
Kacey thanks the crowd for embracing her genre that has collided on tour with Harry’s. One mention of the name Harry causes an eruption of screaming- very loud screaming.
A sparkly saddle is in place of a disco ball. Her set ends with “High Horse.”
Now is the time to start getting nervous and emotional because the Harry Styles is about to make his appearance.
The crowd stays occupied with a playlist of fun sing-alongs as the stage is reset. Until… the beloved One Direction song “Olivia” comes on. The screaming gets so loud that my mom thinks Harry is on the stage. This moment got some serious eye rolls and head shakes from house security on the floor. Ha!
Immediately after, a graphic appears on the screen: Harry’s animated hands solving a Rubik’s Cube. This is the most innovative and impressive intro to any concert I’ve ever been to. Anticipation grows and a fan yells, “Solve the cube!”
We all know that when the cube is solved, Harry will be on stage. *screams*
In the meantime, Pink Floyd’s “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” plays as the Rubik’s Cube rotates. Mesmerizing.
Soon the cube is solved and the screen is rising to reveal what we’ve all come here for.
Heavenly sounds come from the stage, literally, it’s “Only Angel.” Harry is dancing around the stage, as he does, in a custom royal blue Gucci suit.
Time flies through “Woman,” “Two Ghosts,” “Ever Since New York” and “Carolina” that are intermittently backed by dreamlike animations of a pink sky, colorful lava spilling over rocks and mountainous scenes.
Harry introduces himself with a simple: “Hi, my name is Harry.”
Don’t let me fail to mention that within Bridgestone Arena is the loudest concert I have ever experienced. The sound is coming from screaming fans. Unbelievable.
After doing a song that did not make the first album, one that he wrote for Ariana Grande, and “Stockholm Syndrome” by One Direction, he runs through the crowd to the small square stage in the back of the arena.
Moved to tears, I am overwhelmed by being in the same space as Harry Styles. A beautiful sphere light fixture hangs above him as he does “If I Could Fly” from the last One Direction album, Made in the A.M.
Harry takes the main stage again. “What Makes You Beautiful” is a reminder of his unprecedented start with four other young guys paired by Simon Cowell on the X Factor in 2010, becoming arguably the most famous boy band of all time, One Direction.
“Sign of the Times” stands as the song that earned Harry the rights of a rockstar. Six minutes of intensity wrapped in the voice of a British angel, Harry could have sent us home on, WE DON’T TALK ENOUGH, WE SHOULD OPEN UP, BEFORE IT’S ALL TOO MUCH- but he doesn’t.
That’s good news. I could stand in this arena for eternity and watch the Gucci god sing the greatest collection of songs I’ve ever known. Dramatic? No, I’m being serious.
Harry disappears into the stage. Time for the encore. Wondering if I’ll ever be able to use my ears to hear again, due to the screaming, I continue to scream also.
Listen to the wind blow, watch the sun rise / Running in the shadows, damn your love, damn your lies, Harry and his band harmonize and clap along to Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain.” During the instrument-heavy part of the song, Harry exhorts the crowd to make the very most of the last five minutes given, he acknowledges the we will never be in this moment again.
The stage turns green. You can’t imagine the level of noise coming from screaming. It’s “Kiwi.” We know what that means- Harry aggressively dancing around the stage in his Mick Jagger-esque fashion. The crowd is screaming, “I’M HAVING YOUR BABY, IT’S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS” with Harry. As a part of Harry Styles lore, he grabs his water, takes a big drink, goes to the end of the stage and spits the water in the air. The crowd collectively loses their minds.
With that moment, the show ends.
The house lights come up.
Mom: “I’ve never seen this many happy people in one place.”
Some of the innovative, mesmerizing concept animations for Harry Styles Live on Tour: