Harry Styles, Kacey Musgraves
June 7, 2K18
Harry Styles is at his best when he lets himself go. Lost in the music, he pumps his arm and flashes that smile and you understand why the Toyota Center was packed front to back, top to bottom, for a rare “yes, we will let you pay to sit behind the stage if you want” show. The man has
One Direction, Styles' former day job, had good songs to be sure, and Styles could have spent the rest of his life making millions by writing safe, catchy earworms. Maybe in time he will again, but his current focus on “classic rock brought to the modern era” suits him so much better that it’s almost hard to believe that the reason we know about him is that he was in a mainstream boy band.
Had One Direction not been a thing, I can still imagine Styles being a success. He’s too talented and too charismatic to fail. You listen to him sing “If I Could Fly” and you can see the eventual acoustic tour he seems destined to do. You hear his updated version of “What Makes You Beautiful” and the way he thrashes across the stage and you can picture him killing it 40 years from now in a huge, Rod Stewart-
Still, while the music was good, it was his crowd interactions that were even better. He comes off as so natural and human on stage that if he wanted to just talk for 45 minutes I would have gone along with it willingly. From singing “Happy Birthday” to helping friends sitting in different sections communicate to telling a young, male fan that crying is a totally manly thing to do, all of his interactions were good for a laugh or a warm heart.
The singles from his self-titled debut album might not have set the world on fire, but it’s a perfectly fine album that proved that Styles has the goods. Does he have an album in him that we’ll look back at as a classic down the line? Maybe. I wouldn’t bet against him. What I’m certain of is that he’ll be a live force to reckon with for decades to come, if
So, How Was The Opener?: I’ve been in the bag for Kacey Musgraves since the first time I heard “Follow Your Arrow” and I’ve yet to be disappointed by one of her live performances. Was her 45
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Personal Bias: Harry Styles was my favorite member of One Direction, but I have a soft spot for Louis too. Kacey Musgraves is a gem.
The Crowd: Painfully loud and well-versed in all things Harry Styles. You got the impression they turned up the volume extra loud on the band to compensate for how loud the fans were singing along.
Overheard in the Crowd: “Thanks! It’s a scarf. It was $19,” explained a woman in front of us to the people sitting beside her after they complimented her shirt. They went from strangers to hugging and screaming together in no time.
Random Notebook Dump: Before the show, a very nice young woman came up to me and my roommate and handed us blank sheets of paper. She told us to hold them up during “Sweet Creature” before moving along and leaving blank sheets of paper in the seats where no one was sitting. I assume she was trying to have something spelled out, and I was a little disappointed when “Sweet Creature” rolled around and only a handful of people held up their paper. Sorry to let you down, Random Harry Styles Fan With Ambition.