After being pushed back by more than a year due to COVID-19, former One Direction heartthrob Harry Styles christened Cleveland’s Rocket Mortgage Field House with a dazzling and energetic performance this past Monday (10.18.21). Despite new COVID safety regulations, that included masks being worn for the duration of the show, Styles’ performance presumably brought smiles to each and every fan in the sold-out venue (although I can’t say for sure, because….masks!)
Styles opened the show with a bright performance of “Golden,” which began with him being raised from a platform on the stage, followed by pink and orange lighting changes on the downbeats. He gave a challenge to the audience: “I challenge you to have as much fun as I’m gonna have!” To say Styles had fun tonight would be an understatement. The man danced from end to end, shaking his rump and entrancing the crowd with his charisma throughout the entirety of his 90-minute show. It was clear that the audience was just as enthusiastic; jumping around and singing along the whole time.
Styles is known almost as much for being a fashion icon as he is for his catchy tunes and second-to-none dance moves. Tonight was no exception! He strolled into Cleveland rocking the signature look from his ‘Fine Line’ album cover. The fans also did not disappoint, coming decked out in bright color feather boas and sequin (I left with a feather stuck to my boot as a souvenir). Besides the catwalk-ready fans, you could also spot bunches of fruit in the crowd inspired by Styles’ breakout single, “Watermelon Sugar,” ranging from bananas to strawberries. The audience looked like a virtual fruit salad.
Harry is so unbelievably thankful and humble for all of his fans. “Things like this don’t happen to guys like me without people like you. So, thank you,” he said with sincere gratitude.
The engagement Styles is able to have with the fans in an arena setting is nothing but heartwarming. He makes it a point to read as many signs as he can and comment on them, leading the whole arena to sing a girl in the front row “Happy Birthday.”
Sometimes the ladies in the audience did get a little risque with their signage, leading Harry to exclaim, “I can’t say that! Come on, guys! It’s only a Monday!”
Towards the end of the show during Styles’ performance of “Kiwi,” a fan in the pit threw water on Harry, and as retaliation, he threw some back at her without missing a beat.
Styles is an advocate for creating safe spaces. He does so through his social media platforms as well as his music with songs such as “Treat People With Kindness.” During his performance of the song, he paraded around the stage with various flags to promote equality, including the rainbow pride flag and other LGBTQ+ specific flags, and a Black Lives Matter flag.
We danced, we laughed; we cried. All thanks to Harry Styles (and, let’s not leave his incredibly talented backing band). Not too shabby for a Monday night!
Jenny Lewis warmed up the stage for Styles perfectly and got fans ready to dance and cry later in the night. The former childhood actress and, more notably, frontwomen for indie rock darlings Rilo Kiley (before disbanding in 2014), with a stint in the Ben Gibbard fronted act, The Postal Service prior to that, played eight of her nine songs from her solo collection; somewhat distancing herself from past projects. The only exception came with the second song of her set, “Silver Lining,” which is off of Rilo Kiley’s 2007 release, ‘Under the Blacklight.’
One-third of her selections came from her 2014 release ‘The Voyager.’ Her set was highlighted by “Red Bull & Hennessy” and closer “She’s Not Me.”
Some in the audience were wondering, “Who the hell is Jenny Lewis?” That fact was not lost on her. She began her set with the same sentiment, but by the end, at least for me, I was asking myself why have I not heard of this alt-country singer before.