Harry Styles is in the house

Accor Stadium, Olympic Park, March 3rd

We should call him Harold because it’s age appropriate. Not his chronological one, but the one in which HE Styles, who died in Holmes Chapel and Los Angeles, acts as the all-purpose British showman for all ages of this decade. The fun time for everyone.

Harry Styles: Showman.

Harry Styles: Showman.Credit:Lloyd Wakefield

Every generation gets one: yours might have been Robbie Williams, might have been Tom Jones, or – hello Grandma! – Tommy Steele, but the basics remain. A bit of cheekiness, a bit of sexiness and a bit of charm; some swing in the hips but not a fancy dancer; a path with a gag sliding past overly busy grinning censors; a past as a teenage darling, a present that includes her parents who always secretly liked him but are now getting the broader musical influences, and a future that’s equally at home in stadiums, cabarets and screens. “It’s a family show, a family show,” he explained late in the evening. “… or is it?” Oh yeah. And a lot of songs that hit the sweet spot time and time again.


The? Yes, Harold did. Dizzy and sunny, eh Golden And satellitegossamer melodies that lean bright (Golden) and wistful (satellite) but really do dead center fun. Or exhilarated cheerful like Treat people with kindnesswhich transitioned into What makes you beautiful (the one 1D song offered), a combo that would have been blasted off the roof if this stadium had one.

Loosely funky, like movie theater (whose oo-er nursing line “You pop when we get intimate” alludes to a golden age of British cinema) and late night speeches, which might have fit on a One Direction setlist. Or big pop gestures, like sign of timethe heavily laden, arms-linked brothers-and-sisters ballad that’s his version of Robbie Williams. Angel, and a bold reset at the start of the encore. And of course provocative and suggestive, like watermelon sugarwhich may or may not involve a specific sexual act, but is definitely a way to get a stadium crowd excited for the sprint to the end of the set.

Not yet a natural for banter, the showman naturally needs more things to fall into this concoction than sugar. While style by Styles is a round of entertainment in itself – tonight a yellow and blue sequined suit over a white singlet and (the ’80s return!) Adidas trainers – I don’t mean clothes. His penchant for some powerful guitar moves makes this relatively common Woman – only the fade The love of my life lands lower – right in an ’80s rock parade, while Mathilde And Little geeksung at the edge of the satellite stage, pull everything back into delicate singer/songwriter fare.

Harry Styles on stage in Melbourne last week.

Harry Styles on stage in Melbourne last week.Credit:Lloyd Wakefield

Throw in a birthday cake for two band members, a cat photo and a coming-out message from a few viewers and a sensible “Sydney whoo!” -ing and old-school showbiz is in the house.

https://www.smh.com.au/culture/music/ladies-and-gentlemen-harry-styles-is-in-the-house-20230303-p5cp7r.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_culture Harry Styles is in the house

Jaclyn Diaz

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