After two years of anticipation since announcing his stateside lineup of “Love on Tour” concerts, Harry Styles finally touched down in Atlanta to perform two nights at the State Farm Arena on Oct. 27 and Oct. 28. The tour, which was postponed a year due to COVID-19 concerns, is Styles’ second concert tour for his sophomore album “Fine Line.”
Like many touring artists this year, Styles’ team made the decision to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result in order to gain entry to the show. Once in the stadium, masks were required at all times unless actively eating or drinking.
A pre-recorded public service announcement came over the arena’s speakers ahead of the show, with Styles reminding fans to keep their mask on and thanking them for taking safety measures so he can continue to perform for millions of fans around the world. This announcement and the incredible compliance with the mask mandate highlighted the “you say jump, we say how high” mentality of Styles’ fans, with a majority of his fanbase dutifully following him since his 2010 One Direction days. Looking around the crowd and seeing custom made vaccine card holders and “Treat People with Kindness” masks, it seemed Harry Styles had run a more effective COVID-19 campaign than the United States government.
There is no doubt that coming out of one of the biggest boy bands of the century cemented Styles to have a massive dedicated fanbase once his solo career began, but the deep, idolic dedication is awe-inspiring. Fans hoping to get as close to Harry as possible in the pit started lining up the night before the concert, braving the cold of the night outside of State Farm Arena.
Once Harry graced the stage, accompanied by his back up band, it was clear the audience was in for an amazing night with the artist. Styles showed up on stage donned in high-waisted pants, suspenders and a color coordinated button up that has now become his signature uniform for the tour. The set opened with the wistful sounds of “Golden,” the first track off of the album.
The tour setlist continued on with a good mix of songs from “Fine Line” as well as his self-titled debut album “Harry Styles.” Styles also surprised fans with a solo cover of “What Makes You Beautiful,” which was arguably the song that got Harry to where he is today. While Styles has managed to make a tremendous name for himself during his solo career, outselling all of his boy band counterparts, it is nice to see him continue to acknowledge his roots. Perhaps the most iconic part of the show was when a fan from the crowd pulled out an old Harry Styles cardboard cut-out and he brought it on stage to pose with. Styles also clearly knew his crowd and took every chance he got to say “how ‘bout them Braves last night though?” referencing the Braves win against the Astros in Game 1 of the World Series and extracting massive cheers from the crowd who were excited to have Styles acknowledge their beloved home team.
Outside of the unexpected Braves shoutout, perhaps the most beautiful thing about Harry Styles is that he is undeniably a maestro of performance. Listening to his music is one thing, but watching him perform live in his element is another. No matter if you would call yourself a Styles fan or not, it is completely enthralling to watch how much fun he has on stage interacting with fans while bellowing out his alternative rock anthems. Even the boyfriends and dads, who were clearly dragged into the arena by their superfan loved ones, were dancing around and smiling by the end of the show and pulling out their phones to document the moment.
For those fans who spent their adolescence purchasing teeny-bopper magazines from the grocery store and ripping out its pages to plaster Harry Styles upon their bedroom walls, finally getting to see him nearly a decade later was a cathartic experience for most.
While his time in Atlanta was limited to a two night stand, Styles left it all out on the stage and left his Georgia fans thirsting for a new album, a new tour and the hopes of a return back to the city.