Harry Styles turns MSG into ‘Harry’s House’ in the first of 15 shows

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Today Madison Square Garden is the home of Billy Joel. The New York-based “Piano Man” has pretty much owned the Big Apple arena since he began his monthly residency there in January 2014.

But on Saturday night, MSG was transformed into “Harry’s House”, as Harry Styles brought his Love on Tour 2022 trek to the iconic location for the first of 15 – yes, 15! – sold-out concerts that last until September 21.

In fact, the 28-year-old pop phenomenon has his own residency in the world’s most famous arena, doing more shows in just one month than Joel would in a year.

And of course, the pop universe has actually been Harry’s world since he released his third solo album “Harry’s House” in May, celebrating that with a release day concert at the new UBS Arena in Long Island. But he managed to turn MSG into an intimate room where all of his screaming and screaming fans – decked out in feather boas, sequins and glitter, regardless of gender – felt seen and heard in a common safe space.

The first night of Harry Styles at Madison Square Garden was sold out.
Chuck Arnold

‘Good evening, New York. My name is Harry,” said the ridiculously charming superstar—who clearly needed no introduction—to one of the many deafening roars. “Please feel free to be whoever you’ve always wanted to be in this room tonight.”

At that moment you could feel the cult of Harry.

He may be a millennial heartthrob, but he’s bringing back the peace and free love vibes of the ’60s. Therein lies the strength of Styles, who is not the best singer, not the best musician and certainly not the best dancer. But he can carry and own the stage with a minimal amount of the typical production bells and whistles—no backup dancers needed—necessary for an arena show.

That was evident from the moment he came jumping and hopping across the stage – with his ever limp hair – to “Daydreaming”, the opener which is one of the songs from the excellent “Harry’s House” that dominated his set list.

Constantly jumping across the in-the-round stage—the better for him to work all four sides of the yard with his delightfully dorky dance moves—his infectious giddiness was undeniable.

But there was also more musical sophistication than you’d expect from the One Direction alumnus, who paid tribute to his former boy band by reworking and reviving their biggest hit, “What Makes You Beautiful.” He deepened the funk of his first Grammy-winning hit “Watermelon Sugar” and took the smooth “Late Night Talking” – his current single – into Steely Dan territory.

And there was even a sly bit of the Village People’s “YMCA”—which many of the young crowd probably didn’t understand—before bragging in the excited sexiness of “Music for a Sushi Restaurant.”

But it was Styles’ No. 1 hit “As It Was” — which tops the charts for 10 weeks this year — that lifted the Garden from the collective pogoing going on everywhere.

Right in the heart of Styles’ residence – with British alt-R&B artist Blood Orange opening for all 15 concerts – the Garden will return to Billy’s house when Joel takes over for a concert on Wednesday. But on Saturday night—and 14 nights to come—MSG was all Harry’s.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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