Whether it was announcing a gender reveal, getting a psychic reading, waving the rainbow and Aboriginal flags around or performing Horses with Daryl Braithwaite, there was no shortage of memorable moments for Harry Styles’ legion of fans in Sydney on Saturday night.
The 29-year-old music and style icon wrapped up his Australian tour at Accor Stadium with another unique and endearing performance before heading off for New Zealand, the next stop in his ‘Love on tour’ world tour.
To describe Styles’ concert as the hottest ticket in town (even with so many big acts touring Australia right now) is no exaggeration. These were not just concerts but extraordinary fan experiences. Styles’ constant interaction with the audience, winking, waving, and smiling during his songs and chatting with them between songs was no accidental feature of his performance. It’s his direct communication and personal attention to individuals that has set him apart from other touring acts.
Daryl Braithwaite at 74, being cheered on by Harry Styles fans is wild. Good on Harry for recognising him (and presumably making some pocket money for Ricki Lee Jones as well). pic.twitter.com/4RWBrnkOO6
— Rachael (@RachaelHasIdeas) March 4, 2023
His Sydney show was electrifying, and the moment of darkness after each song made the audience even more exhilarated for the next one, teasing the audience that it might be the last. With ballads, soft rock, pop, folk, and Brit pop, Styles had a wide range of hit songs to call upon, including As It Was, Adore You, Watermelon Sugar and the One Direction classic What Makes you Beautiful.
The emotions of his songs, as well as his confidence and joie de vivre, rubbed off on the audience, with the crowd singing, laughing, crying, hugging, and dancing their way through the two-hour performance.
Comparisons to Beatlesmania are not out of place. There has been a level of hysteria around his concerts not seen in Australia for some time. Fans shouted the lyrics like the words were their own. All ages, genders, cultures and religions were represented, dressed in colourful, glittery outfits, accessorised with feather boas (which Sydney sold out of) and cowboy hats.
As a now solo artist, Styles has made the One Direction fan culture more diverse, with them engaging with his political statements and values as a feminist and supporter of the LGBTQI+ community.
— dani ⟡ (@mirr0rbalIs) March 3, 2023
His short but meaningful interactions with fans made each concert unrepeatable.
Styles gave relationship advice, supported fans in their come-out, and celebrated birthdays.
And the fans came prepared with handwritten signs to get his attention, which Harry took his time to get a closer look at.
In Saturday’s Sydney show he smiled and said, full of curiosity, “Uhhh, this is a different one”, before submitting to a first psychic reading by a fan.
After a chat between the two, Harry told the audience: “If anything is to happen to me in the next 12 to 18 months, Shelly is the best psychic; thank you, Shelly!”
He then was handed a small envelope before announcing a gender reveal of the unborn child of a fan. “It’s a girl!” he said, as the 80,000-strong crowd exploded with excitement. He teased a few seconds later, “or is it a boy? You’ll have to wait till the end of this show… ” flipping the audience response to laughter, before assuring them it really was a girl.
In the spirit of #worldpride2023 @Harry_Styles has stopped his stadium show in #Sydney tonight to help a fan come out to her family in front of 85,000 people! 🙌🏼🏳️🌈 #HarryStyles #gay #lgbt #lgbtpride #worldpride #comingout pic.twitter.com/2ceORIA2NJ
— Zach La Cava (@ZachLaCava) March 3, 2023
These almost tailored personal events at his shows created a connection with individuals that seemed to be felt by everyone in the audience.
He leant into the fans, addressed them by their names and kept the whole audience in the conversation. And, these special moments are all over social media.
Fans who got to see Styles’ tour felt like they were a part of history and the luckiest people in the world.
And I’m one of them.
Main image Canva filter of Harry Styles by Nathan Congelton/Flickr.