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Harry Styles Concludes Three-Month ‘Love on Tour’ Trek With Rousing New York Show: Concert Review

Variety
Variety
 2021-11-29
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After 42 shows and nearly three months, for the final song of his continent-spanning “Love on Tour” tour, Harry Styles wanted just a little bit more.

“This is the last song of the entire tour,” Style said, raising his arms in the air, as he cut into the sexually provocative lyrics of the banger “Kiwi” at the new UBS Arena just outside New York City. “I’m going to need a little bit more. OK? We’re going to try that again. OK?”

And sure enough, on take two, there was more energy — from the mosh pit around the 360-degree stage all the way up to the nosebleed seats. “Much better!,” Styles said, addressing the 17,000 screaming fans in the brand-new arena. “20 percent more,” the 27-year-old British heartthrob demanded, “and we’re good to go.”

And he was: Styles closed out the show and the tour with a rendition of “Kiwi” that went on and on, even as the lyrics wound down. He blew kisses as he ran up and down the hockey-rink length of the stage — which featured two catwalks, allowing him to perform to basically everyone at different parts of the night. He caught bouquets of flowers. And he sprayed fans with so much water, those who’d shelled out for a premium standing room spots should have packed a poncho. (Obviously, he no longer does his former trademark move of spitting water at the crowd.)

He’d earned the long curtain call: After being postponed for months due to the pandemic, Styles was clearly reveling in the fun, and although the set wasn’t as full of surprises as his “Harryween” pair of Halloween-weekend dates at New York’s Madison Square Garden — where he covered “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” while dressed as Dorothy on one night and Britney Spears’ “Toxic” in a clown getup on the next — he roared through a powerful setlist heavy on songs from his 2019 album “Fine Line” along with a handful from his self-titled debut and his One Direction showcase, “What Makes You Beautiful.” And there was one nice tour-ending surprise for the die-hard fans: “Medicine,” a song debuted on his 2018 tour that was considered for “Fine Line” but ultimately not included, although he does perform it on occasion.

Throughout the night, Styles was clad in a gold vest that didn’t clasp — the audience caught many glimpses of the butterfly tattoo on his stomach — and he spent as much time dancing as he did singing, clocking more cardio in one night than most of us achieve in a week. During his song “Treat People With Kindness,” a fan tossed a LGBTQ+ Pride flag on the stage. Styles picked it up and ran up and down the auditorium, as he vigorously waved it in the air to deafening cheers.

Yet he also addressed the fact that, for many months, it was unclear when anyone would be able to launch a tour like this again.

“You have been so generous to me and I thank you from the bottom of my heart,” Styles told the crowd between songs. “I really, really did not know if this tour would happen and I thank you for everything that you’ve done.”

The sense of occasion also extended to the building itself: This was the first concert at the UBS Arena, which sits beside the border of Queens and Nassau counties and opened its doors just two weeks ago.

“It’s an honor to be the very first show in this building,” Styles said earlier in the show, to a crowd that drew visitors from all across the Tri-State area. Not only does the venue add another major venue to the area — saving fans treks through daunting traffic to Manhattan or New Jersey — it’s a state of the art building, part of a $1 billion development, with vivid video screens and so many concessions stands that there was hardly a wait for food or drinks (although hundreds of girls patiently queued for a selfie with Harry’s “The Love Bus,” an activtion prop presented by American Express).

“After tonight,” Style said, “we’re going to go away for a little bit and we’re going to work on some stuff and then we’ll come back and see you very soon.”

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