Live Report: Harry Styles – CBS Arena, Coventry

A masterclass in pop performance...

We have no notes for Harry Styles on his Love on Tour UK return. He has perfected the show, which began in Las Vegas in September 2021, and it was clear when he played in Coventry last night. On what was an epic night for his fans, Harry played many of the hits, including some which he referred to as “oldie[s] but goodie[s]”. 

Fans were told that their “job” for the night was to “have as much fun as you possibly can”. He also implored the audience members to “Please feel free to be whoever it is you’ve always wanted to be”. 

Fresh from winning the prestigious Ivor Novello award for most performed song of the year for ‘As It Was’ last week, the ‘Watermelon Sugar’ singer gave a flawless performance and even a few technical difficulties with his equipment not working properly at the start (he apologised for having “broken” ears, “in the name of honesty”) couldn’t set him back on what was a show-stopping set. Opening the set with slow burner, ‘Daydreaming’, the set moved seamlessly between upbeat numbers and slower songs like ‘Matilda’.

After ‘Daydreaming’, Harry welcomed the “wonderful” audience to ‘Love on Tour’ and said, ”It’s an absolute pleasure to be back in the UK” before launching into ‘Golden’. Harry has an innate star quality. Being on centre stage came naturally for him and during ‘Adore You’, as the crowd sang back the lyrics “I’d walk through fire for you / Just let me adore you,” he cheekily quipped, “OK!”

Whether he was blowing kisses to adoring fans, waving to them or wearing the fuschia pink feather boas thrown onto the stage, the charismatic Styles had a very natural stage presence and, of course, he is no stranger to being in the public eye! It’s almost as though he appeared on a hugely successful talent show, and you can see why One Direction did so well all those years ago! 

While Harry is, of course, a huge star in his own right now, he embraced his boyband roots for a fan-favourite rendition of ‘Best Song Ever’ which went down a treat with the crowd. It was an interesting choice, given that the rumours of a 1D reunion are rife at the moment with fans insisting hints have been dropped by the other members of the band. He also played another older favourite, ‘Stockholm Syndrome’. 

When it comes to audience engagement for Harry Styles… again, no notes. He had a dedicated segment of the show where he took a moment to appreciate the signs people were holding up, which led to some conversations about birthdays, upcoming weddings and even naming babies after him (the expectant mother was due to give birth on the day of the show, to which Harry questioned whether being at the show was a “good idea” before offering to bring her water, a chair or a blanket). 

He also played his latest single ‘Satellite’, as well as ‘Late Night Talking’ and ‘Fine Line’. A poignant moment came during ‘Sign of the Times’ when fans had arranged pink and red lights to be shone during the song as a tribute to the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing in 2017. Harry commented on the “beautiful” display.

A brilliant show and one not to be missed if you enjoy pop music as Harry Styles’ show is a masterclass in how it’s done.

Words: Narzra Ahmed

Join the Clash mailing list for up to the minute music, fashion and film news.