Since the announcement and indefinite postponement of his original tour dates in 2020, Aussie fans of pop megastar Harry Styles have been on quite the ride. Tour postponement after tour postponement, a new album, a tour cancellation, and, then – at long last – a tour announcement for Love On Tour. The last time Styles performed in Australia was all the way back in 2018, so it’s safe to say this run of shows have been a long time coming.
The hype was tangible from the beginning. The night opened with Wet Leg, who performed almost all the songs from their debut self-titled album. The British indie band have had an incredible come up since its founding by duo Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers. First blowing up in June of 2021 with their single, “Chaise Longue”, the duo have gone on to snag two Grammys and two 2 BRIT Awards, including the Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album and BRIT for Best New Artist. Their energy was palpable from the get-go, and the ever-excitable crowd Styles fans loved every bit. In amongst their biggest and most recognisable hits, “Chaise Longue” and “Wet Dream”, the duo blasted out songs such as “Angelica” and “Too Late Now” to the increasingly receptive crowd. Owning the stage, their energy was great and their volume even greater. They needed not much more than their raw energy to get Accor Stadium well and truly in the mood for the upcoming pop superstar.
By the time Wet Leg had wrapped up, the stadium was nearing its maximum capacity. In the end, there was almost 80000 fans, fervently waiting for one man. The screams were immense when the lights finally lowered, and Harry Styles appeared on stage and out of the dark.
Launching into “Music For A Sushi Restaurant”, the opener to his Grammy winning third album, Harry’s House, Styles had them in the palm of his hand from the get go. From this moment onwards, the crowd was deafening and the ardour immense. Styles’ presence on stage was infectious, dancing all sorts of loose and lively dances – all very “Harry Styles” indeed. He followed this with “Golden” and then “Adore You”, stopping throughout to show plenty of love for his Sydney fans, with the obligatory “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!” chants.
The setlist throughout was much the same as Styles’ other Australia performances, with tracks from all three of his albums, as well as a surprise performance of the One Direction classic “What Makes You Beautiful”. Sydney fans were also treated to the birthday celebrations of guitarist Ariza and keyboardist Yaffra, with Harry Styles presenting a birthday cake on stage to the artists as the crowd sung along with ‘Happy Birthday’.
The night continued, the crowd never once losing their energy. Styles commanded the stadium, running around the stage and its thrust, stopping to chat with fans who were keen to show him a picture of their cat. In what felt like no time at all, Harry had made his way through fifteen songs, everything from “Matilda” to “Woman” to hits like “Watermelon Sugar”.
But what really sealed the night for Sydney fans came during Styles’ encore. To the shock and surprise of all 80000 fans packed into Accor Stadium, the instrumentals to “Medicine” rung in the air as Styles proceeded to perform the elusive unreleased track. Having only performed it a select few times throughout Love On Tour, it was a rare inclusion and much more than just a welcome surprise for Sydneysiders; indeed, it was perhaps the highlight of the night.
The night would be deemed a success by almost any performers’ standards. But what is a Harry Styles concert at this point without tens of thousands of fans screaming the words “Leave America” during the bridge of his biggest single to date, “As It Was”? And that’s exactly what happened in Sydney, with some online videos suggesting that the now iconic chant could be heard from more than 2km away. With just that accomplishment alone, Harry Styles’ performance was a hugely successful one. It may lack the storytelling and theatricality of others on the circuit, but that’s not what this audience came to see. This crowd of pink cowboy hats and feather boas wanted a raucous and incredibly loud time – they got just that.
FOUR AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Love On Tour moves on to Auckland on Tuesday 07 March, before heading to Asia and Europe.
You can find all further tour information here.
Harry Styles Set List:
Music For a Sushi Restaurant
Treat People With Kindness
What Makes You Beautiful (One Direction)
Late Night Talking
Love Of My Life
Sign of the Times
As It Was
Header Image Credit – Tom Skoglund