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Harry Styles announced his much anticipated return to the music scene with two words: “I’m baaaack!”
The capacity crowd of 17,000 fans inside The Forum in Los Angeles on Friday night went wild with near-deafening screams to welcome Styles who, over the next 90 minutes or so, performed each and every song off Fine Line, his sophomore album released that morning. “This will probably be the only time we’re going to play it top to bottom.”
Just in case anyone wandered into the wrong arena, Styles even announced his name: “Good evening, my name’s Harry. This is my wonderful band. For the last two years, after the first song, playing in front of anyone, I’ve had to say I only have 10 songs. I have more than 10 songs now. We’re gonna play a few tonight.”
The one-night-only launch event highlighted the 25-year-old’s new soft rock tunes with a few surprises including a cover of Paul McCartney’s holiday classic “Wonderful Christmastime” and a performance of “Landslide” alongside the legendary Stevie Nicks. Styles kicked off the show after 9 p.m., about 30 minutes later than scheduled, opening with the first track on the Sony release, “Golden.”
‘We have one job tonight and that’s to entertain you. I will give you my word that we’ll do our absolute best, but you also have one job…that is to have as much fun as you possibly can. That’s it,” Styles told the crowd, which comprised several VIPs, including Ellen DeGeneres, Woody Harrelson, Amanda Seyfried and Rosalía, the latter of whom collaborated with Styles on the voiceover for his video “Adore You.” Styles then encouraged his fans to be authentic: “Please feel free to be whoever it is you want to be in this room tonight.”
After opening with “Golden,” the set followed Fine Line by the book with “Watermelon Sugar,” “Adore You,” “Lights Up,” “Cherry,” “Falling,” “To Be So Lonely,” “She,” “Sunflower, Vol. 6,” “Canyon Moon,” “Treat People With Kindness” and the title track “Fine Line.” He then performed “Sign of the Times” and “Landslide” with Nicks and the McCartney cover before closing the show with “Kiwi” off his self-titled debut album.
For the show, Styles donned the same Gucci look from his Fine Line album cover — black heels, painted nails, custom white flare trousers with gold button detailing, a partially buttoned hot pink blouse and matching suspenders. For the show, he added a few accessories around his neck with a classic pearl necklace and metallic cross. Another accessory worth noting: The watermelon slushy drink served in a souvenir cup and available at Forum concessions as a nod to “Watermelon Sugar.”
Before singing “Cherry,” Styles pulled out a galaxy-print guitar and told the crowd, “You are all beautiful.” He called “To Be So Lonely” his “brainchild” while crooning it to the crowd. After wrapping, he teased, “Why when I called myself an arrogant son of a bitch, why is that when you sang the loudest?” Styles laughed.
The former One Direction bandmate dedicated “Canyon Moon” to his friend Jenny, who was in the audience celebrating her 57th birthday; Styles explained he wrote the song at pals Jenny and Tom’s house.
Styled dove into “Treat People With Kindness,” saying it was the last song on the album that they wrote and admitted it’s a favorite because he doesn’t sing the chorus, so he can just dance around. Indeed, Styles’ grooves, swagger and slides sparked a giddy uproar from fans each time.
For the encore, he brought back fan favorites from his debut album, Harry Styles, including “Sign of the Times” and “Kiwi,” plus One Direction breakout “What Makes You Beautiful.” While also shouting out Hanukkah, Styles covered “Wonderful Christmastime” and brought out Nicks to dance with him for her 1975 song “Landslide,” further demonstrating Styles’ passion for rock and establishing himself as a professional solo artist. “For me, it wouldn’t be an album release without this young lady.”
The night was not without a bit of drama. Styles paused the show about halfway through, asking for the lights to come on above the pit where a female fan had apparently fallen or fainted. “Is she down?” Styles asked, adding, “You OK in there?” He helped direct medical attention and Forum staffers to the woman, asking the crowd to take one “very slow, very gentle step back.” He asked, “Can you put you hands up in that whole section?” and “They’re coming. Would you like me to wait?… OK, I’ll wait.”
The woman was later carried out to a waiting ambulance. When The Hollywood Reporter exited the venue, a Forum staffer confirmed that a woman had fainted and she wasn’t the only one. “We’ve had a few tonight,” said the staffer.
Drama aside, if there was one fine line running through the entire event, it would have to be gratitude. Styles made it clear that he appreciated the turnout and his welcome return to the spotlight. He had celebrated earlier in the week with a private listening party for fans in L.A., hosted by Spotify. His tour kicks off April 15 in the U.K.
“I am so honored to be playing in front of you tonight. Truly. There is nothing that makes me more hopeful than standing in front of you. I thank you for that. You’ve completely changed my life,” he said. “I couldn’t have made this album without all of you. I thank you for being here tonight.… I love ya.”
“I’m baaaack” – Harry on stage tonight #FineLineLive – December 13 (via itscathyjimenez) pic.twitter.com/Smz6lHlXFI
— HSD (@hsdaily) December 14, 2019
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