Harry Styles Lights Up Chicago

After rescheduling his first concert in Chicago, Harry Styles performs an explosive show on night 3, a 10/10.


Mariana Quezada

Harry Styles’ Love on Tour, Night 3

Mariana Quezada, Staff Writer

Earlier this year, pop star Harry Styles announced six Chicago shows from Oct. 8 – 15 in the United Center for his Love On Tour. He would not only perform songs from his most recent release “Harry’s House” (2022), but also his first two albums, “Harry Styles” (2017) and “Fine Line” (2019), as the tour for the latter was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Styles’ first Chicago performance was originally intended to be on Thursday Oct. 6. I was lucky enough to get tickets for the opening night, along with a friend who flew in from Miami. 

Yet, on the day of the concert, a couple of hours away from the 8 p.m. showtime, official news came out stating the worst: our night was canceled. 

The mix of emotions was indescribable. Thankfully, not all hope was lost, as the show got rescheduled to Monday Oct. 10. Still, there was general discontent from the audience, as many had flown in, drove and booked hotels for their stay in the Windy City for the tour. On the line at a merchandise stand before the rescheduled concert date, I met a group of friends who had driven 10 hours from Omaha, Neb. just for the show, and were now looking for tickets for other dates. 

Despite the major setback, Styles performed, and proved the show was worth the wait. A great benefit of the venue chosen, the United Center, is that concertgoers can enjoy a great view from any section. Moreover, Styles’ stage was in the middle of the arena, so he could perform facing any section. Even people in the farthest seat could see every member of the band and Styles himself from the four jumbotrons above the stage. 

The opening act, English singer Jessie Ware, got the crowd excited with songs like “Free Yourself” from her upcoming album and “Remember Where You Are” from her latest record “What’s Your Pleasure.” During the last song, the audience turned their flashlights on, and the singer was visibly moved, exclaiming “Harry hasn’t even come out yet!” 

When the audience got the first glimpse of Harry in the form of a box that gets pushed under the stage every single concert (many speculate Harry is inside, fetal position) the crowd got instantly loud. After an introductory video broadcasted in the jumbotrons invited us into the eponymous Harry’s House, the show exploded. Styles began with the fun “Daydreaming” from his new album, and the crowd did not stop screaming, dancing or singing until the very end. 

The fiery setlist was partly what made the concert so enjoyable. Styles performed songs across his three albums and one song from his boy-band era, the One Direction hit “What Makes You Beautiful.” After the opening song, he followed with a couple of hits from the Fine Line era. Nonetheless, Styles did not forget to sing the entirety of his new album. One of my favorite songs from this record, “Keep Driving,” was played. Indeed, 20,000 people screaming “Cocaine/Side Boob” is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The crowd got especially rowdy during the “Treat People with Kindness / What Makes You Beautiful” medley transition. Pink cowboy hats were thrown, as well as a plethora of feather boas, in all the colors of the rainbow. 

In the middle of the show, Harry Styles stopped. I was thankful since most of us thought he was going to pass out from jumping so much. He took this time to interact with the audience, reading the many signs from the pit and the closest sections to the stage. Among some of the most eye-catching signs were: “I skipped my abbortion (sic) for this!” “Sing Medicine,” “My dad crashed while listening to Satellite” and more. In one of the most heartwarming moments of the concert, the star noticed a girl with a sweet sixteenth sign, and made the entire United Center sing her happy birthday. As well, he helped another girl in the pit come out, (her sign literally said “Harry help me come out!”) with the aid of a rainbow feather boa. These magical moments were what made the show so exciting. 

For the last part of the show, Styles sang more of his hits, including “Watermelon Sugar.” During the emotional rendition of “Love of my Life,” he thanked his fans for coming despite the reschedule and apologized for it. This moment was followed by an apparent pause where everything went dark only to explosively transition to his first solo single “Sign of the Times” to the current bop “As it Was” (the chipper baby voice intro sending the audience into chaos) and ending the show with an all-out performance of the rock song “Kiwi.” 

Overall, the long awaited show was a riveting experience in spite of the major setback, as it was supposed to be the first night of his Chicago residency, yet still proved to be a potent third night. While I was not originally completely sold on Styles being the superstar everyone says he is, I was proven wrong that night by his extraordinary energy. His repertoire was strong, and his engagement with putting on an entertaining show proved worth the wait. When the show was over and lights turned on and all that was left were feathers and sweat, it all felt like the daydream he sang about at the beginning.