Halfway through a Saturday night with Harry Styles, he has a question: “As it’s Wembley, shall we try something?” As he leads nearly 80,000 through a call and response, he cements his place at pop’s top table.
Harry may have been here before, but not like this – not with his name alone lit up across the venue’s walls. The evening sees pink cowboy hats, queues for merchandise longer than most venues have ever seen, and feathers from endless boas floating around the streets leading up to Wembley’s famed arch. To say Harry Styles’ headline turn at Wembley Stadium is A Big Deal doesn’t capture the sense of occasion that falls across this evening.
Not afraid to wear his heart firmly on his sleeve, the opening bars of ‘Music For A Sushi Restaurant’ set the tone for a night full of release, emotion, larger-than-life celebration and a sense of joy that you can’t help but be pulled into. It takes but two songs, as ‘Golden’ triggers pogoing masses, for Harry to take a moment to catch himself, blown away by what lies in front of him. The sort of stage any artist dreams of, coming to fruition and covered in every hook, message and feeling he’s come to represent to so many. “Be whoever you want to be here tonight,” he calls out. “I challenge you to have as much fun as we will.”
It’s a challenge that Wembley Stadium takes to heart. ‘Adore You’ is screamed back as Harry jumps from one corner of the stage to the next. Every turn feels bigger and bolder than even the loftiest expectations as latest album ‘Harry’s House’ is showcased throughout the evening. At its core is warmth; whether it’s the erupting sweetness of ‘Daylight’, the seductive prowl of ‘Cinema’ or the unabashed joy that comes from ‘Late Night Talking’, it captures a show full of heart and earnest love.
To go from the plucked raw spotlight of ‘Matilda’ and ‘Boyfriends’ (the former introduced as Harry talks about how London and Wembley serves as a home to him) to the cinematic screens of ‘Satellite’ and its overflowing crescendo and to do it all with such ease – is nothing short of jaw-dropping. From start to finish, tonight is a smiling house party dialled to the max, watching a born entertainer lead a congregation through a show that is the stuff of legend.
As widescreen shots, giant projections and blinding lights blast from the stage, a dancing-filled run of ‘Canyon Moon’, ‘Treat People With Kindness’ and a stop back to where Harry’s journey began with ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ refuses to let Wembley pause for breath. When Harry steps back onto the stage for his finale, with Wembley’s lights lit up in the night sky, he launches into ‘Sign Of The Times’ – the grandstand epic that welcomed his arrival in the solo superstar sphere and was probably one of the most anticipated debut singles of all time. As those opening keys begin, the skies open, and rain begins to pour. Fireworks burst into the air as he heads to the end of the stage runway, and pours every fibre of energy into its giant ending calls. It takes tonight at Wembley Stadium from a jaw-droppingly brilliant show to a landmark night which will make core memories for so many.
There are certain times when the right time, place, artist and crowd meet all at once to create something truly special, and as a delirious run through ‘Watermelon Sugar’, ‘As It Was’ and ‘Kiwi’ rounds out the show, it’s clear that Harry Styles at Wembley Stadium is one of those nights. A superstar representing everything good and vital in modern pop, it’s impossible not to be blown away.
Everyone can find a home in Harry Styles – but leave no doubt in your mind. Wembley Stadium is Harry’s House now.