After six thundering nights, the UK and Ireland leg of Harry Styles’ Love On Tour has come to an end. With Sweden, Norway and Denmark next on the route and the US to follow in August, the style craze is set to continue and, according to Wembley Stadium’s James Taylor, the UK will shine again for some time.
Styles tweeted that the first of his two London shows was one of his favorites he and his band have ever done, adding that he felt overwhelmed. Anyone who saw either night at Wembley would attest that most of the crowd felt the same way. Taylor, the venue’s senior business manager, is still in shock.
“The shows got unanimous positive feedback, Harry fans were probably the loudest I’ve ever heard in the stadium,” he said. music week following. “It was a great opportunity, two really positive nights. The first of a long series I think…”
Indeed, Taylor suggested it wouldn’t be long before Styles returned to UK stadiums. But while the dust has settled and the shouting has died down, the colorful feathers – which floated through the air and stuck triumphantly to the ground around and inside Wembley last Sunday night – remain.
“I think we’re still cleaning them up,” smiles Taylor. “It’s quite difficult, they kept popping up in the bowl before the Ed Sheeran show. It was a very colorful occasion and Harry has his own unique style, which is reflected in the way fans are reunited.
Wembley – like Ibrox in Glasgow, Emirates Old Trafford in Manchester and Aviva Stadium in Dublin – was simply consumed by Styles and his fans. After waiting longer than they expected to see him thanks to the pandemic, his supporters warded off the rowdiness in every venue hours before he took the stage. He was originally supposed to play the O2 in London, now he’s filled Wembley Stadium twice.
Every last member of the audience sang every word of every song back to the singer, who pirouetted, jumped and wiggled around a rectangular platform that extended into the standing section. The first night he wore red spots, the second night brighter silver spots. Styles likes to see into the whites of his fans’ eyes, stopping to read their handmade signs and strike up conversations. On the second night at Wembley, he led a happy birthday chorus to his bassist Elin Sandberg and helped an Italian fan, Mattia, out. There was also a dedication to dads, including his, who was in the crowd, for Father’s Day. In Manchester, he shouted his first teacher, Mrs Vernon. Then there were the usual encouragements for fans to do acts of kindness at every gig. Everyone hugged the person to their right, because Harry said so.
Moments like this exemplify the levels of positivity and love, for that’s what we have to call it, that Styles is able to conjure up. At Wembley, as the crowd lost their minds over Bohemian Rhapsody before it performed, you felt like the experience of being all in one place might have been enough for the audience. When he emerged, even the slightest touch of a hand or a hip movement sent shock waves around the vast Wembley Bowl. Even the night air trembled. The emotion is vivid, palpable, it’s hard to think of anyone else who inspires that level of feeling.
Harry and his fans have a common belief about how you should live life
James Taylor, Wembley Stadium
Near the front, a fan in a cape outfitted with fairy lights with a wand in each hand caught the eye, casting huge shapes with every flick of the wrist. Dozens of people in the back of the standing area were spinning, tearing on the floor as if each song was the last number in a wedding. During the slower ones, like Matilda from Harry’s House, they lay on the ground, crumpling up their rain-soaked ponchos, the kind you usually see at a theme park.
“I can’t do this without you,” Styles said at one point. “That would be me in a room all alone prancing around, a very different vibe. I’m yours, thank you.
And the magic of Harry Styles is that he really felt like he really meant it. This stadium show had fireworks (during the Sign Of The Times set flight) but it didn’t really need it. The songs, along with their creator’s connection to his fans, provided enough of a blast.
To find out what happened during two nights at Wembley and anticipate Styles’ future stages of play, we asked James Taylor to take us behind the scenes…
First of all, what was your immediate reaction to the two shows?
“It was really good, a great opportunity. It was a very happy and warm atmosphere with people just sharing their combined love of the artist. They are very passionate and committed, like-minded fans. He put on a great show.
Why do you think Harry Styles inspires such devotion in people?
“Harry’s message during the shows is to love yourself and I think for young people who have mental health issues you can tell he connects well and gives a really positive message. I think that it’s the core of the show, his songs are very positive about yourself, not just others, that’s why he connects well with the fans, they have a common belief about how you should live life. is very positive and uplifting and people like that kind of environment.
What made the show work in a stadium?
“He does a lot of interaction with the crowd, a little more than the other artists. He chats with his fans and he’s been known to stop his shows and talk to them. Keep in mind this is his first stadium gig, so some artists, if it’s your fourth or fifth time, you might have to do something a little different or it becomes a bit the same. But with his first one, it sold out so quickly that I don’t think he really needed to get too crazy about it. People came to see him. You might see on his third, fourth or fifth tour he might start doing [something different], but for now, he has a group of fans who just wanted to see him in stadiums for the first time. I don’t think he really needs anything else, I thought his team had it all figured out.
Can you tell us about the editing process for the shows?
“His team was very positive and very happy. I went down after the shows and spoke to the promoter [Live Nation] and everyone in the locker room was absolutely thrilled. Harry had a little afterparty with his team and they were all very happy. I don’t think it could have gone better from his point of view, you can tell it meant a lot. I could hear his party but didn’t come in! [Laughs].”
After the postponement and improvements to the site, Love On Tour in the UK was a very big deal for a number of reasons. How does it feel to be part of it?
“It was supposed to be at the O2, but the demand was so high that it only made sense for him to go straight to the stadiums. I don’t think it will be his last, it wouldn’t surprise me if he’ll be back in the stadiums soon. He’s going to get into that level Ed Sheeran and Coldplay, they’re both due to do their 12th gig this year at Wembley and I can see Harry on his third or fourth tour being at that level. He There’s definitely more to come from him, his show will get better and better. If he’s this good on his first show in a stadium, you can’t wait to see his second and his third…”
Do you think you’ve played your part in all the recent hits, with Harry’s House and As It Was topping the charts?
“Looks like he’s on the cusp of something big, well he already is [huge]. Obviously he’s already had his history with the stadium and played with One Direction, but as a solo artist you feel like that’s the start… Ed Sheeran [first played] Wembley in 2015, and you feel Harry is going to carry on and do similar numbers. He has developed his own brand, his own style, you don’t see many artists achieve that. Many of them don’t seem to reach the level of connection with the fans that he has. It’s exciting to see where he’s going.
Read our Harry’s House review here and read our 2019 cover interview here.
PICTURES: Antoine Pham