Harry Styles @ Capital One Arena

WRITTEN & PHOTOS BY: Emily Janeczek  

On his first world arena tour as a solo artist, Harry Styles completely rocked the Capital One Arena in Washington D.C. on Sunday night. Despite only having one album, Styles kept the audience on their feet the whole night with his incredible stage presence and catchy songs. Not only did he play his whole first album along with some unreleased songs, but he put his own spin on a few One Direction songs such as “If I Could Fly”, “Stockholm Syndrome”, and the band’s first #1 single, “What Makes You Beautiful”.

Grammy award winner Kacey Musgraves opened the concert with a ten song set, which included some of her country hits “Follow Your Arrow” and “Space Cowboy”. I had heard of Kacey before and knew a few of her early songs but almost her whole set was off of her most recent album Golden Hour.

I have never seen an audience receive an opening act so well. The cheers were loud and just about the whole arena sang along to “Follow Your Arrow” during which many people held up Pride flags. Musgraves sounds exactly the same live as she does on her recordings and makes her performance seem effortless.

After singing along to “Bohemian Rhapsody” between sets, the audience was becoming antsy waiting for the man we were all there for. When the lights finally went down, the arena erupted into deafening screams. It was impossible to hear the person next to you. Opening with “Only Angel”, Styles made it known we were in for a fun, high energy set.

The stage had an open setup so even though our seats were behind the stage, we could still see Harry. He may have been facing away from us for the majority of the show, but everyone behind the stage got to watch the rest of the arena during the concert. This was a special bonus when Harry played his first solo single, “Sign of the Times”, and asked everyone to hold up their phone flashlights.

A downside of being behind the stage was they lowered the screen for three songs and we could not see anything except Harry’s shadow. While this upset me, as it was during some of my favorite songs including “Two Ghosts” and “Stockholm Syndrome”, it did not completely ruin the night.

Between the song “Anna” and his cover of “What Makes You Beautiful”, Harry read out some signs in the audience which included a sign from a girl named Amina, who just graduated from college. He congratulated her then proceeded to have the audience sing “Congratulations” to the tune of“Happy Birthday” for her. He also joked with a girl from D.C. who said the city was boring. He said, “Make some noise if you think Washington is boring,” but immediately shushed everyone who started cheering.

Harry ended his set with a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 classic “The Chain” and an electrifying performance of fan favorite “Kiwi”. He performed the last two songs with as much energy as he started with, jumping and dancing around while belting out the lyrics.

I do not normally go to arena shows because I feel like there is always a disconnect between the artist and the audience. Sometimes people in the audience feel as if they aren’t actually at the concert. Harry Styles somehow found a way to make all 18,000 people in that arena feel welcome. Even sitting behind the stage in the nosebleeds, I never really felt left out of the show.

Setlist:

  1. Only Angel
  2. Woman
  3. Ever Since New York
  4. Two Ghosts
  5. Carolina
  6. Stockholm Syndrome (One Direction cover)
  7. Just a Little Bit of Your Heart (Ariana Grande cover)
  8. Medicine
  9. Meet Me in the Hallway
  10. Sweet Creature
  11. If I Could Fly (One Direction cover)
  12. Anna
  13. What Makes You Beautiful (One Direction cover)
  14. Sign of the Times

Encore:

  1. From the Dining Table
  2. The Chain (Fleetwood Mac cover)
  3. Kiwi