Harry Styles
Marvel Stadium
24 Feb 2023

The city becomes awash of rainbow colours as fans flock to Marvel Stadium in their best party outfits complete with feather boas, flashy flares, cowboy hats and lots of sparkles.

British indie rock group Wet Leg seem like an odd fit for tonight’s opening act but quickly capture our attention with their catchy and playful songs full of noisy head-banging melodies to get our blood pumping.

Their quirky instrumentals and relatable lyrics are delivered with playful charisma on Supermarket and they stop for a scream at the top of their lungs during Ur Mum. They show us a softer side with a slow serenade of angelic vocals before the music crescendos into a huge rock ballad with crashing guitars. They finish up with Chaise Longue charging ahead at a heart racing pace.

The crowd starts a singalong to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody before welcoming Harry Styles to the stage. The music quickly transitions into Music For A Sushi Restaurant and he appears in a red ensemble complete with leather pants and a sequined-striped collared shirt. He speeds through a few hits right off the bat including Golden and Adore You. The crowd can be heard singing along so loudly to every word that it’s almost louder than him.

Styles makes his way down the stage ramp to the middle of the front general admission area to greet his adoring fans. “I’ve been coming to Melbourne for eleven years now and I have some wonderful memories here. The feeling tonight is no different,” he says. He starts with a disclaimer that he will not be doing a shoey this evening to the crowd’s disappointment. “I’ve done my first and only shoey and it was truly, truly revolting,” he declares.

“Your job tonight, is to have as much fun as you possibly can. Do whatever you want within reason and please feel free to be whoever you’ve always wanted to be without reason,” he states, before continuing his set with Daylight. Styles maintains a high energy pace and runs laps around the stage, showing off his care-free dance moves to make fans scream with excitement.

Not only have his die-hard fans gone all out with their clothing and accessories tonight but they can also be seen holding up banners and signs in hope that Styles will notice and read them aloud. He notices a girl in the front row that has a sign revealing she wants to come out to her parents in the audience tonight. The band plays some ‘coming out music’ and Styles encourages her rise to the heavens of freedom with a dance. Another sign lets him know it’s someone’s birthday, so we join in and sing to them all together.

After a couple of slower-paced acoustic songs including Matilda and Little Freak he tells us that from now until the end of the show, we’re going to go up, up up. “People say the Aussies know how to have a good time so would you like to show me?” He asks. He moves into the dancing part of the show starting with Cinema, followed by Treat People With Kindness. The crowd goes wild for a surprise One Direction song (What Makes You Beautiful), and he grabs an Aussie flag from the audience and waves it around in the air as he moves from side to side.

Styles loves a bit of banter and audience interaction to break things up between songs to make a good connection and hold our attention. As he introduces his band to us, they each do a shoey on his behalf and continue playing Late Night Talking without a shoe on one of their feet. Watermelon Sugar and Love Of My Life ­serve as the last song choices before a short pause.

Fans don’t need to wait long for the encore. Styles returns with Sign Of The Times, As It Was and Kiwi. He conducts the audience for applause from every corner of the stadium and the crowd roars with excitement as they bask in the moment.

Words by Michael Prebeg

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