Styles covers detailed songs and politics in concert

By Dani Miller, Opinions Editor

“Pink is the only true Rock and Roll color.”

This phrase, coined by Paul Simon of Simon and Garfunkel, and reiterated by Harry Styles in his April Rolling Stone cover story, rung true Sunday, October 1, 2017 during Harry Styles’ concert at DAR Constitution Hall. Decked in yellow Gucci pants and a black satin button down, Styles crooned his way through a 14 song set, which included songs from his self titled debut solo album, as well as covers of Fleetwood Mac, Ariana Grande, and his previous band, One Direction.

The show opened with a silhouette of Styles, reflected onto a dramatic, flower printed curtain.

It was made abundantly clear that from the first note in the first song, “Ever Since New York”, that Styles had the crowd by his fingertips. The screaming persisted throughout the night, nearly drowning out Styles’ ethereal vocals.

This album was made to be heard live. The intensity of songs like “Only Angel” and “Kiwi” are meant to be performed in a room where the walls shake and the floor moves. In contrast, the more subdued songs like “From the Dining Table” and “Meet Me in the Hallway” are standouts that create a deeply intimate moment between Styles’ and his fans, in which it feels more like a confession than a performance.

The live band is pulsing and demanding. Styles’ drummer Sarah Jones spills blood into her kit, while his musicians, Adam Prendergast and Mitchell Rowland, shred on the guitar. This brilliant live band paired with Styles undeniable stage presence makes for an experience that fans will remember forever.

Another highlight of the show was the mid-song conversations between Styles and the audience. It is no surprise that the political climate in D.C. is rocky, and Styles did not shy away from addressing it. Among the political statements that permuted the event were Styles  insistence that everyone in the audience help Puerto Rico, an island in crisis, and urging the audience of thousands to “embrace a stranger,” because “it’s nice to embrace in Washington.” Harry Styles concerts have become a safe space for fans to be themselves and live their best life.

Another highlight of the show were Harry’s covers. He covered everything, from Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain,” to Ariana Grande’s “Just a Little Bit of your Heart,” to his old band One Direction’s “Story of my Life” and “What Makes You Beautiful.” Even though many of these songs are bubblegum pop, Styles rendition had a soft rock influence, and they felt more Neil Diamond than One Direction. These covers were an opportunity for Styles to show off his artistry, and insert his own personality to well known tunes.

Styles is changing the face of Rock and Roll. In a culture where it is trendy to be unapologetically rude, Styles is creating an image around being unapologetically kind. Between his pink merch, which dons the phrase “treat people with kindness,” his stage, adorned with both a gay pride flag and a trans pride flag, and his mid-show requests to “embrace a stranger” and “be whoever you want to be in this room,” Styles is proving that the future of rock is about respect, it’s about androgyny, it’s about creating a home for your fans and making high quality music in the process.