December 17, 2021
(NEW YORK) — Last year, October 31 was a bleak and gloomy night in New York as the pandemic continued to plague the city. A year later, Halloween was back on and midtown buzzed with a whirlwind of dazzling costumes, feathery boas, and… Harry Styles merch.
Madison Square Garden housed two sold-out nights of “Harryween” — a Halloween show featuring performances from Madison Cunningham, Orville Peck, and Harry Styles. Styles’ fans (most commonly referred to as ‘Harries’) showed up in droves to watch in awe as he put on the show of a lifetime. Gabby Pawluczuk, a fan who attended both nights, said, “It was one of those special events that if you miss, you’ll probably regret for the rest of your life.”
It was the dedication of the fans that made the show electrifying. Some traveled hours to attend, even getting on flights. Others camped out in the general admission line through a storm for a chance to be front row. Nearly all those in attendance were dressed to impress in their Halloween costumes to celebrate what Styles dubbed a “fancy dress party.”
Some of the most iconic looks included odes to bits from Styles’early days in the boy band One Direction. These included dazzling angel costumes (a reference to his song “Only Angel”), Daphne and Velma duos, and even a few Pitbull costumes.
Styles would not be outdone by fans, however. During the first night, he and his band coordinated in matching Wizard of Oz themed costumes — with himself playing Dorothy, of course. He wore the iconic blue dress paired with custom Gucci boots designed by Alessandro Michelle that resembled Dorothy’s ruby slippers. In costume, Styles sang “Over the Rainbow,” to a crowd below a rainbow-lit ceiling. The queer subtleties could not be missed, especially as a fan project helped light the room in another rainbow during “Lights Up.”
On the second night, Halloween, Styles paraded onto the stage wearing a Pierrot clown costume with long, flowing sleeves and a crescent moon right on the chest. That night, Harry was the ringleader, totally in control of his sound, performance, and the fans who were in sync with him. Both of his looks were created by his long-term stylist Harry Lambert.
As a standout moment from the night, Harry helped one fan come out to her mother, proclaiming, “Lisa, she’s gay!”
Ultimately, boyband charm and fangirl craze aside, that’s what defines a Harry Styles show. One fan, Caroline, explains her attachment to Harry by saying “seeing his evolution as an artist and how he’s evolved personally especially regarding how he expresses sexuality and gender has helped me find both comfort and the support I needed.” On stage, this means dancing with pride flags, encouraging fans to “know who they are,” and connecting with his fans like few stars can.
Each night, the setlist varied slightly from that of his full “Love on Tour,” but night two’s changes are what left fans in awe. After his encore, fans’ chants bellowed across the arena for one song in particular: “Medicine.” The tune had not yet been released but had been played many nights during his last tour. So, he gave the fans what they wanted, and for the first time during “Love on Tour,” he played it. Immediately, though, fans were thrown as he transitioned straight into Britney Spears’s “Toxic” before closing the show with his popular hit “Kiwi.”
Notably, though, Styles teased the audience with “Kiwi,” seductively starting and stopping, demanding the crowd to give more energy. Before starting the song for the final time, he shot a smirk and coyly told the audience “that is called edging.”
That’s every night for Harry Styles, but on the two nights of Harryween it just meant doing it in some fabulous costumes.