Harry Styles’ Love on Tour: Redefining the Status Quo of Concerts

Harry Styles uses his ‘Love on Tour’ to push the boundaries of stardom and foster an interconnected fanbase.

Styles’ tour fashion consists of sequins and sparkles.

Lily Redman, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Styles’ tour fashion consists of sequins and sparkles.

The myriad of feather boas, heart glasses, glitter, and intricate makeup come to an immediate standstill. The blur of lively fans suddenly grows quiet as the lights begin to dim. All eyes turn to the shimmering spotlight reflecting on none other than Harry Styles, the 28-year-old British musician, and modern-day pop icon. 

Styles first gained attention at age 16 for his solo contestant audition on the hit British television show, The X Factor. In July 2010, five of the contestants were put together to form a band for the groups category, consisting of Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, and Zayn Malik. It at that moment when One Direction was born. One Direction quickly exploded into a global phenomenon and remains one of the best-selling boy bands in the world, “with 70 million records sold, around 200 awards and four world tours”, reports CBBC Newsround.​​ Despite their success, One Direction announced their indefinite hiatus in 2015, marking the official start of Styles’s solo career.

Styles released his self-titled debut album on May 12th, 2017. Immediately, with his solo career appearing on the horizon, Styles proved to be immensely successful as he achieved the Billboard 200 record for best-selling first week by a British male artist’s debut album. His debut solo LP then went on to sell a total of 230,000 copies, cruising to number one.

In late 2017, Styles would reach his next milestone, Live on Tour. Consisting of 89 sold out shows, the two-part tour began with intimate venues. This would mark the official start of Styles’ relationship with the crowd. His first tour, however, was no telling as to how his future live performances would unfold. 

Here is a glimpse of Harry Styles on stage during a performance. (Nora Torok)

Harry Styles’ Love on Tour, Styles’ second headlining world tour, is one of the most influential modern pop culture moments. It was originally launched in 2021 upon the release of his second studio album, Fine Line. This was one of the first major concert tours following the drought of live entertainment during the COVID-19 pandemic. His new third studio album, Harry’s House, is an all-telling embodiment of the “home” that is Love On Tour.

The U.S. leg of Love on Tour alone has amounted to a whopping 42 sold-out shows so far (Variety). The $95 million dollar grossing tour sold a total of 720,000 tickets, touching the hearts of fans across the nation.

This economic success spans far beyond just Styles’ team. “The outing also raised over $1 million for non-profit partners — nearly the same amount in half as many dates as his previous tour, in 2018.”, reports Variety. Some of the charity partners that would go on to benefit from Love on Tour donations include Black Voters Matter, Physicians for Reproductive Health, and Choose Love. Love on Tour’s partnership with environmental nonprofit REVERB.org attracted 40,275 fans and, “resulted in 25,180 bottles not used by fans; 8,760 bottles not used backstage and 33,940 bottles total saved, according to reps for the tour” (Variety).

However, it is not simply sales that tell the true story behind the appeal, rather it is the fans. Bronx Science is no exception to this tale, as Styles’ influence continues to make its way throughout the school’s halls. Bronx Science students were eager to comment on how Styles has shaped their personal identity.

“I will never be able to put into words what I felt when the lights started coming down,” said Malena Galletto ’24. “Styles symbolizes being open with yourself and allowing freedom of expression. He’s very open about that, especially waving pride flags at his concerts and being the first male to wear a dress on the cover of Vogue. I think his self-expression gives me and others the space to express ourselves.” Simple acts like these make all the difference to fans. Styles continues to use his platform to speak out against human rights issues, fostering societal progression and the bridge between social divides. 

Styles proudly waves an LGBTQ+ flag during his St. Paul, Minnesota concert performance. (erintheredmc, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)

This, however, has stirred up a significant amount of controversy. Conservative commentator Candace Owens heavily criticized the singer’s gender fluid Vogue spread, sparking an online debate with her claim to “bring back manly men.” Nevertheless, Harry’s promotion of “Treat People With Kindness” remains a safe place for many. “His acceptance and his love for people who are part of the LGBTQ community has really helped a lot of  my friends. I know that they felt more included and more heard,” said Alexandra Davidescu ’25.

This communal spirit transcends generations. The fan base found throughout Bronx Science is not limited to just students, but rather those of all ages. Ms. Carr, a Bronx Science Chemistry teacher who has been a fan of Styles since 2010, shares her concert experience. “The fans at the concert were sharing the songs they liked with me. They didn’t know me, but were always friendly. Essentially, there was mutual support for one another. I truly have never seen anything like it. I really admire Styles’ ability to cultivate that with his fans.” 

Styles’ broad appeal doesn’t just stop there, as he embraces baby boomer culture through his fashion and musical inspirations. Fans go as far as calling him the new David Bowie, one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. Styles pushes the boundaries of stardom, much like Bowie who is considered to be the man who changed the music world. Bowie was a trailblazer through his gender fluidity and fashion, single handedly paving the way for artists like Styles. 

Styles opened the first show of his record-breaking 15 night residency at Madison Square Garden. Styles later received a banner hung up in his honor, speaking to his ever growing legacy. (Nora Torok)

Stevie Nicks, a rock and roll icon known both for her work in the band Fleetwood Mac and her solo career, is another symbol whom Styles modeled his career after. Nicks told a reporter at Vogue,I think the Beatles would’ve thought, here we’ve influenced a young man who took some incredible things from us and made them his own years and years later.” She then went on to say, “I actually don’t even know how old Harry is—he’s that timeless to me… he made a record that was more like 1975.” Nicks went as far as calling Styles “the son she never had. Styles encompasses all generations, as is represented in his fanbase.

Although originally starting in a pop boy band, Harry Styles has flourished into a sophisticated musical pioneer, advocating against LGBTQ+ oppression, gun violence, and toxic masculinity. His shows are anything but typical. Styles regularly stops his concerts to interact with fans, going as far as helping with marriage proposals, baby gender reveals, and coming out. Fans claim that these interactions drive the uniqueness of his act. To quote Styles himself, “Nobody in this room is alone.” Harry Styles’ Love on Tour is the home for one to realize how beautiful it is to be alive in this world.

“I will never be able to put into words what I felt when the lights started coming down,” said Malena Galletto ’24.