Concert review: Harry Styles in Singapore

Concert review: Harry Styles in Singapore

Twice not shy

Text: Adibah Isa

Image: Hélène Marie Pambrun

Can Harry Styles hold an arena show?

We have to admit: We raised an eyebrow or two when we knew of Harry Styles' second solo show in Singapore. Seeing that he last performed here in November 2017, we asked ourselves two questions: 1.) "That soon?" and 2.) "An arena concert, really?" Is the 24-year-old One Directioner from England's North able to hold his own?

Not quite yet, but he'll get there. Playing to a 6,000-strong crowd (1,000 up from the sold out show at The Star Performing Arts Theatre) at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, Styles' arena show couldn't quite sell out and fill an entire stadium — but this was probably due to the fact that his second show comes less than six months after his solo debut. And what a debut it was. Last year's performance saw the previously pop-ish crooner evolve into a bonafide rock star overnight as he slipped into the shoes of a true performer, busting out his dad dancing moves, spitting out water and working the stage like a pro.

Harry Styles

Last evening's show didn't start off strongly, but Styles made up for it with conversation. As opening act Warpaint's 'New Song' made way for things to come, the crowd waited patiently as a recording of Shania Twain's 'Man I Feel Like A Woman' got lost among the predominantly young crowd, whereas One Direction's 'Olivia' served as a frenzied primer. As soon as that line, "Should we just search romantic comedies on Netflix and then see what we find?" from Styles' song, 'Woman', came on, inhibitions were let loose. Though his vocals were a tad lost among the heavy instrumentation and sound, he was noticeably a more relaxed performer. It was clear that this wasn't his first rodeo, and Styles has learned a thing or two about Singapore's elements. Instead of showing up in a Gucci suit, the stylish lad opted for a more relaxed, open buttoned shirt and pants combo.

While Styles did recycle a conversation opener from his previous show ("I have one job tonight, and that is to entertain you"), the crowd still yelped in glee. Launching into 'Ever Since New York' and 'Two Ghosts' by taking to the guitar himself, the latter was more popular with the crowd — of course, it is the song that's rumoured to be about a certain Ms. Swift. Styles thanked the crowd for coming out even though his eponymous album only contained 10 tracks — this he supplied with One Direction covers ('Stockholm Syndrome', 'If I Could Fly' and 'What Makes You Beautiful') as well as the song he wrote for Ariana Grande, 'Just a Little Bit of Your Heart'.

Harry Styles

Styles truly excels when it's just his voice, the acoustic guitar and all of his dimpled charms. We were certain he stole a lot more hearts than he bargained for when he walked through the crowd to sing from across the stadium. Though the Singapore Indoor Stadium was made for seasoned giants (the likes of Katy Perry and Ed Sheeran were recent performers) and world-class production, Styles managed to keep things intimate by having conversations with select members of the crowd: There was a girl who was celebrating her birthday in four days and a man from Norwich, who Styles didn't forget about before he exited the stage. While 'Sign of the Times' didn't close the show this time, 'Kiwi' proved to be a better sign-off to remember Styles by: A rainbow flag-bearing, dad-dancing performer that's primed for better and greater things, if we let him.

Five months too soon? A true fan would have nothing to complain about.

Presented by Live Nation Lushington, Harry Styles and Warpaint performed at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on 3 May.