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Music Review: Styles vs. Jonas

Harry Styles on the stage, with a video of him singing into the mic projected on the screens above
Photo by Molly Perry

Harry Styles

On Oct. 12, British singer, songwriter and actor Harry Styles performed to a sold out PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina as part of his Love On Tour. With the concert having been postponed for over a year due to COVID-19, Styles’ fans, including myself, were overjoyed that the long wait was coming to an end.

Before the show began, fans were already displaying their excitement and love for Styles through their outfits. Styles is known for his bold fashion choices of colorful suits, heeled boots and feather boas, and almost everyone in attendance was recreating one of his iconic looks, putting their own spin on “Harry Styles-esque” fashion or wearing banana costumes (if you know, you know).

American singer-songwriter Jenny Lewis dazzled in a white jumpsuit as she opened for Styles. Lewis warmed up the crowd with some of her most popular songs including “Just One Of the Guys,” “She’s Not Me” and “Red Bull and Hennessy.” Following Lewis’ set, the arena’s atmosphere was electric when the lights went out and the deafening roar of screaming fans grew louder as Styles was about to take the stage.

Rising up from below the very middle of the arena setup — a central stage in the middle of the floor with two catwalks going all the way to each edge of the arena — Styles opened his set with “Golden,” the first track on his second album, Fine Line. Although it seemed that fans were already screaming as loudly as possible, the crowd became even louder as Styles transitioned to “Carolina,” the third track from his self-titled debut album. This was Styles’ first time performing the song in North Carolina.

Styles’ energy was infectious as he sang most of his sophomore album — we missed you, “To Be So Lonely” — and danced across the stage and reacted to fan-made signs. One lucky fan was even serenaded as Styles, along with the rest of the crowd, sang “Happy Birthday” to her. The main part of the show ended with Fine Line’s title track, a tear-jerking song that had the crowd at its quietest point of the whole night.

Two disco balls made the whole arena shimmer as Styles performed “Sign of the Times,” the first song of the encore, before moving on to “Watermelon Sugar,” one of Styles’ biggest radio hits and the song that won him his first Grammy award. The final song of the encore was “Kiwi” which is Styles’ most rock-’n-roll performance. Fans screamed the lyrics and jumped so hard that the arena floor was shaking, especially as Styles got into a water fight with fans in the Watermelon Pit. “Kiwi” was the perfect adrenaline rush ending to a show that everyone had been anticipating for such a long time.

Styles had encouraged the crowd to “be whoever [they] want to be” and “have as much fun as [they] possibly can” while at the show. He pointed out how the last 18 months have been so difficult for the world and all the people in it, and he emphasized how important it is to spend time doing what you love with the people that you love. Even as all the feathers and glitter fell to the floor at the show’s end, Styles’ signature messages of treating people with kindness and having fun with those you love stayed with fans as they left the arena. He reminds us all that we should “just keep on dancing.”

The three Jonas Brothers onstage with their images on screens behind them
Photo by Rachel Van Horne

The Jonas Brothers

The Jonas Brothers performed at Coastal Credit Union Music Park in Raleigh on Wednesday, Oct. 13 as a part of their Remember This tour. There were four opening acts before the Jonas Brothers: Lanie Gardner, Hometown Trio, Jordan McGraw and the main opener, Kelsea Ballerini. The Remember This tour required all attendees to show either proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 at the entrance to the show.

To open for the Jonas Brothers, Kelsea Ballerini, who was just declared Country Music Television Artist of the Year, played some of her most popular songs such as “Hole in the Bottle,” “Yeah Boy” and “This Feeling”. She was a dynamic performer in her use of the stage and engagement with her fans, and she made me want to listen to more of her music and explore her artistry.

The Jonas Brothers opened the show with their namesake for the tour, “Remember This.” The set list included songs from the band’s early 2000s repertoire as well as more current hits from after their reunion. The Jonas Brothers also had small breaks in the show to play short narrated videos showing the crowd how each brother came to love music. Each brother had his own highlight which was a nice touch. The brothers all took a moment about halfway through the show to toast to their fans and persons attending the show with their loved ones, to which they played “Lovebug,” which was released in 2008.

The crowd at the show was very enthusiastic and engaged with every aspect of each performance. Everyone was dancing, singing and having a good time throughout the entire four-hour event. Overall, this concert was a great experience and I would definitely attend one of their concerts again.

By Molly Perry, Features Editor, and Freya Dahlgren, Staff Writer


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