Harry Styles ended a week of album promo for Harry’s House with his first of two One Night Only concert events in New York City on May 20. (The second event, ONO London, took place on May 24.)
The concert celebrated the release of Harry’s House, Styles’ third studio album, that came out that same day.
The concert was held at UBS Arena in Elmont, NY, and was live-streamed on Apple Music. The performance was the first of Apple’s new concert live-streaming series called “Apple Music Live.”
Details for the show were announced on May 2 and fans who pre-registered and were lucky enough to receive a pre-sale code were able to buy tickets on May 5 for $25.
In an interview two days before the show, Styles told Howard Stern that he was looking forward to the unique events. “I can imagine (the ONOs) will be the only two times we’ll play the album like that… So that’s always fun!”
As he promised, Styles spent his Friday night performing the track list before a sold-out crowd of 19,000. Getting the show started, Styles said, “We’re in New York City for one night only, and we’ll be playing this new album for you the way it was intended to be heard: From start to finish.”
The crowd was buzzing from the beginning and showed their love for the new album when Styles came on stage.
Styles wore an all-Gucci ensemble: a red heart ringer tee, black leather pants, and red Adidas x Gucci Gazelle sneakers. He accessorized the outfit with a yellow Nomi Necklace by éliou.
Styles kicked off the show with the album’s first track, “Music for a Sushi Restaurant” and continued to play the album in order.
Styles provided commentary on some of the songs by acknowledging and thanking those who helped him create the each song: Kid Harpoon and Tyler Johnson (co-producers), guitarist Ben Harper (featured on “Boyfriends”), Rob Stringer (his label’s manager), and Mitch (his band member, close friend, and frequent collaborator).
The crowd danced along to “Late Night Talking,” “As It Was,” and “Cinema,” was hushed during the slower songs, like “Little Freak” and “Satellite,” and was almost completely silent during the debut of the heartbreakingly beautiful “Matilda.”
The shift in energy between the upbeat songs and “Matilda” was palpable in the audience, according to Twitter user @immamystery, who attended the event. “We switched from dancing to completely silent when Harry started singing ‘Matilda.’ We all just stood there, captivated by his vocals and the lyrics, and most of us grabbed a friend (or friends!) to sway side to side with. The atmosphere is certainly something irreplicable. It’s so freeing to step into a building and feel accepted no matter who you are.”
Styles ended the performance of the album’s track list with the mellow “Love of My Life” and left the stage only to return a few minutes later to play some of his well-known older songs – “Adore You,” “Watermelon Sugar,” “Sign of the Times,” One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful,” and his typical show closer, “Kiwi.”
Styles exited the stage once more after “Kiwi” and came back again, seemingly not wanting the night to end.
For the second encore, Styles and his band did another rousing rendition of “As It Was.” Styles worked the stage and interacted with the crowd, ending the night by waving a Ukrainian flag and then walking down the stage with a Pride flag, covering himself with the flag and kissing it gently.
“This has been the best night of my life,” Styles said, emotionally, thanking the fans and blowing kisses to the arena just before leaving the stage. The crowd thunderously cheered as Styles left, signaling what many of us already knew: Harry’s House era is officially underway.