Harry Styles gives Ziggo Dome a heartwarming evening ★★★★☆

Harry Styles at the Sportpaleis in Antwerp.Statue Anthony Pham

Sometimes something happens during a pop concert of which you as a reviewer immediately know that all reviewers will probably open with it and that you will nevertheless do that yourself, because it summarizes the evening, says a lot about the artist, is simply too good not to mention make it your opening scene.

From the stage of the sold-out Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam, the English pop idol Harry Styles (28) has been looking out for an hour over a sea of ​​colorful flags, homemade signs with sweet texts, inflatable rainbows, brightly colored boas and excited girl faces when he sees Lena’s plate. sees: ‘Please out me to my dad.’ Loosely translated: help me come out to my father.

“Is your father here?” Styles asks. No, he’s at home. ‘Shall I call him? Do you want me to do that?’ Here comes Lena’s phone. Style calls.

“I’ve got Peter on the phone,” he says. Lena looks startled: she knows it’s a hit. Styles briefly speaks with her father, discreetly, without putting the phone on speaker. That empathy and integrity characterize him. Then he reports. ‘Your father loves you. He looks forward to seeing you soon.” A moment of silence. “I think you have a wonderful father.”

Styles’ place in the pop range is reminiscent of Robbie Williams’s twenty years ago. He is the boy from a hysterically popular boy band (One Direction, Williams’s was Take That) who can really do something and who has risen to even greater glory as a solo artist.

Williams experienced his zenith in 2003 on the other side, in the current Johan Cruijff Arena. Styles could perhaps have filled it too, but is still in the Ziggo Dome, electrically charged with adoration and excitement.

He sometimes wants to appear in a dress, androgynous, with make-up. Tonight he’s wearing cowboy overalls in pink and lilac. He is beautiful, charmingly natural, although he sometimes looks a bit stern. He seems aware that he is ten years older than many of his fans.

And yes, he can do a lot. He doesn’t have such a powerful, recognizable singing voice as Robbie Williams, but he does sing cleanly and well, and he has a natural charisma: sometimes serious, sometimes roguish, but never blunt like Williams, who sometimes unasked a young woman in the audience. gave a penetrating French kiss.

Styles would never do that. 2022 is different from 2002.

The emphasis in the performance is heavily on Harry’s House, his third album, released in May. In the funky electronic opener Music for a Sushi Restaurant Styles is still drowned out by thousands of girl voices, but he’s used to that: he quickly finds the balance, has a solid band behind him that, with some electronic struts, shows where Styles comes from musically.

Boyfriends could have been a Fleetwood Mac song and the huge hit As It Was (saved for the encore) a forgotten synthesizer gem from A-ha. He probably also listened to synth-pop groups like Phoenix and Zoot Woman a lot.

The performance is tightly directed, the set list is the same every night, but it never gets too slick. When the audience spontaneously shouts a traditional Dutch ‘Long will she live!’ for a birthday visitor, Styles reacts off-the-cuff: ‘What is that? A Dutch birthday song? Much more fun than that boring happy Birthday

Treat People with Kindness is pretty much his anthem, the only One Direction song of the night (What Makes You Beautiful) has a nice guitar riff. In the encore is, except As It Wasalso the cheerful world hit Watermelon Sugarafter which he closes a lively, varied and heartwarming evening of pop music rocking hard with Kiwi

Excellently done. Each spectator gets to take home a small package of love that feels wonderfully personal.

“Grab the hand of the person next to you,” he says halfway through. “Look at each other and say to the other: I love you.” For example, your reviewer’s collegial relationship with Jasper van Vugt (Fidelity) an unforeseen impulse. Thanks Harry.

Harry’s hits

Harry Styles is ubiquitous in the Dutch hit and album charts. the single As It Was is number 1 in the Top 40, while previous single Late Night Talking still at 14. Since April 2017, six Harry Styles singles have reached the Top 40 here. Watermelon Sugar reached number 2 in the Netherlands, but became number 1 in the US and has now been streamed 1.8 billion times on Spotify. How immensely popular all Styles songs are is apparent from his album success: all three albums took first place in the Netherlands and did not disappear from the Album Top 100 after that. Harry Styles (2017) is still at 40, Fine Line (2019) on 10 and the new Harry’s Houseafter weeks at the top, now at 2.

Harry Styles


9/7, Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam.