Welcome to Harry’s Haunted House

Pop superstar Harry Styles postponed three of the dates in his Los Angeles residency tour due to a bout with the flu. The dates have been rescheduled to January 2023. (Jessica Messina | Daily Trojan)

Harry Styles may be from the United Kingdom, but he made the Kia Forum in Los Angeles feel like his home.

Harry Styles is currently performing a residency tour, ending his travels in the City of Angels. He sold out 15 consecutive shows at the Kia Forum throughout October and November. Unfortunately, he was forced to postpone his November 5th, 6th and 7th shows due to illness. I was set to attend his November 7th show, which would have marked his 39th show this residency tour. While I may not have been able to attend my scheduled show, I was fortunate enough to have seen him at his annual Harryween show on Oct. 31st.

As a pop icon, Styles attracted a diverse audience who all took unabashed artistic freedom in fashion choice inspired by his previous attire. Styles once wore a boa during his 2021 Grammy performance and it’s become a standing piece in fans concert attire since. The arena was filled with bold choices that people felt free to express: Bright colors, feathers and platform boots littering the ground. Because it was Halloween, many fans chose to dress up. More than once, “Alice” from Styles’ second film “Don’t Worry Darling” (2022) was spotted amid the crowd.

Styles himself decided to dress up as Danny Zuko from the film “Grease” (1978), alongside his band, who wore decorative outfits from the film’s time period. During the show, he paid tribute to the late Olivia Newton-John with a special rendition of “Hopelessly Devoted To You.” 

With a 360-degree style stage, Styles ensured all sides of the arena felt welcomed into his home. He left no corner untouched: running, jumping with his guitarist, dancing and kicking around to the beat of the music.

While Harry Styles may be most famous for his upbeat songs “Watermelon Sugar” and “As It Was,” he left no emotion behind during the hour and a half stay. His discography connects with so many because of its variety and tendency for the perfect amount of vagueness that allows listeners to relate their own life experiences to every song. While Styles may not be particularly open about his inspiration for many songs, fans are very open about which songs they connect to the most.

“As someone who has never felt like anyone really cared about them, who never felt accepted or wanted, who has felt inherently broken & just believed that’s how it is & that it’s ‘no big deal’ for most of their life, I’ll never be able to thank you enough for “Matilda,” Harry,” @UndeniableLTHS wrote on Twitter. 

Styles also created an environment where fans, particularly queer fans, felt safe to express themselves. During “Treat People With Kindness,” Styles ran up and down the stage with a pride flag. He also spent time during the middle of the show to read signs, aiding three fans in coming out.

“Do you know each other? What’s your name? Jackie and Briana. You would also like help coming out? What’s your name? Kaylie, Kaitlyn, Kaylie, no T. You would also like help coming out!” Styles asked during the show. 

Fan culture highly encapsulates the lives of Harry Styles enthusiasts, even going so far as to influence hundreds of individuals (including myself) to sleep on the street outside of arenas for a chance to see him up close. While the cold weather and lack of sleep may have been brutal, hugging the barricade with one hand and my friend in the other as Styles sang was an experience worth every uncomfortable moment leading up to it.

Throughout the show, Styles engaged his fans in playful banter, catching hats that were thrown his way and egging us on during songs like “Cinema” and “Daydreaming.” In a high-spirited rivalry between U.K. and U.S. fans, the arena went silent during the “leave America” portion of “As It Was.” Styles has clearly picked up on fan-favorite lines, giving the crowd the opportunity to scream (or remain silent) as he listens. 

The show wouldn’t have been complete without a Harry baptism. As always, Styles ended the night by uncapping his water bottle and “baptizing” a section of the pit, running around devilishly before deciding who to choose. A floor-shaking rendition of “Kiwi” sent everyone home. From his first album, he has carried “Kiwi” with him to every show since. It is a fan favorite and adrenaline-pumping night ender. 

While the Kia Forum may not have been his literal house, Harry Styles definitely made it a home for the 17,505 people inside of it this fall.