A party for his fans was the presentation of Harry Styles in the Forum

Although it was the Harry Styles show, Serena almost stole it.

Serena, a young fan with close-cropped hair and eyes that are a window to the soul, was Styles’ chosen audience member on Sunday night – when the pop superstar opened a historic series of 15 sold-out concerts at the Kia Forum in Inglewood – for a recurring part of his performances, in which he helps someone in his audience come out as gay.

“Do you want to do this?” Styles asked when he saw the sign he was holding in his hand. No hurry”. Well-trained at this point in Styles’ career, a cameraman found a close-up of Serena to broadcast to the giant video screens above the Forum stage, where the estimated 17,000 attendees could see her nod her head; Styles, after requesting a feather boa from a front-row fan, reminded everyone how the act worked — “When this boa gets up over my head, you’re out,” he said — and then called for a drum roll.

What happened next only lasted about 10 seconds, as Styles waved the prop higher and higher. (“Get up!” an audience member yelled, referring to the technique to delay orgasm, prompting the singer to laugh.) But Serena’s gaze in that close-up, one hand closed over her mouth in signal with excitement, she seemed to recount her entire life.She and her eyes could easily have filled the Forum screens for another hour.

Styles’ role in Serena’s coming out was obviously glorious; altruistic as his goals were, he took for granted – and only reinforced – the 28-year-old’s position as cultural leader. And given the year he’s had, it’s no wonder: “Harry’s House,” Styles’ third solo album after his stint with British boy band One Direction, is one of the biggest hits of 2022, with numerous nominations expected. to the Grammys next month. He stars in two movies currently in theaters, “Don’t Worry Darling” (directed by his girlfriend, Olivia Wilde) and “My Policeman.” And his extended stay in Los Angeles comes after a previous 15-night performance at New York’s Madison Square Garden, as well as a headlining appearance at April’s Coachella festival, where he, Billie Eilish and The The Weeknd performed to roughly the same number of people that Styles alone will entertain at the Forum through November 15.

On Sunday, Styles took to the stage in a palm tree-decorated jacket and dazzling white pants, causing a roar that could be felt as well as heard.

However, it has been fascinating to see how he puts his fame to good use. A Harry Styles concert, as he told the audience shortly into his 90-minute performance, is a place to “feel free to be whoever you’ve always wanted to be”; fans have taken her words as encouragement to express a whole range of sexual and gender identities – sometimes, as with Serena, for the first time in public – even as her own reluctance to clearly delineate her sexuality (while playing gleefully with genderfluid fashion) has led to accusations of queerbaiting.

At the Forum, where Styles was backed by a six-piece band, Serena wasn’t the only person in the audience to wave a sign and to whom the singer offered a sign of reinforcement and a bit of reassurance about his life choices, though he admonished gently at a woman for saying she skipped therapy to go to the concert.

“It’s a sign that the people of Los Angeles don’t approve, Emily,” he told her with a mischievous grin. “Because what do we know, LA? You never skip therapy.”

This conspicuous concern for the needs of his fans can be seen as Styles’ way of compensating for a somewhat nondescript personality. And, in fact, to compare “Harry’s House” with his former partner Taylor Swift’s recently released “Midnights” is to admit that very little is known about Styles’ real life (or how he views such complicated issues as his relationship with Wilde). Yes, he exudes charisma like a hose; no, he couldn’t get any sexier if he tried. But his music tends toward abstraction and diversion, both by keeping his lyrics somewhat vague and by using nostalgic sounds and textures – ’60s folk, ’70s crunchy rock, and ’80s sparkly pop – with answers. embedded emotions.

The exception, fundamentally, is when he tells the stories of others: One of the highlights of “Harry’s House” and the Forum show – which combined material from the new album with old tracks like “Adore You” and “Kiwi” and a fuzzy rendition of 1D’s “What Makes You Beautiful” was “Matilda,” an acoustic ballad in which he convinces an abused friend that she’s justified in cutting off family members who’ve hurt her.

Once again, Styles’ work on “Matilda” certainly puts him in a heroic position. But as he described his pain, the empathy in his voice was loud and true, louder and truer than the confident flirtations of “Watermelon Sugar” and “Late Night Talking” and the cryptic introspection of “Sign of the Times” and the hit of the charts “As It Was”. This last melody, which is supported by the synthesizer of “Harry’s House”, has been reinforced, as if Styles had in mind the classic rock history of the place.

Is it too generous to wonder if taking the spotlight away from himself might be the radical goal of Styles’ pop stardom? His performances in the movies, which have received poor reviews, raise the possibility that he is trying to present a fully formed character in his music and is simply not getting it. However, that is not the conclusion reached by Sunday’s moving concert. What got you thinking about – more than the slutty innuendos or the perfect haircut or even those ravishing pants – was the generosity.

To read this note in English, Click here

We want to thank the author of this write-up for this incredible material

A party for his fans was the presentation of Harry Styles in the Forum