Harry Styles performed “Two Ghosts” and Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide” Friday night with Stevie Nicks herself at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. Not only was this a highlight for the new solo artist’s career, but it was also his first solo show in the US.
Styles walked on stage in glittery yellow gold pants and a black button down shirt, paired with an acoustic guitar and booming confidence. It’s been evident ever since his early days with One Direction that he had the potential to be a solo artist. His confidence is obvious without an overwhelming ere of arrogance, atypical of some other big name rock frontmen. And now he’s fully embracing that role, glittery pants and all.
He performed his album, Harry Styles, in its entirety to a crowd of young girls lucky enough to get tickets at the historic venue. Although the target audience may not have changed since his last tour with One Direction, the sound coming through the speakers is anything but bubblegum pop. The epic single “Sign of the Times” sent strong vibes of David Bowie and showed he has authentic writing chops to prove. The Rolling Stones can be heard on “Kiwi” and The Beatles on “Sweet Creature,” a soft acoustic melody reminiscent of Paul McCartney on “Blackbird.”
It’s no surprise the rest of his One Direction ex-bandmates are releasing singles around the same time as his album debut. Niall Horan released “This Town” and “Slow Hands,” and more recently, Liam Payne released “Strip That Down (feat. Quavo).” Payne took the hip-hop route like Zayn Malik did last year after publicly leaving the band first. Louis Tomlinson’s single is nowhere to be found, at least for now.
So far they’re all following the classic post-boyband career paths, but only one member truly succeeds longterm. Think Justin Timberlake post-NSYNC. Harry has the potential to be One Direction’s Justin Timberlake.
Nicks joined him on stage for three duets: “Two Ghosts,” and two of Stevie’s songs, “Landslide” and “Leather and Lace.” Harry’s wonderment at the rock legend is both pure and respectful, an evident spectacle seen from the video above. His smile is contagious throughout as the two end “Two Ghosts” a cappella. This performance was his first step into cementing his place in the singer-songwriter world.
Nicks and Styles followed the duet with “Landslide,” which I can only assume was a surreal performance for the British 23-year-old. After Nicks left the stage he performed the rest of the album with his newly formed band, and quite literally ran out of songs to perform. If “Sign of the Times” is any indication of a soaring career trajectory, he won’t have any trouble running out of songs to perform in the coming years.
Harry kicks of his official US tour on September 19 in San Francisco.