In the wake of the release of his eponymous debut solo album, former One Direction star Harry Styles made a touchdown performance at one of the first shows on this promotional circuit, shutting down Los Angeles’ The Troubadour on Friday night (May 19) with a secret show featuring a surprise guest appearance from Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks.
Clad in a black button-down shirt and gold pants, the British singer ran through the hour-long set by sticking almost entirely to the songs from his LP, keeping banter to a somewhat minimum. He kicked off the show by emerging from the wings with his robust band, complete with percussionists and numerous guitar players, strapping on one himself to begin with “Ever Since New York,” the cut he’d played on Saturday Night Live in April.
“Good evening,” he began after running through “Carolina.” “I’m Harry, nice to meet you, thanks very much for coming. How are you? Good! Thank you very much for coming tonight. I’ve always wanted to play the Troubadour and I’m here, so that’s cool. My album came out last week. Thanks! I liked it as well. I’m going to play the songs from that and a few other things. Tonight is already really the best night of my life, so thanks so much for being here.”
–| Landslide by Harry Styles e Stevie Nicks. pic.twitter.com/MZ4DgxolVb
— Daily Styles — (@dailyhstyles23) May 20, 2017
It proved to be a test of sorts. Styles, no stranger to commanding arena-sized crowds, seemed relatively reserved throughout the show, giving off an air of affected remove while bringing the classic rock confections of his album to the stage. Songs like “Meet Me in the Hallway” conveyed how strong his voice is — something that got lost in the mix in his One Direction days — while “Woman” recalled the bounce of Elton John’s “Bennie and the Jets” with tangential panache.
“Feeling good?” he asked as he waded into his set. “I’m having a good time. A lot of people I love very much are in the room tonight, it feels amazing to be in a room with my friends from here. And if you’re sitting down upstairs, you should get very drunk.” He was referring to guests like James Corden, who was beaming from the upper balcony. As he waved to the crowd, he ripped into “Sweet Creature” and “Only Angel,” strapping on a guitar to show off his singer-songwriter side.
Harry Styles brought out Stevie Nicks I’m losing my mind pic.twitter.com/LURJfidWpm
— steven j. horowitz (@speriod) May 20, 2017
“Show us your tits!” joked one attendee. “It’s still too early and I haven’t had a drink,” quipped Styles. It was for the best, as the best was yet to come. After a rendition of “Stockholm Syndrome,” he cued up for the biggest moment of the night, inviting out Nicks for an incredible handful of duets. “I’m pretty sure that this was going to be up there with one of the best nights of my life,” he said, introducing the legendary artist. “If there was any doubt, I’m pretty sure I’d like to confirm, in my entire life, I never thought I’d be able to say this. Please welcome to the stage, Stevie Nicks.”
Their chemistry was palpable. They collaborated on his solo song “Two Ghosts” before Fleetwood Mac’s iconic “Landslide,” dueling harmonies and all, and finished with “Leather and Lace,” with Styles filling Don Henley’s shoes. “She’s the queen of anything,” he said, bowing down to her at the end of the segment. It was clearly the highlight of any of his promotional appearances over the last week, counting undersell shows in both New York City and Los Angeles.
He dialed down the theatrics for the conclusion of the night, his tenor voice carrying the thread of “From the Dining Table” accompanied by just a guitar and concluding with his single “Sign of the Times.” “Thank you so much for being here,” he said. “Thank you so much for listening, playing, I love you very much and I will love you forever. Thank you for being here. You’re all wonderful, I hope to see you very soon. I’ll be back in L.A. in September. Not doing anything, just roaming the streets. I will be here.”
All proceeds of the show went to the L.A. charity Safe Place for Youth.