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Harry Styles recap, Coachella 2022: cheesy chat, One Direction hits and a cameo from country queen Shania Twain

The Harry hype is real. On its first day in three years, Coachella was absolutely thrilled at the prospect of the former One Direction star making his debut headlining the California festival. Shortly before the release of his third album Harry’s housea not-so-subtle reference to the song “Harry’s House/Centerpiece” by Joni Mitchell from her 1975 album The hiss of the summer lawnsthe pop singer relies on tonal references just as calculated as his outfits. He’s as much a muse for Gucci and British designer Molly Goddard as a musical magpie, with influences from David Bowie to Elton John and Fleetwood Mac. Its shape-shifting chart fodder is meant for wide-open stages and huge audiences.

The crowd is as big tonight as it was that day, and Styles is resplendent in a huge, fluffy coat that resembles a plucked ostrich. In the middle of his opening song, the all-new “As It Was,” the mantle comes off. Styles is now a human mirror ball in a sleeveless, sequined jumpsuit – which barely covers his nipples but lets his bristly manly cleavage and heavily tattooed arms show off – and a pair of Cuban heels. It’s all very, very Freddie Mercury.

“Good evening,” he offers earnestly. “My name is Harry. It’s a pleasure to be here tonight.” The chat is certainly a touch of cheeseball at the end of the pier: lots of references to “giving 200 percent” and how “we some old and some new ones and have some surprises.” But he certainly delivers the surprises. He’s not content with just pummeling the old-school fans — of whom there seem to be many — with One Direction’s 2011 hit “What Makes You Beautiful.” wow, but also brings out Shania Twain The country superstar wears even more glitter than styles, belting out “Man! I feel like a woman!” in her sparkly mini dress and white go-go boots. as Styles is occasionally added. Most of the time he just watches in adoration.

As she settles into a stool, Twain also delivers her breakthrough ’90s hit, “Still the One,” but not until the two share a few compliments. “As a kid, in the car with my mom, this lady taught me to sing,” says Styles. “She also taught me that men are trash.” Then it’s Twain’s turn: “I’m kind of at a loss for words. I’m a little starry.” Styles later tries to throw himself into his apparent obsession with Jackson Browne and James Taylor with new track “Boyfriends,” a sloppy acoustic number about men who take their partners for granted, which he hits with a dashing Cheers leading up: “For friends everywhere, f*** you.”

If Styles’ goal tonight is to transform himself from pop prince to rock titan, he hasn’t succeeded. Tracks like “Watermelon Sugar” and “Adore You” are immaculately performed, but the rehearsed lines and somewhat cheesy delivery lack the spontaneity of a proper rock ‘n’ roll show. But it is his boundless brilliance that makes him a star.

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/reviews/harry-styles-review-coachella-shania-twain-b2059230.html Harry Styles recap, Coachella 2022: cheesy chat, One Direction hits and a cameo from country queen Shania Twain

JOE HERNANDEZ

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