Concert review: Harry Styles makes the leap from boyband member to bona fide rock star

Harry styles performing his sold out show to 5,000 at the star theatre.
Harry styles performing his sold out show to 5,000 at the star theatre.PHOTO: ANJALI RAGURAMAN

SINGAPORE - It's clear. Harry Styles has truly shed his boyband innocence for bona fide rock star prowess in his first outing as a solo artist.

All it takes is seeing the 23-year-old play live to know that. Performing his first solo show in Singapore, Harry Styles Live On Tour 2017, at The Star Theatre on Nov 23 evening, the British singer had the sold-out 5,000-capacity Star Theatre eating out of his silver-ringed hand for 75 minutes.

While he might have gained fame as a member of British-Irish boyband One Direction, he was more of a modern day Mick Jagger as he lorded over the stage in his floral (probably) Gucci suit, sprinkling his magic dust over the legions of swooning teenaged girls decked out in $50 concert T-shirts.

Backed by a four-piece band that looked as though they were straight out of the 1970s, he weaved with ease in and out of slower, pensive numbers like Ever Since New York and Two Ghosts as well as jaunty, upbeat numbers like Carolina.

But he truly shone on rock anthem Only Angel when he dropped the guitar to work the length of the stage, high five-ing, blowing kisses, winking and dancing in ecstasy. All the while, he was the polite British gentleman, taking time out to ask the crowd, "You doing alright?"

You would never have noticed that he only has one, 10-song album to his name. The set list was testament to the strength of that record as he delivered hit after hit - from the Bennie & The Jets-type tune Woman to rock n roll number Kiwi.

He padded out the rest of his set with four covers. The first was Just A Little Bit of Your Heart, a song he wrote for pop diva Ariana Grande three years ago, followed by updated, rock versions of One Direction songs Stockholm Syndrome and What Makes You Beautiful.

He saved the best cover for the encore, when he did a faithful and spectacular rendition of Fleetwood Mac's rock anthem The Chain.

But it was closing number Sign Of The Times that stole the show. While he did not quite go for the high notes, kudos to his band for filling the cavernous Star Theatre with the lush soundscape of the track - his first single and the song that put him on the map.

This was definitely a taster that left one wanting more - and looking forward eagerly to Styles' second show in Singapore in May next year as part of this tour.