The Harry Styles Formula – The Hofstra Chronicle

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Photo credit The New York Times.
“You know, my favorite thing about the movie is, like, it feels like a movie,” Harry Styles told the press at the Venice International Film Festival on Monday, Sept. 5. The statement, like much of Styles’ “Love on Tour” shows, is incredibly formulaic at heart. 
As a songwriter, Styles is a heartfelt storyteller, and his performance style is just personal enough to make fans feel connected to the former boy band singer. However, his nightly performances are mostly just a copy and paste of each performance before, with or without the inclusion of his unreleased song “Medicine” in the set list.
Marianne Garvey’s essay for CNN about attending Styles’ Aug. 21 show in New York articulates just how precise Styles is when it comes to making the show the same experience nearly every night. He has found the perfect concert formula that draws audiences in enough to feel like a deep connection is being forged, but verbatim is simply memorized lines. The videos of Styles’ performances each night of “Love on Tour” that overload my TikTok feed show clips of the same exact sentiments being shared as a year ago. 
“I ask only one very simple thing – I need you to have as much fun as you can possibly have,” Styles states as a preface to his performance. While he undoubtedly has a tour script, after hearing the same exact sentiments more than once, they begin to feel a little unnatural. 
Every audience member leaving Styles’ show – from golf dads to fans from his One Direction days – is ecstatic from witnessing a performance. 
The content of Styles’ shows includes little to no variation, except for what is thrown on stage by fans – which could include more rogue chicken nuggets coming his way, whose boyfriend he decides to call or which baby he comments on in the crowd. 
Even his non-concert speeches are formulaic, like his “my favorite thing about the movie is, like, it feels like a movie,” sentiment about his upcoming film “Don’t Worry Darling.” The thought is valid, but it could be argued that the delivery needs some work. 
Conversely, the power which that simple, formulaic statement has held on the internet following its delivery is unfathomable. Marketing associates for major brands, airlines, sports teams and food companies alike have used Styles’ “movie that feels like a movie” formula to highlight their individual brands. 
Despite his obvious repetition of major plot and speaking points, Styles is such an incredible actor and performer that he electrically connects with each and every audience member, drilling the concert experience into their minds forever. 
Garvey sums the experience up best in her CNN piece: “To see all these people happy in one room because of one person is pure magic. There is no outside world while Styles is on stage.”
The key to Styles’ world-renowned success could be derivative of his simple formula: incredible songwriting, singing and performing abilities. The power to inspire, understand and unify the world by being himself within the period of a 90-minute show is truly incredible. What’s not as amazing is the realization that this “formula” exists and is evident throughout Styles’ work.  
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