Former One Direction star Harry Styles celebrated the Dec. 13 release of his sophomore solo album, Fine Line, by dueting with his childhood idol and his “light,” Stevie Nicks, during the encore of his “Fine Line Live: One Night Only” show Friday night. “It wouldn’t be an album release without this young lady,” he told the ecstatic, sold-out crowd of 17,000 fans — some of whom had traveled from as far away as New Zealand or had been camping out in the parking lot for days — at Los Angeles’s Forum. “I have a feeling that you’re going to enjoy this as much as me.”
The 25-year-old glam-pop chameleon and 71-year-old bohemian rock goddess then blended their voices for a heavenly rendition of the Fleetwood Mac classic “Landslide,” holding hands and adorably slow-dancing while the delighted audience cheered. “I know — cool, isn't it?” Styles gushed afterwards.
This wasn’t the first time the two singers had joined forces and expressed their appreciation for each other. Two and a half years ago at Hollywood’s Troubadour, during the record release show for Styles’s self-titled debut album, Nicks was the surprise guest on three songs. And earlier this year, when Nicks entered the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Styles delivered her induction speech, describing her as “the magical gypsy godmother who occupies the in-between” and “a rock ‘n’ roll Nina Simone.” Styles also dueted with Nicks that night at the Rock Hall ceremony, respectively taking on the Tom Petty and Don Henley roles for “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” and “Leather and Lace.” (Later in the press room, Nicks accidentally said Styles used to be in ’NSYNC, but he seemed unfazed by her amusing flub.)
Friday at the Forum, Styles took the stage resplendent in an open-chested, flamingo-pink blouse (perfectly coordinating with the venue’s exterior, which had been bathed in a glowing rosy light for the occasion), wide-legged sailor trousers, and chunky Cuban heels, looking like a ‘70s glitter-rock androgyne. Though Fine Line — which he performed in its entirety, front to back — had been out for less than 24 hours, and nine of the record’s dozen songs were making their live debut, the fans seemed to know all the lyrics, sometimes screaming along with such Beatlemania-like fervor that Styles’s own husky vocals were all but drowned out. But the charismatic Styles, audible or not, held the crowd in thrall with his Jagger-like swagger, rubber-limbed dance moves, and epic soft-rock anthems and breakup ballads.
Nicks was not the only special guest during Styles’s set. Indie-pop band Lucius’s beguiling and operatic co-vocalists Jess Wolfe and Heidi Laessig (who have also performed with Roger Waters, Jackson Browne, John Legend, and Mavis Staples) also joined him for the effervescent “Treat People With Kindness.” That title was a mantra that Styles seemed to take to heart: When he spotted a fan faint in the crowd, he was so concerned that he paused the show, waiting until assistance arrived before resuming.
After breezing through Fine Line, Styles, who joked, “I have more than 10 songs now,” encored not just with the Nicks collaboration but with the grandly Bowie-esque “Sign of the Times” and attitudinal boot-stomper “Kiwi” (both off Harry Styles); a groovily organ-driven ‘60s mod remake of One Direction’s 2011 signature song, “What Makes You Beautiful”; and a surprise cover of Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime” while silver-tinsel confetti snowed down from the Forum ceiling. "This album is yours. I am yours," he gratefully told the audience at the end of the night.
While “Fine Line Live: One Night Only” was, true to its billing, a one-night event, Styles will go on tour next year, returning to the Forum for three nights in September with opening act Jenny Lewis. We shall see if Nicks makes another appearance as well.
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