Fans Reconnect at Live Concerts

Taking a look at the return of concerts in New York City, from Harry Styles to Madison Beer



Madison Beer left fans in her hometown speechless with her incredible performance.

One of the biggest appeals of studying in New York City is the abundance of live performances hosted each night. Looking back, some of my fondest Fordham memories were the concerts I attended on a whim, like seeing Alec Benjamin at Terminal 5 for my 19th birthday or scoring $30 tickets to Billy Joel 10 minutes before the performance began. 

As I prepped for my move back to NYC for this semester, I wondered if concerts would still have the same electric feeling, let alone be performed at all in the middle of a pandemic. Would I, a member of an immunocompromised family, ever feel comfortable and at home at a concert again? These fears served as a catalyst for a self-indulgent research mission: What do concerts look like in a post-pandemic world?

Harry Styles at Madison Square Garden

By Lauren Bocalan

For five concerts throughout October, Harry Styles, along with special guests Jenny Lewis, Madison Cunningham and Orville Peck, sold out and performed at Madison Square Garden (MSG) for Love on Tour. 

In the middle of the arena was a diamond stage, and two catwalks stretched along either side of the diamond, dividing the general admission pit in two. The shape and size of the stage allowed many of the fans who had waited in line for hours to be at the stage’s barricade and have a great position for the performance. 

Starting his set with visuals of bunnies and a voiceover of Charles Bukowski’s poem “Style,” Harry Styles rose from the middle of the stage. He was wearing unique outfits each night, so it was always such a rush to see the slightest peek of what he was wearing. 

The performance was jam-packed with extreme crowd engagement and excitement. The crowd chanted the mantra “Treat People With Kindness” at the top of their voices and listened intently as Harry sang lyrics to hold onto, such as “We’ll be alright.”

The excitement was palpable throughout his encore of “Sign of the Times,” “Kiwi” and “Watermelon Sugar.” “Kiwi” never failed to make the floor of MSG shake during every performance. After all, Harry wrote the lyrics “It’s New York, baby, always jacked up!” for a reason. 

I saw Harry Styles perform at MSG five times. I don’t like to think of the logistics of that, specifically financially, and although this is where I could get cheesy, all I have to say is: Yes, I would do it again.

Rising pop singer Madison Beer proved her debut studio album “Life Support” to be just as incredible in concert as on any streaming service.

Madison Beer at Terminal 5

By Olivia LeDuc

On Oct. 24, at the live music venue Terminal 5, a couple of blocks down from Fordham Lincoln Center, Madison Beer produced a phenomenal show that left fans in her hometown speechless.

With luminous melodies, orchestral high notes and echoing instrumentals that filled the volume of the arena, rising pop singer and social media influencer Madison Beer proved her debut studio album “Life Support” to be just as incredible, if not better, in concert than on any streaming service.

Beer appeared on stage with two backup dancers and fiercely kicked off with one of her lead singles, “Baby,” a sensual song with heavy R&B influence and PG-13 lyrics. The song generated vibrations on the venue floor and lively energy among the crowd when she belted, “If you wanna be my baby, know I’m gonna drive you mad / Probably gonna call me crazy, I’m the best you’ve ever had.”

Following the exuberance of her first two songs came “Stay Numb And Carry On,” dialing down the vibrancy of the crowd as Beer sang about the emotional traumas she has endured throughout her career.

Beer crafted a melancholy rendition of the song, certifying her talent vocally when she sang high notes on her knees while the crowd erupted in deafening applause.

Beer’s rendition of pain continued to ramp up throughout the concert with her performance of “Emotional Bruises,” a letter to a past lover with whom she cannot reconcile; the pain they have inflicted on her made her reach the point where she feels the need to go on “life support,” a tribute to the album title.

“Shouldn’t love you, but I couldn’t help it / Had a feeling that you never felt it / I always knew that you were too damn selfish / Don’t know why I looked the other way,” are arguably some of Beer’s most popular lyrics in her second single from the album, “Selfish,” which surfaced on TikTok and garnered widespread attention online.

Beer crafted a melancholy rendition of the song, certifying her talent vocally when she sang high notes on her knees while the crowd erupted in deafening applause.

As the show ended, explosions of pink confetti trickled through the air. People reached to collect falling pieces as Beer kissed her crowd goodbye.

image of concert with bright lights and many people in the crowd
Indoor concerts are back in New York City for the first time since before the pandemic. (ISABELLA GONZALEZ)

Adam Melchor at Music Hall of Williamsburg

By Avery Loftis 

To establish a sense of normalcy during quarantine, in February 2020, indie folk artist Adam Melchor created a phone number through which to text his fans a new song every Sunday. The phone number was dubbed the “Lullaby Hotline,” now the title of his first album with freshly mixed songs, some of which he played at his New York show at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Nov. 5.

Melchor entered as diffused colors lit the room and played through his yearning introduction song “Last Time,” along with the hopeless-romantic rocker “I Choose You.” Even in the second row of the pressing crowd, I could hear the cheers of his friends, family and fans. Before the third song, Melchor stopped and beamed with gratitude, let out a slew of thank yous, and claimed he did not know what else to say and would likely never stop thanking us all night.

There was a surrealism in the respectful cheers following the song “Happier Alone,” from the Lullaby Hotline releases, along with a mashup of the unofficially released “Lactose Intolerant” and officially released “No Way of Knowing.” After watching these songs through a screen for two years and conversing with fellow fans, it was inexplicable to me that such an intimate concert experience was possible once more.

Melchor’s headline tour proved his consistency in providing a cosmic level of comfort and connection within his fanbase.

The entire show felt like watching a close friend have the best party of their life. Reciprocating and resonating with the energy from that night brings to mind one of the Lullaby Hotline texts from September. Melchor played a song called “Honey,” and over the instrumentals, he droned to his fans, “And, if there’s one thing that always feels good, it’s doing something with somebody else and going on a journey together with somebody, whether you know them as the love of your life or never even met them once. This is a rare opportunity for us to feel what everyone’s feeling.” 

Melchor’s headline tour proved his consistency in providing a cosmic level of comfort and connection within his fanbase.

With in-person concerts back in full swing, here are a few upcoming shows to keep an eye out for. Berta Bigtoe, an up-and-coming band based in Chicago, is performing at Rodrigue’s Coffee House at Rose Hill this Friday, Nov. 19, at 8 p.m. And for next semester, big-name artists like Tyler, the Creator, Mitski, Elton John and Billie Eilish will be coming to the city to perform.