Words: Molly Greco
The Girls beneath the notorious banana costumes talk about their experience at Harry Styles: Love On Tour Nashville.
I’ve always been told Harry concerts feel like home. That it’s a comforting place to just be yourself because everyone is so accepting of each other and united in adoration for the man, Harry Styles. I had never experienced that more than I did when I attended Night Two of HSLOT Nashville. Nashville was my third show of the tour; a last-minute decision made between the three of us who then drove seven hours from our hometowns just to experience the show again. None of us had outfits. None of us were at all prepared. So when we arrived we hunted for outfits that would live up to tour expectations. Some fans go casual, others go all out. Us, however, we went bananas.
It wouldn’t be a Harry Styles show without some form of camping outside the venue, and this was no exception. We arrived at Bridgestone at around eight the night before, aiming to queue for box office tickets which opened in the morning. Bedding down on cool paving slab is an experience, and one which I would only ever repeat willingly for Harry. We had about two or three hours of sleep throughout the night, the discomfort of the floor and anticipation for the following day keeping our minds occupied. And after an incredibly broken night’s sleep, we woke at around five am, ready to make the most of the day and slip into our conspicuous costumes.
We were waiting in line for box office tickets and wanted to hype everyone up. It was a long night for many who slept outside the arena, and even though everyone was excited and in high spirits, you could see people’s energy levels dipping as the morning went on. We grabbed a speaker and a karaoke mic and started jamming on the street, earning honks from passing cars and beaming grins from passers-by. We got everyone singing and dancing along, but that was nothing compared to what the night would unknowingly bring. We collected our tickets and dipped back to the room for some slightly less broken sleep.
1/3 of the Bunch: Kate pictured after spending a night sleeping on the streets of Nashville
Later, as we walked back towards the venue amongst hoards of other impeccably dressed girls, we had people stopping us with the Banana Song or telling us they loved the costumes. We were ready. Our initial plan had been to hang out in the back of the pit. There, we’d be free to have the time of our lives without fear of anything spoiling the evening. But as we entered the venue and began the walk down the stairs to the pit, everyone started cheering and clapping. I didn’t initially realise why people were cheering: had they seen Harry be wheeled out in his box or was it all just a collective bout of excitement? However, it became pretty clear what all the commotion was for when a couple of girls around us commented, ‘oh my god, the bananas!’
Our arrival into the pit was complete, and we immediately began talking with others about the evening, the costumes, and of course, the main man himself. We even spotted ourselves on social media a few hours later, jumping around in the pit before Jenny came on! Everyone was incredibly warm and friendly, with some girls even telling us about their plans for the conga line during Treat People With Kindness – a movement which of course, was documented on social media throughout the evening.
We’d heard Harry sing the banana song before, and we knew it was a possibility that he would sing it again tonight, but that hadn’t been our driving intention, nor did we think he’d be able to see us from our spot outback. And none of it really crossed our minds until Jenny Lewis said, ‘This one’s for the bananas in the back!’, before her final song. Shit. That was us!
And after Jenny left the stage and changeover began, the suspense and anticipation amongst the crowd was palpable. You could see the front
rows condensing closer to the barrier, but we stayed back in our little section. The lights dimmed, the introduction played and the band began making their way up take their positions. Eventually, Harry appeared and we were all granted the moment we had so patiently been waiting for. Dancing like no one was watching, we had the time of our lives, but amongst the craziness of a normal Harry show, he spotted us. Just before Cherry, he pointed over to our section of the pit and laughed a little, teasing the banana song and our completely indiscreet outfits. We looked at each other in disbelief, asking each other if that had really just happened.
We continued on and the time of our lives. We cried on the floor during Falling and held hands with strangers while Olivia took our photos. We did a giant conga line in the pit and moshed to Kiwi, it was beyond the best time with the most amazing people. Then Watermelon Sugar. Harry began singing to a banana on the other side of the stage so we had just assumed he wasn’t going to sing it twice. He started to walk away, remembered about us, and came to sing it to us. I swear it didn’t feel real.
He was pointing and singing to us! After it happened, I just felt so overwhelmed, loved and comforted. Girls around us in the pit kept coming up, hugging and comforting us. Coincidentally, one of them turned out to go to my school, which is funny because now we’re close friends and have hung out some more since. It was just extremely overwhelming and comforting in the best way. Nothing could be better than that moment of love from everyone I was surrounded by.
Harry concerts truly are home. They are a place of security and comfort and also pure chaos. I have never felt happier and more myself than at that show. It is truly a moment I’ll never forget.
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