I went into HRVY’s concert totally blind, as I had never heard of him before.
The gig was held in Venue, in the SU, and the first thing that caught my attention was a merch stall at the entrance. This initial surprise clicked when I encountered HRVY’s seemingly passionate fanbase. Indeed, many of them were wearing his merch.
The venue had this buzzing energy of excitement and anticipation. My company and myself seemed to be the oldest ones there to my eye - we even saw a few children around. After his openers, HRVY finally came on stage and the crowd went mad. He definitely seemed to have young, passionate fans.
Let’s talk about the actual gig: he comes on stage, everyone’s screaming, all phones are out, he starts singing. The first thing I should point out, mainly to get it out of my way, is the actual music. Did it impress me? I can’t say it did. To paint a picture of, pretty much, all his songs: Justin Bieber-inspired singing and performance over Chainsmokers beats that resolved into predictable cliche hooks.
His lyrical themes lacked personality and originality: teenage love, breakups, oh and falling in love. It felt uplifting but in a superficial way - repetitive, uninspiring. And I love pop music. The fact that he had four female dancers dancing around him did not help him to bring any authenticity out.
In between his songs, he covered HER’s ‘Best Part,’ Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘Drivers License’, and Harry Styles ‘Falling’ to add dynamics into the setlist. There seemed to be a lack of resources - simple production, and the fact that the performance was held in Venue was limiting to an extent - however, most importantly, there was a lack of artistic value.
Now, if we look over this, I enjoyed watching him as a performer. Considerably charismatic, he knew how to keep the crowd’s attention. He didn’t bring any moments of awkwardness and was highly engaged with the audience.
He felt relaxed and natural, a skill rather rare in small acts, which can be easily misread as dishonesty. I must add he seemed to be a pretty capable dancer and comfortable moving on stage, which always makes the experience better. He made the crowd sing happy birthday to an 18-year old lucky girl, which I thought was sweet of him.
The energy and vibe was great. It was obvious the crowd was loving every moment. They were screaming his lyrics, dancing, cheering, and jumping.
So, in conclusion, taking the experience for what it is, it was quite fun, enjoyable, and safe. It didn’t change my life but I had an overall good experience.