J. Cole and Harry Styles Set the Tone for a Memorable Experience

Rebekah Barrera, Staff Writer

   The lights are dimmed, the stadium dark enough to the point where you can only see the silhouettes of the people surrounding you. But you don’t need to see everyone anyway, because the same feelings are being shared by all the fans in the room: overwhelming excitement and pure happiness; it’s as if you’re living the dream. The moment bursts of color suddenly light up the room, signaling the entrance of the musician, the crowd erupts in cheers that fill the air of the night. By the sounds of it, everyone is ready for a night they’ll never forget.

   From singing in the shower to having songs play loudly in your earbuds at school, everyone listens to music to tune out the world around them. For some, it’s an escape from reality. For others, it’s a distraction, or even a coping mechanism.

   So when J. Cole and Harry Styles took to South Florida for their respective tours, some of the students of PPCHS traded their private room concerts for a night to experience a real trip away from reality. 

   Kicking off the first show of his long-awaited “Off-Season Tour” on Friday, September 24, in the FTX Arena, J. Cole brought nothing but fun and surprises to downtown Miami. Even before the actual performance, supporters felt the thrill in the atmosphere. Sophomore and fan Fiorella Kaiserman was one person lucky enough to experience the feeling, saying “it was so surreal to be around so many people sharing such a hype moment at the same time.”

   Once the artist himself came on stage, he opened with “95 South”, the intro song on The Off-Season. Continuing to build up the energy in the crowd, he then sang fan favorites like ‘Power Trip’ and ‘A Tale of 2 Citiez’, hitting the peak of his show by bringing out 21 Savage for ‘A Lot’. Of all the songs on his set-list, Fiorella’s favorite was ‘Tribe’, which J. Cole performed with rapper Bas. She explains how the second the song started playing, she “literally got so happy [she] started jumping and yelling” because of how meaningful it was to her.

   What caught fans by complete surprise, however, was the appearance of Future and Drake on stage. Sophomore Keira Tejada, who was able to see them firsthand, said that “it was really cool” when Drake sang ‘Way 2 Sexy’’ and that it made the concert “overall one of the best [she’s] been to”.

   Two weeks later, on October 8, Harry Styles and his “Love On Tour” crew made their way to Sunrise for their concert at the FLA Live Arena. With the room being completely full, thousands of fans didn’t fail to show up and show out. One of these people, freshman Adriana Ortiz, expressed that “The energy in the whole building was so good and radiating nothing but love and kindness.”

   Opening with ‘Golden’, Harry lit up the room then proceeded to take the audience through a series of emotions with the rest of his set-list. He sang some of his upbeat songs like ‘Adore You’ and ‘Woman’, while performing the more emotional songs like ‘Falling’ and ‘Sign of the Times’ in between. Sophomore Emily Brown loved the in-betweens, saying “His voice was carrying the emotions he was feeling out to the crowd, and it felt more real hearing it live and unedited.”

   Ending the concert with a bang by playing ‘Kiwi’, fans were saddened that it was coming to a close, but their actions showed otherwise. Senior Sarai Francis explains how she “got to jump up and down and have an amazing time” as the whole crowd went crazy to the song.

   As these fans return to singing and dancing in the mirror, they bring back with them the memories of unforgettable nights. As Adriana puts it, “Best experience of [their] life[s] so far.”