Monday, October 06, 2014

one direction — a nice bunch of lads

One Direction closed out its "Where We Are" world tour in Miami last night to a sold-out stadium crowd — and we were there. The crowd, made up mostly of tweens, teens, and young women (all, interestingly, with long, long hair) were thrilled to see their idols.

Their opening act, 5 Seconds of Summer, made it clear to the audience that they fancy themselves a rock band, as AC/DC's "Highway to Hell" blared from the speakers before they took to the stage at Sun Life Stadium. Their sound was over-cranked however, to the point of distortion on most of their songs, which made it hard to enjoy their set. Spinal Tap's speakers tuned to 11 and that guy on the motorcycle next to you in traffic who opened up his carburetor to make his ride more impressive, but mostly more noisy, came to mind. The little girls didn't seem to mind and swayed dreamily to their current (quieter) hit, "Amnesia." They did do a fun cover of The Romantics' "What I Like About You."

5 Seconds of Summer (drummer Ashton Irwin, pictured here) came out in Ninja Turtle garb

The main attraction's sound and stage savvy and pyrotechnics far outshone their opening act. The young men of One Direction have been together for four years, and they know what their fans want, and, happily, still seem to have fun being together. Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik, and Niall Horan traded lyrics and jokes throughout their two-hour show. Harry and Liam are still the de facto leads on most of their tunes, but everyone gets his chance in the spotlight. Zayn started the show a little out of sorts, possibly under the weather, but seemed to recover as the night went on. The rest had high energy and enthusiasm, with Harry providing some of the best vocals of the night.

Harry Styles on the jumbo screen

The boys trade vocals on "Live While We're Young"

The band didn't hit the stage until 9:30, which may have been pushing it for some of their younger fans. But the boys gave a great show and seems to be as genuinely thrilled to be there as there audience. Everyone could go home happy hearing their favorite tunes, including "Midnight Memories," "Diana," "Kiss You," "Rock Me," "Story of My Life," "You & I," and "What Makes You Beautiful" and "Best Song Ever," which closed the show.

Part of One Direction's image and mythology is undeniably their humble beginnings and meteoric rise to the top, but they also seemed genuinely impressed with the size of the crowd, and also seem to have retained their humility. I have never been to a performance where the artists thanked the audience so often and so profusely — they had many kind words for their back-up band and crew, too. Maybe people are just more polite across the pond, or they were just basking in the "last show of the tour" glow, but it was refreshing to hear Harry not only thank his fans for coming, but to acknowledge their parents and grandparents for bringing them — and remind everyone to drive carefully on their way home, which was not an idle suggestion, considering Miami traffic and the Florida turnpike.

1D's cutest fan
Everyone was of good cheer as the concert wound to an end — but possibly no one was as happy as One Direction, who appeared thrilled at the prospect of being able to finally take a break and go home before the madness of pop stardom starts up again. Their respite won't be too long, however, as they have a new album, Four, due out next month. It will be interesting to see if and how long they can continue as a five-piece, and if my daughter and their countless other fans will stick with them as they all grow and mature together. They are nice lads and gave us an enjoyable evening, which I am sure my daughter will treasure for quite some time to come. Maybe me, too.


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