Chants and faint conversations fill the arena as hundreds of girls wait for four boys to take the stage. When the opening notes played, the ear-piercing screams begin and four men run out, opening their show with their song ‘Clouds’. The lights are bright and the energy is high right from the start as Harry, Niall, Liam, and Louis make their way to the front of the stage. Harry bounces around like he was made for exactly that, Liam waves and addresses every side of the arena making the fans feel noticed and accounted for, while Louis and Niall play around with each other on stage. One Direction, or as their fans refer to them, “The Boys” come out with the intention to put on a great show, and that’s exactly what they do. As soon as the closing notes to the first song dies down, they speak to the crowd, making them feel welcomed and thanking them for coming out for the night, much like any artist would at a concert, but what really sets this band apart from everyone else is how they present themselves on stage.
Oldest member Louis Tomlinson has grown so much since their X factor days. You can see he has become a stronger and more confident performer. Tomlinson shows his perfect vocals when belting out the lyrics to ‘No Control’, a song showcasing his sweet tenor. The way Tomlinson gets into the song, from the pure energy that he puts forth, to the way his face contorts during the chorus, shows how much talent and passion he has. Louis’s flow of energy is continuous throughout the song, not faltering once. When ‘No Control’ comes to an end, Tomlinson confess how touched he is by the fans’ response to the song and how they promoted the song (one he wrote), mentioning how amazed he was with The No Control Project. Louis’s sincerity and sweet actions makes the whole crowd swoon of course, but at the same time his words are genuine and truthful.
Second oldest member, Liam Payne, is the next to speak to the crowd. Payne starts by telling the crowd that they are the best crowd so far from the five out of six shows they played at London’s O2 Arena. Payne’s comment, though typical and said to nearly all concert goers no matter the location, still has the power to make everyone in the room feel loved. Payne makes it his mission to get the crowd involved, constantly pointing his mic out for them to sing louder whilst also falling into conversation between songs. Payne is known for reading the handwritten signs that fans bring to their concerts, calling some out over his mic. “Marry me Niall” he says, reading a fan’s sign and then turning to Niall with a smile to which Niall laughs in reply. Payne also leaves the crowd speechless when he displays his vocal abilities and takes on former member Zayn Malik’s solo in their song ‘You & I’. Payne hits the high note so well and perfectly with just the right amount of passion, and the camera cuts to him just in time to show the way that the veins in his neck are more noticeable, making the crowd instantly get louder. His vocals are so captivating in that moment, and when he’s finished, he smiles with his little puppy face, making it look like it’s no big deal that he just went into falsetto. The ease at which Liam is able to transition from his chest voice to throat voice and back is something else, but he works it and everyone else falls in love with it as well.
Niall Horan, the lone Irish member definitely does not go unnoticed at all. From his doe blue eyes to his contagious laugh, Horan has been coined the adorable one of the group, but adorable doesn’t do justice for how captivatingly charming Horan really is. Even if you’re not a “Niall girl/boy” watching him sing his solo in ‘Little Things’ will definitely have you questioning your choice on favourite member. Horan makes the whole room fall in love with him simply by singing the beginning of his heart felt solo, the way that the camera zooms in on him playing his guitar and the way that he looks directly into the camera, makes you feel as though he is singing directly to you despite the fact that there are over a thousand other people in the same room as you. Horan then shifts his attention from his solo to the audience and tells them to “finish the song!” The crowd does as Horan has suggested and the whole arena starts to finish the song and you can see Niall smile to him self as he takes in the beautiful sight that is right in front of him. All the fans have their lights on making the atmosphere more intimate as they all sing together with just as much as passion as the boys that stand before them. Each and every boy looks upon the crowd with admiration and disbelief that they are actually in this position, even after five years you can still tell that they are still astounded with how dedicated their fan base is.
Lastly, the youngest member and probably the most known member, is Harry Styles. Known for his luscious locks and raspy voice, it’s no doubt that everyone loves Harry Styles. Styles’s stage presence is like that of no other. He’s vibrant and fun, he jumps and moves himself to the beat of every song. His stage presence could be compared to that of Mick Jagger, someone who he has always been compared to in physical appearance. But even just commenting that he has moves like Jagger doesn’t do justice for the amazing and mesmerizing being that is Harry Styles. Styles has so much character and puts so much into his performance that it’s basically impossible to leave a One Direction concert and not have a new found adoration for the curly haired heartthrob. Harry runs up and down the stage moving his shoulders about and it’s cute in a dorky kind of way, but when he starts to move his hips he takes it to a whole other level. The minute the white lights die down and the red lights come on creating a cage around them for ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ it’s as if Styles is in a different place. The way his voice flows with the words, shows a different side of Styles that many haven’t seen before, a darker and sultrier side that leaves the crowd wanting more. This more grown side of Styles is hypnotising and a contrast to side of Styles that most are used to seeing. The crowd becomes completely entranced with this “Dark Harry”, but before you know the lights change again and he bouncing around with his shirt wide open starting off ‘Ready to Run’. Harry Styles is a special character- he’s colourful and has many different layers all of which he lays open in front of everyone in the arena. He is definitely someone that cannot be summed up in one mere article.
One Direction are great performers without a doubt. Whether you’re a fan or not, you cannot leave a One Direction concert without at least saying “they put on one hell of a show.” Many had their worries and doubts about the future of the band, especially after the departure of former member Zayn Malik, which left millions of girls and boys alike in pieces, after being with One Direction for nearly five years and becoming a little family of their own. Malik’s absence was felt during the first few shows post Malik, but this pushed the others to work even harder and even without Zayn, they have been able to remain the biggest boyband to date. As of March 2016, the remaining four members will be taking a much needed break, in which they will carry out their own endeavours. Though they have said that this isn’t the last of One Direction, there are still fears that this will be, and many fans fear that this really will be the end of the greatest moment of their teenage years. If this is the end of One Direction, they will be going out with a bang, releasing their fifth studio album ‘Made in the A.M.’ in November. As for now, we’ll just have to wait and see what the future of One Direction holds, but nonetheless it’s been an incredible journey so far.