Friday, May 25, 2012

One Direction in Concert: Our Review

UPDATE: 5/25/12: First Tween Malia Obama is also a One Direction fan and attend the show last night in Virginia.
As tweens put it, "Every generation has a boy band. 1D is ours." Another group of five lads from across the Pond lit up the stage at the Patriot Center last night and were met with record-setting decibels (122, which exceeds Verizon Center records as well) by their sold-out crowd of tween fans. The noise was so deafening that one couldn't hear the band until a few minutes into their first song.
One Direction has proved to be a break-out hit, and they put on a show that delighted their Washington-area fans last night. They performed hits from their "Up All Night" album (although many tweens reading this column will state that every song is hit on that record) and did several cover songs as well. Their cover of Kings of Leon's "Use Somebody" was a particular standout amongst the crowd and was notable both for their adept tweaks on the arrangement and their fidelity to the soul of the lyrics.
"Our boys", as they are referred to, kept the stage-set simple with a focus on their trademark, clean-cut ensembles and a band of four other people. They limited their footwork to traditional a-capella style moves, and their fans ate it up. The five-some (Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, and Louis Tomlinson) evenly shared center stage and acknowledged and thanked all corners of the venue. Fans threw all manner of gifts on the stage, including a baby doll, ping pong balls, a red Nationals baseball cap (which Niall promptly donned), and an Indian flag (which Niall draped over his shoulders - perhaps confusing it initially with the Irish flag, which has the some colors?).
During the concert, One Direction answered questions sent via Twitter from the crowd. Perhaps most entertaining amongst their responses was Mr. Payne's impersonation of Louis Armstrong using lyrics from "What a Wonderful World".
A new female recording star, Camryn, opened for One Direction, and she had arguably a tough spot to fill, what with a stadium full of tween girls screaming for One Direction. She did an admirable job of pumping up the crowd with songs from her own repertoire including "Set the Night on Fire" and a rousing cover of Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger". As an aside, the music that played before One Direction took stage that got the most spirited response from the crowd were songs from "Grease". The entire Patriots Center it seemed sang "Summer Lovin'" and "Greased Lightening" en masse.
Tweens documented the entire show with in their usual way with smartphone videos, photos, Tweets, Tumblr posts, and Facebook updates posted throughout the evening - almost certainly a Facebook query this morning will turn up several boot-leg videos from the concert. Many in the audience came wearing fan tee-shirts they had customized at home with puffy paint, fringe, and glitter, and day-glo colors were de rigeur.
More information on One Directon's Up All Night Tour can be found here.

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