*Note: One concert – two points of view…
I’ve never been to a boy band concert. Period. I never got into NKOTB, the Backstreet Boys or ‘N SYNC. It’s just not my thing. (JT on his own, now that’s another story.) But the point of this blog is to go experience live music. All kinds of music. Any band, any genre, any venue. So, when I heard that the biggest boy band in the world was starting their US tour at the MetLife stadium, I figured now is my chance to see what all the hysterical, crying, fanatic teenagers (and some ladies in their 20s) are talking about.
I decided before we left NYC that I was going to get into this. I was going to get excited, be open-minded, and try to enjoy myself. So, I’m on a train from Penn Station to the Meadowlands and these cars are filled with tweens and teens. I’m in a sea of young girls with way-too-short jean shorts, bright lipstick, plaid shirts and Wayfarers. And I’m dressed like Johnny Cash – in all black and looking like I’m going to a funeral. To top it all off, they are speaking in a secret 1D language that I don’t understand. Even though I’m with a group slightly older than the average fan, I soon notice something…wait – am I the “mom” on this trip? I totally feel like I’m escorting them to the concert. Am I supposed to wave goodbye when we enter the building so I won’t embarrass them? How does this work? Breathe. Luckily, my gals still have their senses and they don’t ditch me, but instead gently take my hand and guide me to the nearest beer stand. They know me. *Note: Beer stands at concerts of teen heartthrobs are EMPTY. This is because nobody is of legal age to drink and the parental escorts need to be able to drive home. Therefore, I was able to get adequately buzzed before the concert without any wait.
We got to our floor seats ready for the concert to begin. We’ve covered the opening act, 5 Seconds of Summer, a few times on Crushing Vinyl so we’re not going to go into great detail this time around other than they were great! I think the crowd was equally excited to see them, as they were to see 1D. I really loved their rock star mentality and their sound was electrified by the fans that were singing (and screaming) along.
Finally, One Direction was ready to begin. Their massive stage took up the entire width of MetLife and they began their set with a 3-minute video filled with images and close-ups of the boys goofing around. Then they emerged from the back and started to sing “Midnight Memories” and the crowd went wild. They had a cool catwalk that ran at least 50 yards down the field and they used every inch of it. Liam, Harry, Niall, Louis and Zayn each had their moments to shine in every song and they strutted across the stages like they’ve done this a million times – well, maybe they have. The rest of the night is like a blur for me, so I’ll let Rachel take over the rest of this post to give a more detailed description of the performances.
…thanks Alicia. Now, I’ve been to a 1D concert before, so the atmosphere, no-wait bar lines and overly enthused fans were nothing new. I’d also recently been to MetLife to see Queen Bey and her King, Jay, perform one of the greatest shows I have ever seen live. So, when we walked into the stadium, my expectations for these five guys were high. Luckily, they did not disappoint. The newer and rockier sound from their third album, Midnight Memories, coupled with the more popular hits like “What Makes You Beautiful” and “Story of My Life,” really made for a great set list and evening. There were parents in the crowd who seemed to enjoy 1D’s older and 80’s sounding songs just as much as their children were enjoying the more recent and catchier tunes. From their old hits (“One Thing”) to their new jams (“Diana”), these guys made sure to deliver each song with the same enthusiasm and love like the one before. Even though they’re not dancers (fortunately, they don’t pretend to be), they still made an effort to cover every bit of the stage. At times, Niall would run the length of the catwalk to switch guitars or Harry and Liam would work the crowd at the very edge of the ramps. It was clear that each boy was enjoying themselves and desperately wanted their fans to enjoy themselves too.
If you know me, you know that it takes roughly 5.0 seconds for me to really fall hard for someone’s performance or music when I first see them live. When I’ve seen an act before, I usually seek out validation for why I enjoy them. Tonight’s One Direction concert felt particularly reassuring. The songs performed were ones they’ve written, the growth in their sound was undeniable and the production value of the show was killer (I’m pretty sure the fireworks gave me a heart attack, the music direction/transitions between songs were on point and OH $h*t this was only night one of two sold out shows). I am confident that even if this had been my first interaction with the British and Irish boys of 1D, I still would have walked out satisfied and a fan of the band. Solid show and overall fun night.
Alicia’s Takeaway: I truly enjoyed the whole experience. From the train ride there, to easy access to beer, to 5SOS, to 1D’s performance, it all added up to a great first boy band concert!
RCS’ Takeaway: Pop Music, I love you. I haven’t had this much fun at a concert in sooooo long, so #bless to everyone that helped make it a great night!! Also, don’t let Alicia fool you all—I’ve got photographic evidence of her enjoying herself way more than she’s letting on…HA!