Now, if you haven’t already heard of One Direction, you have obviously been under a rock for the past two years. They recently won a BRIT award, had their album debut at #1 in the US, and have had numerous TV interviews. The band consists of Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, and Louis Tomlinson. They each auditioned for the X Factor as solo artists, but were initially put through as a group created by none other than Simon Cowell! They are huge in the UK, but quickly took America by storm, opening up with their ‘Up All Night’ tour across North America. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the June 26th concert in Atlanta, and it’s safe to say, I was not disappointed!
I will start off by describing my experience prior to the concert. I’m a huge fan of the band, so of course I joined the other numerous girls in trying to locate which hotel they were staying at! I got word that they arrived in Atlanta early (around 2:30 AM) Monday morning. Now, I did tons of research, and it turned out that they were staying at the W Hotel in Buckhead. Once I got there, there were already around 20 girls outside. I took it upon myself to explore the mall area as my friends and I waited. While we were in the mall, we ran into their security. The widely known (in the Directioner fandom) Paul Higgins, Preston, and Andy. You may think that huge buff body guards would be scary, and that they were, but they were also extremely nice!
“I bet you don’t even know who we are.” -Andy
“You’re Andy, he’s Preston, and he’s Paul.” -Me
“Wow! You did your research!” -Preston
Now, after meeting their security, with the boys still nowhere in sight, I came to the conclusion that the bodyguards being at the mall was all a distraction. Now, fast forwarding a few hours. My friends and I realized that the boys had switched hotels (with good reason, seeing as there were 50 girls outside by 4:00!) We later found out that they had switched to the Ritz, and by 7PM, there were already 30 girls outside! Insane! As my friends and I approached the hotel, we saw poor Niall in a car, being chased by dedicated fans… And I mean chased, like, running in moving traffic, chased. Once we safely got back in the hotel only 20 minutes later, the boys were officially in for the night. Now, onto day 2!
Tuesday, June 26th (the day of the concert):
My friends and I drove back to the hotel, seeing countless girls waiting outside. Lucky for us, we got a front row seat by the… barricades. As we patiently awaited, being kept company by rude staff and unbearable screams, the boys finally came out! Of course, they walked straight to their tour bus, but we saw them! First it was Liam and Niall, next Harry, and last it was Zayn, Louis and his girlfriend, Eleanor. Once we saw them step onto the bus, my friends and I bolted to the car. We had this weird idea of following their bus to their unknown location. Of course, their bus didn’t leave for a long time, so it was U-turn palooza. Finally they left, and we were fast on their trail! (Another car had the same idea!) We followed them all the way to their mystery location, which turned out to be a recording studio in an extremely shady part of town. My friends and I (along with three other girls) waited near the bus, letting security know that we weren’t like the crazy fangirls who will run and attack the boys. After about an hour, Niall came out from the studio. He saw us, waved, and then went into the bus. Once he came out, he looked back at us and started walking/jumping/dancing towards us. We couldn’t contain our excitement! Once he got to us, he stopped, did a little jig, and said,
“A-Town down! A-Town down! Hey ladies!”
Yes, I was barely holding it together. We talked for about 10 minutes. Topics varying from his new Ray Bans that he bought in Lenox, the two hours of sleep he had, and his answering my question about their new single rumored to debut in November. I asked if ‘Heartbreakers’ was really the name of their new single, his response?
“Ha! What? No! That sounds like a Tiao Cruz song!” -Niall
I can’t describe how much I adore this kid. After taking pictures and signing autographs, he headed back into the bus, leaving us to wait for the others to come out!…. Which took about two hours.
Paul called us over once the boys were about to leave, and we stood there, patiently, outside the door. Finally, Louis and Eleanor stepped out, following with Harry, Zayn, and Niall. We barely talked, exchanging a few words and taking a few paparazzi photos. Then, within five minutes, they were all safely inside the bus. My friends ran off, but I remembered that Liam still had not left yet. After about 2 minutes, Liam finally opened the door, to which I yelled,
“Liam! I love you!”
He smiled at me saying, “thanks babe,” and gave me a small wave…. And he was off! I’m guessing the quick little exchange was based off of the fact of their tight schedule. Much to our delight, they had a concert later that night!
The first opening act of the evening was Manika! I wasn’t quite familiar with her music, but that didn’t stop her from engaging the crowd! I had heard a lot of negative reviews about her, but I must say, she really knew how to rock a stage! She got the concert going, hyping everyone up! Although her lyrics, such as ‘Good Girls,’ could use a bit of work, it was still fun, catchy, and definitely awesome!
Next up was the love of my life, Olly Murs! I am a huge fan of his, so the fact that he was opening set my fangirl heart on fire! I have to say, he is a very sexual performer! He had my friends and I out of our seats squealing with delight! Not only did he hump the microphone stand, he also growled at the audience! I was totally digging it, along with the rest of the crowd! Not only was his performance phenomenal, he is also an extremely talented singer! If you have ever listened to his tracks, he sounded exactly, if not better, live! Running around the stage, with his soulful backup singers definitely got the show started! He performed some of his hit songs in the UK, such as, “Oh My Goodness, “Dance With Me Tonight,” “Heart Skips A Beat,” etc. I could go on and on about how amazing Olly is, he is just so, so talented. One thing’s for sure, if he tours around the US, I will definitely get a ticket! He passed my expectations tremendously!
Now for the real fun! After much anticipated waiting, One Direction took the stage! One thing that I adore about these boys is that they’re not your typical boyband! They didn’t have choreographed moves, they were just themselves. They opened up with their song, “Na Na Na,” immediately getting the crowd to their feet! They were jumping around on stage, goofing around with each other, and just having the time of their lives. As each song passed, they didn’t lose our interest whatsoever. They don’t need the flashy outfits, lights, choreographed moves, because they are just that talented. Luckily for the Twitter fans, they did have a surprise. They picked out their favorite tweets to answer. Tweets varied from asking them to sing a Michael Jackson song, to doing impressions of each other. (Which was extremely entertaining.”
“Louis! We have to find the *something* magnet!” -Liam impersonating Harry (Adventurous Adventures of 1D Quip)
Not only that, but they also sang a few covers of their favorite songs. I’ve Gotta Feeling, sung by Zayn. Stereo Hearts, sung by Niall. Valerie, sung by Louis. Torn, which is the first song they ever performed together, sung by all of them. They also, later, did a cover of Use Somebody! So as you can tell, this concert definitely had a wide variety! If that wasn’t enough, they also had a few funny, brotherly moments. From trying to distract Harry during his solo in What Makes You Beautiful, to changing the lyrics in Gotta Be You to Wrong Size Shoe!
All in all, by the end of the concert, I had lost my voice, my hearing was indisputably damaged, and I had a smile that wouldn’t seem to fade. It was an amazing experience, and completely different…. In a good way. I loved the concert so much. These boys, only 18-20, are having the best time ever, and that definitely comes across in their performance. They’re not your ordinary boyband, but that’s okay. And I’m sure directioners wouldn’t have it any other way!
Infinity and Beyond!
I cannot wait until their 2013 tour! In the meantime, why not laugh a little at this One Direction cartoon made by Atlanta’s own, Mark Alan Parsons!