Well, well, well, where do we begin…
Over the weekend we witnessed the biggest boy band perhaps not only in the world, but the biggest band EVER, take to the stage here in Birmingham as part of their massive On The Road Again tour!
Before the 1D lads re-introduced themselves, we were treated to a 30 minute set from the amazing Jamie Lawson. Jamie, who recently signed to Ed Sheeran’s Gingerbread Man Records, probably had the hardest job in the world…keeping 15,000 screaming Directioners focussed on just him and his guitar – and he did it brilliantly.
Jamie gave us a flavour of his upcoming material as well as his number one track ‘Wasn’t Expecting That’ and a cheeky One Direction acoustic cover. Mr Lawson then invited the crowd to join him on the concourse for autographs and selfies, which attracted a huge line of star-struck super fans desperate to meet the acoustic genius.
After a short break it was time for the main event, ONE DIRECTION!
Harry, Liam, Niall and Louis may have been a man short since the last time they woo’d us here in the Midlands, but boy, they didn’t appear to be missing a member as the fantastic four dominated the stage.
As the arena lights dimmed, we were presented with a montage video / music mash-up featuring a string of 1D hits…which sent the Directioners into despair! This lasted for about 2 minutes, but for the ladies sitting next to us it “felt like a lifetime” as they were THAT desperate for the chaps to hit the stage (as were the other 15,000 screaming fans).
The video came to an end and BOOM, the lads were on stage. They opened the show with Clouds, Kiss You, Fireproof and Girl Almighty, which got every Directioner and a few non-Directioners (don’t worry, we saw you Dads / Husbands / Boyfriends), on their feet.
Now, I must confess, I’m not a certified Directioner, so I wasn’t totally familiar with the first few songs, but the way the lads performed was fantastic…it was clear to see just why these guys are that damn popular.
The lads enjoyed a bit of banter during songs, which was great to see – at some points they just looked like four normal mates, on stage, who were just absolutely loving life.
For Brummie boy Liam Payne, it was a return to his homeland and he bought his family along with him. Now, you could say that Liam was being a little biased when he said “Birmingham, you’re the best crowd we’ve played in front of” but you know, the truth is the truth – I’m pretty sure he’s not one to tell porkies, so we’ll take that, cheers Liam.
The lads then moved onto Midnight Memories (I knew that one), Better Than Words, Story Of My Life (I knew this one too), Stockholm Syndrome, Ready to Run and Don’t Forget Where You Belong – all of which were accompanied by 99% of the audience.
It’s crazy to think that four normal guys went from X-Factor contestants to worldwide domination in the space of 5 years – and although it looks like they’re taking a bit of break, I can’t imagine this is the end of One Direction.
The final hour of the show featured a brief change of pace allowing the lads to slow things down. Niall whipped out his guitar and the boys huddled round a metaphoric campfire as they performed a string of intimate acoustic tracks – which was great as it allowed us to hear the raw talent the chaps possess.
The lads brought the show to an end with a huge version of ‘Steal My Girl’ which had everybody in the room on their feet and singing along with the lads. The animated screen behind the boys displayed the lyrics with some funky animation, which was handy for the 1% of people in the arena who didn’t know every single word (I was in this 1%).
After leaving the stage, the fans chanted “WE WANT MORE, WE WANT MORE, WE WANT MORE” and more is what we were given. The 1D boys appeared back on stage for a three song encore made up of Act My Age, What Makes You Beautiful (probably my favourite song) and the hit single Drag Me Down – which was the perfect end to the perfect show.
I went into the show as an average 24 year old chap and left a Directioner (well almost…erm, kind of…okay, not quite, but they were pretty amazing)