Review: One Direction live in Melbourne - polished to perfection
The world's biggest boy band delivered a night to remember and in return, Melbourne Directioners gave the UK lads a level of yelling and cheering they'll never forget.
One Direction live @ Hisense Arena April 16, 2012 Review by Jordana Borensztajn
Beer and spirits were locked away, Coke and Starburst were kiosk bestsellers, male toilets were turned into female restrooms, and pre-gig chatter at Hisense Arena was replaced with high-pitched hysteria. Welcome to the world of One Direction.
Over the last 14 months, young fans worldwide have fallen in love with Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson.
The former British and Irish X Factor finalists, hand-picked by Simon Cowell, have achieved levels of success that most artists only dream of. And since the band touched down in Australia, fans have shown their dedication by swarming inside airports and outside hotels, music venues and radio stations, camping out for hours on end in the hope of catching a small glimpse of their young idols in the flesh.
So it’s no surprise the yells, cheers and shrieks that filled the arena for the band’s first ever Melbourne show were deafening.
The show kicked off with a slide show for each band member, highlighting their likes and dislikes, which triggered roars from the crowd each time a new face was shown on screen. While it’s hard to determine which band mate warranted the most piercing screams, the slideshow got the young crowd on its feet and screaming; the perfect welcome for the lads when they jumped on stage and launched into their opening track “Na Na Na”.
Crowd favourites were "Up All Night", "Everything About You", "One Thing", "What Makes You Beautiful" and their encore track, "I Want".
Despite being the centre of millions of girls’ attention for months on end, the guys seemed genuinely smitten when they peered out at the uber fans in the crowd, decked out from head to toe in 1D-themed gear. And they weren’t afraid to tell their Melbourne fans just how much they meant.
“We would like to thank every single one of you guys,” Niall said.
“Thank you so much for supporting us. Recently you got our album at number one for two weeks in a row and four times platinum for “What Makes You Beautiful”.
“We’ve enjoyed this tour so much while we’ve been down here and we can't wait to come back next year.”
Other memorable moments included the band’s happy birthday chant to Paul, DJ Malik’s short but oh so sweet set on the mixing deck, their strangely sensational cover of Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody” and of course, the inappropriate bra-throwing from eager crowd members.
While recent 1D fan Twitter feeds have been filled with accusations about the guys’ alleged snubbing of fans, last night they appeared to give attendees their money’s worth.
“You guys are amazing. One Direction fans are the best in the world,” Zayn told the screaming crowd.
“You’re also amazing on Twitter so we decided to do a special thing where you send in your tweets and we get them up on screen and we answer them for you.”
And this recipe sent the crowd into a spin. A tweet was shown on screen, they read it out, along with the user’s name and seat number, and then turned the house lights up, trying to locate where the lucky Directioner was sitting.
The crazy questions included what first names they would choose if they could change their names, details of the first concert they attended, asking Niall to do an Irish dance, acting out impersonations of each other, and being asked to jump as high as they could – totally in sync.
For a band that epitomises the model of manufactured and packaged pop, their chemistry last night came across as unbelievably organic.
Did Simon Cowell also coordinate that, or is that just part of 1D’s magic? To recognise a gap in the market and identify that five totally unrelated reality TV contestants could join forces to become one of the most powerful young bands in the world... Well that’s just pure Cowell genius.
The only grey cloud that looms over the head of these lucky gents is whether they’ll last beyond one album cycle and tour, or whether they’ll become known as a boy band fad. If the quintet can continue to deliver the goods like they did last night on stage, they’ll surely knock down any negative critics that dare to stand in their way.
To put it simply, the five boys tick the perfect pop boxes. The more you watch, observe and indulge in this band, the cuter and more loveable they become.
To young fans the One Direction lads are eye candy; they make their fans’ lives sweeter, and come in five great flavours that each provide a different kind of buzz.
To the parents of the young fans, the One Direction band members offer an escape; a safe and enjoyable release for kids that allow parents to momentarily drift off and recall a more simple time when the most complicated question they faced was ‘which band member is the cutest’?
And for the rest of us… well, we fall somewhere in between. Whether you want to admit it or not, we’re all headed in One Direction.
Photo: Getty/ Getty Images Entertainment/ Scott Barbour