When you go see One Direction, it’s not so much a concert as it is an event.
Scores of girls, ranging from the half-pint variety to those old enough to drive a car, make signs, paint their shirts and profess their love for the five boy-band members from England and Scotland.
They scream. They cry. Then they scream some more.
And that’s before the band topping the charts nowadays with hits such as “One Thing” and “What Makes You Beautiful” even takes the stage.
When Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson do finally appear in front of the packed house, it’s a 90-minute swoon session where nobody sits down and nearly everyone belts out every word of every song.
Such was the case Friday night at the 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre, as One Direction brought its great looks and good songs to Tampa as part of its “Up All Night” tour. Some adults stuck with their kids or even grandkids as chaperones brought earplugs to combat the deafening sound of nearly 20,000 pairs of lungs screaming at full volume.
The band, which finished in third place on Simon Cowell’s “The X Factor,” bopped and hopped through the songs of its debut album, with offerings such as “Stand Up,” “I Wish,” “Gotta Be You” and “More Than This.”
They dabbled in songs from others, taking a stab at “Stereo Hearts” by the Gym Class Heroes, “Torn” by Natalie Imbruglia and “Use Somebody” by the Kings of Leon.
Every song the band sang, the crowd adored. They could have done the “Hokey Pokey” and girls would have fainted.
As singers, they sound pretty good. As under-21 hotties, they look darn good – if you’re a young girl who likes that sort of thing, and many do.
They dress nicely; their clothes aren’t falling off their bodies in some type of wardrobe malfunction. You don’t have to worry about obscenities being belted out on stage. Only a couple have visible tattoos.
Band members seem like they like each other. And they certainly like the reaction they get from the screaming hordes.
They do a solo, girls scream. They answer Twitter questions during the concert, girls scream. Heck, they could even roll around on stage and girls would scream.
Oh wait, that did happen.
The band from across the pond stirs flashbacks to those who coiffed their hair and bounced around on stage decades before them: the Backstreet Boys, New Kids on the Block, ‘N Sync.
With this sort of fan dedication, this boy band for 2012 has just one direction it can go – up.