Sunday, 24 March 2013

REVIEW: One Direction Take Me Home tour - Birmingham, 22nd March 2013

So, two days ago I saw One Direction live. For the third time. I may not be as hardcore as many other directioners, but I'm pretty proud of that nonetheless. As expected, the boys did not disappoint, unlike some young male popstars (*cough* Justin Bieber *cough* showing up two hours late for your own concert *cough*).

It was a little over a year since both getting the tickets and seeing 1D in concert the first time on their Up All Night tour. I have to say, their first tour was epic, so I had high expectations. And just like the first time, I felt sufficiently old amongst the other ticket-holders at Birmingham's LG Arena, but as IF I cared. I'd say the average age of those there was probably 15, and that's not including all the awkward parents who, quite frankly, were just taking up valuable tickets that other super-fans unfortunately missed out on. But then again, if you're not old enough to go un-chaperoned, what can ya do? Pretty sure I saw a girl of about five wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with "I heart Niall". Little odd, but whatevs.

As I was there with my younger sister, we were in quite a unique position, having actually driven ourselves there (and I swear, the epic battle through the snowy, treacherous conditions that was our journey to Birmingham and back just shows our dedication to 1D), as opposed to either being there with parents or being dropped off and picked up.

So after a very stressful journey we arrived at the oh-so-snazzy LG Arena at Birmingham NEC (absolute nightmare getting in and out of the car park traffic-wise, might I add. That really needs to be sorted.) It amazes me how many of the hordes of teen and pre-teen girls were queueing up to buy the overpriced tour merchandise actually. Maybe their parents had given them spending money. Pretty envious if that was the case, as I would actually have loved a T-shirt to proudly declare my directioner status. Sadly, a student budget doesn't quite stretch to a £25 T-shirt. Those 13 year olds don't know how good they've got it. But I digress...

at the NEC
Our seats weren't as good as last year when we were ridiculously close (I could practically smell Harry. It was awesome), but at least we were central. And quite frankly, we had extremely sought-after tickets, so who cares? To warm the crowd up, an Australian band called 5 Seconds of Summer were on. They were good. Sort of reminded me of Busted. What good memories from my childhood. I bet half the girls at the concert haven't even heard of Busted. Tragic.

Pleasingly, they were the only support act. While we waited for 1D, the audience amused themselves by getting up and dancing to Gangnam Style (needless to say I was slightly cringing at this and stayed in my seat), doing Mexican waves (in which I always partake), and screaming our heads off to 1D videos on the big screens (I may have joined in a little...) And then, it was time. OH MAAAA GAAAAAAAAD!

oooh lasers!
The concert started with another video of the 1D boys, and as ever, it was hilarious. Classic 1D. That's why we love 'em. We were also treated to two more of these throughout the night, giving the boys a chance to go off for a breather. There were no outfit changes this year - a change from the Up All Night tour, in which there were several outfits and set changes..

I feel like One Direction have recently done away with their put-together image. They used to each have their individual style (Louis in his stripes, Niall in his polo shirts, Harry in his blazers etc), but now they're a bit more, well, scruffier to be honest. Black skinny jeans, white T-shirts and tattoos galore. Usually it's not a look I'd go for, but it's One Direction so I don't care. (Check out the male style I do like here.)

As per, 1D put on a great show. The set had stairs to two different levels (always exciting), the background changed, we had lasers, spotlights, confetti, giant beach-balls and all sorts, not to mention 1D flying over the audience towards us - the stuff of dreams, natch. I know what you're thinking "Oh, but they already did that at the Teen Awards. Snooze." (You were thinking that, right?) Well, that's not all. As if flying across the audience like gods wasn't enough, they then landed on another square stage and did a few songs there - AKA they were way nearer us. YAY! I could properly appreciate Harry's divine jawline in person. Mmmm...

1D on the second stage nearer us
The boys mainly sang songs from their latest album, as you'd expect, but there were a couple of oldies in there (how could you miss out What Makes You Beautiful, am I right?), as well as the odd cover. I was literally loving life when they did Wheatus' Teenage Dirtbag, partly because all the young girls around me kinda stood still, obviously not knowing a song from back in 2000. What were they? Embryos?

As well as mixing up fast and slow songs, pop numbers with rockier ones, we were treated to one of the things I love most about 1D - their bants. Oh, how funny they are! Seeing as so many directioners are on twitter, it was cool that the boys answered some questions people had submitted online. Unforch for moi, despite spending far too much time submitting questions, none of mine were picked. But hey. They'll notice me some day. *sob*

Sing it, Hazza
Sure, my ears were ringing for a good 24 hours afterwards, my arm muscles genuinely ached the next day from waving them around in the air, and I nearly got into a fight in the car park with an aggressive man trying to cut into the queue in front of me (don't you dare think you can be rude just because I'm a young girl in a little old car!), but it was all worth it for One Direction.

Being the slight stalker that I am, I actually looked up the tour dates for the rest of the world and the rest of this year - it's nuts! One Direction are going everywhere with very few breaks in between shows. There's no way I could do it, that's for sure. 1D are great to their fans, and to be honest, I'm jealous of those people who have tickets and are yet to see them. Enjoy!

Thanks to my sister, Holly, for letting me use her pictures as mine were disappointingly pants.

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