Many frequent visitors to Vegas say that 48 hours is more than enough time for a trip to Sin City. Apparently, no one told that to One Direction, whose five members have been spending the better part of the past week shuttling to Vegas after a three-night residency at Los Angeles’ Rose Bowl. A long week of celebrating (Niall Horan turned 21 at midnight on September 13) and mysterious injuries (Liam Payne sported a bandaged hand) culminated in 1D’s opening performance at the iHeartRadio Music Festival’s second and final night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
As Payne himself said shortly after the band performed its newly minted signature hit “Story Of My Life,” “We’ve been here for too long. We lost all our money, it’s all gone. Harry’s not old enough to be here — we need someone to escort him back.”
Payne’s unexplained hand mishap aside, One Direction’s 15-minute set was an abbreviated preview of its top-grossing Where We Are summer stadium tour, complete with videos of the band globe-trotting the many markets they’ve traveled via green screen. They even kicked off with their perpetual tour-opener “Midnight Memories,” an appropriately stadium-sized guitar stomper, with miniature bursts of fireworks scattered throughout.
And though the band announced the late September release of next single “Steal My Girl,” a preview of November’s Four album, and recently released another new track “Fireproof” for 24 hours, 1D kept things strictly to the hits. That included last summer’s rousing “Best Song Ever” and debut hit “What Makes You Beautiful,” which brought out the sentimentalist in Payne. “We’ve been together as a band now just over four years, and on behalf of all the boys, thank you, iHeart, for knowing all the words and singing along,” he said.