One Direction isn’t exactly in my wheelhouse, but I’m also not a music snob – I like stuff that moves me, but also stuff that makes me move. That said, the Winnipeg stop of theirOn the Road Again Tour delivered more substance and less glam and gloss than expected.
In fact, the event was downright simple. Not “Folk-Fest-connect-with-the-art” simple, but it was certainly the most “intimate” stadium concert I’ve ever seen. If intimacy can be achieved with 25,000ish of your closest friends — and their moms or dads.
Bursting on stage to a massive round of screams from the audience, the four foppish boys were almost underwhelming in all black, not that it mattered to the crowd. And although they started and ended the show with an explosion of fireworks, the light and screen show during the concert was fairly simple too.
No back-up dancers, and no choreography. I actually go the sense that there was four individual human beings on stage, and not a highly-produced Hollywood “product.” They even seemed to genuinely like each other. Especially Niall and Liam. Are they besties? I’m not up on the gossip. At one point they even paused their performance to sing “Happy Birthday” to one of their camera operators, Gordon. Yup, they even know their crew members’ names. How very Taylor Swift.
After 21 songs, the main set ended appropriately with the ballad “Story of my Life”, and was followed by a four-song encore. “Best Song Ever” played them off stage the last time, and the crowd seemed to know that there wouldn’t be a second encore. I suspect no one had any voice left to scream for more anyway. And the parents were probably getting over-tired.
Speaking of which, I actually envied the parents for the amazing experience they were sharing with their kids. The overall feeling at the concert was joy. Not frenzy – although there was some of that – but mostly just amazed joy. I think the handsome roguish UK boys did that by performing a show that wasn’t over-produced. And now I think I might have to go out and buy myself a 1D CD.
That’s still done right? Buying CDs?