On The Road Again (Or, An Ode To Liam Payne)

Friday, August 28, 2015

After nearly a year of waiting, I got see One Direction live again in Cleveland. To my knowledge, this was their first time in Cleveland which made me insanely excited for the show. Honestly, the past two or so weeks of the tour made me stoked for this show. The boys have been so carefree and goofy on stage and that's my favorite part of concerts. I love entertainers. I like stage presence. I like fun and loving atmospheres at shows. And One Direction sure as hell knows how to combine that with their four individual talents.


I came from class, so I did miss a majority of Icona Pop's set list. I saw them a couple of years back in Buffalo, so I wasn't particularly upset about this. Plus, I got a chance to see "I Love It" live again, which is probably my ultimate jam. I have a tendency to go a little too hard to that song...




I genuinely how no idea where to start. Obviously, I didn't have the greatest seats in the world. I didn't bring my nice camera either, so I relied solely on my trusty iPhone to do most of the work. I did Snapchat the entire concert (at least one video for each song, though "Drag Me Down" definitely got two snaps because Harry's runs at the end needed to be documented)(He nailed them, if you were wondering). This was definitely a more stripped down stage and set-up than last tour. They still have the catwalk and the massive screens, but there's a lot less going on regarding the stage, which gave them a lot of open space to run around (I'm looking at you, Louis and Liam and your water fights!) and just be silly characters. They did utilize the whole "outdoors" element through some fireworks displays at the beginning and end of the show, which was such a cool addition.


The boys played a majority of Four, their newest album (until it is trumped sometime this fall by the fifth studio album, which I am all sorts of excited for) during their set list, but did a great job at including songs from Midnight Memories. They even surprised me with some Take Me Home and Up All Night songs. I will never not be excited to hear the songs "What Makes You Beautiful" and "Kiss You." Never.


I think one thing that really needs to be noted about these boys is their stage presence. They know what they're doing. They know how to utilize free time on stage (usually when one or two or even three of them need to use the bathroom, as they did quite a few times last night)(wow Francesca, way to make this post weird). Liam has his sign-reading routine, Louis and Niall both know how to give those inspirational speeches that make you want to lie down for a while *side-eyes Niall's speech before "Don't Forget Where You Belong"*. And Harry, oh god, Harry just knows how to instigate and be his sassy self. He called out a girl fixing her bra, another girl wearing sunglasses at night, and a couple called Dennis and Phyllis. He posed for pictures, thanked the fans too many times to count, and my god that boy even got down on his knees during "Girl Almighty" (to which I mimicked because that boy makes me weak).


If there is one person in that band that I have to commend after Zayn's departure from the band, it's Liam Payne. Now, my one and only love is Harry Styles. That I am sure of...but Liam has been slowly creeping under my skin for the past year and as much as I want to deny it, that boy has my heart. He's so charming and cuddly. He knows how to work the crowd and knows how to have a great time on stage. While Harry's movements seem almost calculated in a free, Mick Jagger-esque way, Liam engages with his bandmates. He'll have water gun fights, silly string fights. He took some cake frosting to the face like a champ last night. And then his vocals...repeat it with me: Liam Payne is under appreciated. He rocked his falsetto and really took Zayn's parts and made them his own. I am so heart eyes over Liam's existence. His girlfriend is the luckiest woman alive (for multiple reasons. Have you seen her? She's gorgeous).


Two summers in a row, these boys have made my entire year with their banter, their voices, their terrible dancing, their friendship. I'm so glad that they've decided to go out with a bang before their hiatus after this fifth album. While I'm sad that there won't be a fifth tour to promote it, I cannot wait to see what these boys do for themselves during their time away from the band. And I have full faith that they're going to pull a Fall Out Boy and come back after a much needed break and hiatus and knock it out the park with their sixth album.

Cheers!

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