One Direction Proved to be The Best Boy Band Ever
It was heaven on earth at the Mall of Asia Concert Grounds for most of the 50,000 fans, a mix of teen girls, children and their parents.
When they announced the upcoming concert of One Direction in Manila, the entire fandom went wild on social media. Tickets were exclusively sold at Mall of Asia Arena for Day 1. Fans lined-up the day before the release of tickets. In a few hours VIP to General Admission were sold out, then after a few days, local promoters, MMI & Ovation Productions added a second night to accommodate all the fans.
The band’s dedicated fans, called Directioners, feel they can share the success with these guys in a large way because they’re told, repeatedly, that they made the biggest boy band today. It follows a rule of the entire world’s popular musicians; it pays to invest, with all your heart, dedication and time in your core fanbase.
Directioners waited almost a full year for this show and I can say that despite the absence of Zayn Malik, On The Road Again Tour in Manila was still a great concert. For some fans, the show was worth the wait but others were disappointed especially those who came to see the 22 year old doing his falsettos. The show must go on and these guys proved that they are also capable of getting up Zayn’s singing parts.
Few days before the much awaited event, Directioners were going crazy to find out the hotel and time of arrival at the airport. Hundreds of them waited for more than 24 hours just to see the boys upon their arrival even just for a few seconds but unfortunately they failed to catch them all due to tight security.
It was a rainy weekend but it did not stop to gather more than 50,000 Directioners (2 shows combined). Fans lined up as early as 6AM and some of them stayed overnight near the venue just to get a good spot to see Harry, Niall, Louis and Liam. I saw some fans with the boys printed on their shirts, painted faces, glitter and homemade banners.
They opened the gates at around 5PM and everyone couldn’t hide their excitement. DJ KC played as an opening act, serving mash up and remixes of current chart topping songs. A giant LED stage at the center plus 6 or 8 huge LED screens enough to see 4 of most bankable boys under 25 towering over their fans. The stage was huge with a ramp from VIP to diamond section only which did not allow the group to hit different sections of the venue.
A break between DJ KC and 1D took up to an hour and while on break they played music by Beyonce, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry and 5 Seconds of Summer. When Macarena came on, I felt a little bit weird because some fans danced the steps the Macarena way. It’s good to know that these teens knew about music that was more my generation than theirs. Another deafening screams erupted when the prerecorded voice of Harry was heard telling the crowd not to stand on chairs and to drink plenty of water.
From children, teens and young adult to parents and grandparents, the unstoppable screams of these lads as they stepped on to the stage at Mall of Asia Concert Grounds proved they truly are a worldwide pop phenomenon. The foursome introduced themselves not as One Direction but simply by their first names. Directioners paid tribute to Zayn by shouting his name and putting on his face mask.
They opened up the show with “Clouds”, a sea of mobile phones, banners, tablets and digital cameras surfaced to take photos and to be noticed. Even with considerable height, it was hard to get a good spot primarily because the venue is flat and not elevated plus the gadgets covering my view in every direction. Thanks to the massive LED screens, I was able see what’s going on the stage.
The foursome looked a lot more grown-up and proved it with their tracks on their fourth album. They did the massive hit “Steal My Girl”, from their latest album Four, which put the crowd to sing-along. Some fans were crying and emotional. Directioners had been gathering since morning and had spent all day outside the venue, so I can understand their feelings.
Because of diverse personalities, it is not a question why One Direction never did synchronize dance steps, each member did his own hand moves and ran around one another on the huge stage and its runway. They continued playing their hits such as “Where Do Broken Hearts Go”, “Midnight Memories”, “Kiss You”, “Stockholm Syndrome” and “Ready To Run”. “Don’t Forget Where You Belong” showed us how far these boys have come as the screens put images from their initial formation. A few years ago they were just fresh faced kids and now the most successful boyband of this generation.
Their ballad numbers worked perfectly than I’d expected too, their harmonies did great on those songs, particularly on “Little Things” and “Night Changes”. One of the highlights was when the boys asked to turn on all the mobile phones for “Little Things” and the result was magical. It’s not very often you see the Mall of Asia Concert Grounds filled with thousand of glowing lights. The boys also had a mini debate for foods; chicken nuggets for Liam vs vegetables and healthy eating for Harry.
The sing along moment reached its peak when they performed their first hits, “One Thing” and “What Makes You Beautiful”. “Did you have a good time? If you had a good time, I think that’s all that matters,” says Harry. Fireworks filled the sky as the “Best Song Ever” closed the show.
It was refreshing to see a group like One Direction without choreographed dance moves and handful costume changes. Instead the show was filled with their hits, hilarious jokes and cool banter between songs plus few interviews with each other. Louis: “Payne tell me if this isn’t the best gig we’ve ever done”, Liam: “This is one of the best gigs we’ve done so far!” They also took time to read the banners, one of those caught Liam Payne’s attention, “Please say Nakakapag pabagabag” nice try though. Best buddies of the group, Niall and Liam had the crowd in giggles during their screen selfie.
Overall the production value was impressive with a big stage, crystal clear LED screens and amazing sounds. On the Road Again Tour in Manila would definitely last forever for all Filipino Directioners. The group, who were formed in 2010, proved that they have what it takes to be the biggest selling boy band today.
More Photos at One Direction Live in Manila Photo Gallery
Words by Cent S. Bernardo
One Direction On The Road Again Tour Manila Set List
2. Steal My Girl
3. Little Black Dress
4. Where Do Broken Hearts Go
5. Midnight Memories
6. Kiss You
7. Stockholm Syndrome
8. Ready To Run
10. Better Than Words
11. Don't Forget Where You Belong
12. Little Things
13. Night Changes
16. One Thing
17. What Makes You Beautiful
18. Through The Dark
19. Girl Almighty
20. Story of my Life
21. You and I
22.Little White Lies
23. Best Song Ever
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