Sunday, June 24, 2012 , Updated 9:57 a.m., June 29, 2012
Photos and concert review: One Direction at Gexa Energy Pavilion (June 23)
The adorable boy band stole the hearts of young girls in DFW.
The enormous phenomenon that is One Direction swept through Dallas on Saturday with a force as mighty as an Oklahoma tornado. The British boy band sold out the 20,000-seat Gexa Energy Pavilion without blinking, showing the power of star-struck teenage girl fans.
The five heartthrobs, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, and Harry Styles range in age from 18 to 20, and were brought together on the reality talent competition, British X Factor in 2010. After disappointingly finishing in third place, the group released their debut album Up All Night in March 2012, which sold in record-breaking numbers in both the UK and the U.S. It debuted at No. 1 on the US Billboard 200, making the boy band the first UK group in U.S. chart history to take the No. 1 spot with their first record.
Union Jack shirts and posters and tees advertising fan's favorite band members filled the outdoor venue. Although this is One Direction’s first North American tour, the city won a contest in March to “Bring 1D to the US.” They came to Frisco for an exclusive acoustic performance and signing event in March, perhaps fueling ticket sales for the June concert.
We want to know:
The guys stepped out shortly after the solo opener, Olly Murs, completed his set. The decibel of the thousands of screams that erupted once the guys hit the stage was unimaginable: Earplugs did nothing. Clad in complimentary white and red polos, tees, and khakis, the five Brits seemed blown away yet prepared for the massive crowd. Their smooth vocals sounded surprisingly strong and steady, traits that don’t come easy for new artists stepping out on their first international tour. With a backing band and a massive video screen supporting the group, they were able to stride and pose around the stage with ease. There was no choreography or set routine here; slight hand motions and smiles were all they needed to win these girls' hearts.
A video montage portrayed the guys living out each season throughout the set, which felt more like an ad campaign for Abercrombie & Fitch. From “studying” in college to eating oatmeal before going snowboarding, these scenes were ridiculously planned out and over the top. But again, what wouldn’t get these girls excited? With only one album, the band shot through half of their record in no time, giving them ample moments to go over their favorites Tweets from fans with various requests. They ranged from asking the guys to square dance to requesting a “Fresh Prince rap” while dancing. (And even though the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was ahead of their time, the entire group knew the song and sang it without a hitch.)
They covered two tracks during the hour and a half set: Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn” (which was one of the first songs the group sang together on the X Factor) and Kings of Leon's “Use Somebody.” Both were a surprising choice for the sugary sweet pop group, but each lacked a sense of ownership or variation from the original. Horan picked up an acoustic guitar for “Use Somebody,” apparently trying to show that they do know their way around the instruments. They're widely set apart from today’s pop singers by using little to no auto-tune. The crooners can hold their own vocally, which speaks wonders to their authenticity.
They announced that they would be back in Dallas on July 22, 2013 at the American Airlines Center, which probably caused parents at the show to develop a financial headache at the thought of ticket prices. The band also mentioned that they are currently recording their sophomore album while on tour, which is due out at the end of the year.
After picking up countless pairs of wacky boxers and a single bra off the stage -- repeatedly saying that this was their favorite show so far -- the heartthrobs closed with the chart-topping single every girl had been dying to hear: “What Makes You Beautiful.” Following their third wardrobe change, the guys stepped out in dress shirts, untied bowties, and vests to belt out two more songs for the encore, including “I Want.”
With ringing ears and a headache, we left the enamored crowd with “What Makes You Beautiful” on unending repeat in our heads.
UPDATE: We just stumbled across this video of the band trying to do a Texan accent: