Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Concert review: One Direction’s sold-out Dallas show was perfectly poppy
None of these guys are exceptional singers, but that definitely did not matter.
DALLAS Here’s the most, ahem, creative homemade poster I saw at the sold-out One Direction concert Monday night at American Airlines Center: Individually cut green letters spelling the word “STRIP.” Teenage girls these days get right to the point, don’t they?
But there was an arena full of amateur signs, some of which those 1D guys Liam Payne, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles, and Niall Horan read out loud. One of the three Twitter questions from the crowd was “What’s the best poster you’ve seen at a concert?” I especially liked this query: “What TV show do you miss from your childhood?” They answered That ’70s Show. They get props for that; I’m a huge fan of That ’70s Show. I have the entire series on DVD; watched every single episode. But, um, That ’70s Show ran from 1998 to 2006. That’s their childhood? I feel old.
Anyway, back to the performance. The stage was a city skyline created by splashy, strategically arranged video screens. Depending on the song, that skyline would morph into a superhero cartoon starring One Direction, naturally, a spaceship ride, and a bunch of floating hearts, among other scenes. There were four musicians – two on each level – and a cable-rigged lift that would eventually take the young quintet on a slow moving trip above the crowd and onto a smaller stage located closer to the opposite end of the arena floor.
By the way, while on that second platform they sang “One Way or Another (Teenage Kicks),” the One Direction mash-up cover of Blondie’s “One Way or Another” and the Undertones’ “Teenage Kicks.” Again, props from me for choosing both songs from the late ’70s, particularly Blondie’s new wave classic.
One Direction’s repertoire doesn’t contain a single song anywhere near as good as “One Way or Another,” yet the British (and one from Ireland) lads do have a couple of albums worth of catchy, more-than-serviceable singles. There really is no resisting “Up All Night” or “One Thing” or “Rock Me” or “What Makes You Beautiful” or “Live While We’re Young.” Will these songs go down in any kind of popular music annals? Of course not. But they get the simple job done. They generate that instant foot-tapping, singing-along, sugar-rushing feeling that is the very definition of mass-consumption pop music.
Also, none of these guys are exceptional singers. They can carry enough of a tune to get by, which means they fit the bill. The point here is the adrenalin spike and the momentary pandemonium. I think it was Louis (or was that Harry?) that said, “Make some noise, Dallas!” Truly there was no need to egg this crowd to raise the volume. The blood-curdling, ear-exploding screams were at maximum decibels even before One Direction took the stage. A video photo, a glimpse of a band member’s name, even the presence of a pre-show guitar technician elicited hysterical hollering.
The mania won’t abate anytime soon. A documentary feature, One Direction: This Is Us, arrives in theaters August 30. The band’s new single, “Best Song Ever,” which will be featured in the film, comes from the upcoming third 1D studio album, Where We Are, to be released later this year. It is reported to have a rock-edged sound. A world trek, “The Where We Are Tour,” is scheduled to begin in April 2014.
Meanwhile, Dallas Directioners have a new memory to accompany the recurring dreams of the sold-out 2012 One Direction concert at Gexa Energy Pavilion. Oh, and they have more posters to make. You gotta have a fresh batch for next year’s 1D madness.
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