Tonight was very special because not only was I, admittedly, thoroughly entertained by One Direction – the latest boy band from across the pond to make America’s girls go absolutely, incomprehensibly insane – but I got to share it with my niece who was visiting Washington D.C. (and me) for the first time this week.
Taking her to her first boy band concert was the biggest treat for me, a longtime fan of the boy band concept back to when my childhood walls were papered with the latest magazine cutouts and centerfolds of New Kids on the Block from BOP, Teen, Sassy, Big Bopper, etc. And let’s not forget how much I love the world’s original boy band: The Beatles. I always say that if I could travel back in time, I would be one of the girls in the audience during their 1964 U.S. tour.
It’s very sweet to watch my niece’s journey into her preteen years, which every girl knows is an awkward time that includes multiple and often changing crushes on young singers and actors, as well as irrational and extreme obsessions with the weirdest things, like key chains (I think she has bought 4 to add to her collection while in D.C.). During the concert, I would glance over at her with her permanent smile, singing along to the songs and I had to hold back the tear that wanted to develop. Oh to see life through the fresh eyes of a young person and have another chance to experience life events for the first time.
Before I get too reflective here, I want to say that I was impressed by One Direction. They are great entertainers with solid voices. There were no big gimmicks, they sang their own songs (without a doubt, no lip syncing), and the program was engineered from start to finish to do exactly the right thing to make the crowd adore them – from pointing and waving to indiscriminate people in the crowd (Ooh! Harry just pointed at ME! I shall proceed to scream so he knows I saw him single me out!), to flying on a rigged platform from the main stage to the center arena mini stage in order to give better access to fans with less expensive seats.
Pardon all of my photos above, as the lighting situation and seat location forced me to only take video because my point and shoot camera hates low light, especially zooming in low light. For some reason, the video ends up being better for zoom and focus, so I just try my best to get screen captures for my photos. Here are the actual videos from the show, if you’re interested. I didn’t know 2/3 of the songs, just the popular ones from the radio, so that’s how I selected my videoing targets, thanks to a static tour setlist I downloaded from the internet while at the concert.