There were screams. There were tears. There were bras hurled on stage. One Direction, the chart-topping British boy band, played their first of two sold-out concerts at Toronto’s Molson Amphitheatre on Tuesday, May 30. We crashed the only Canadian stop on their Up All Night tour to learn these 10 facts about the modern day boy band.
1. ULTIMATE SCREAMERS: “You’ll need earplugs,” warned one concert pro who predicted screams from fans would beat out a sea of Beliebers (a.k.a. fans of Justin Bieber), and boy was she right.
2. ALL TORN UP: Leave the signs at home. Security were collecting handmade signs that were over 8 x 11, forcing concertgoers into a Sophie’s Choice: leave the signs at the gates or tear them down to size. Despite ripping their pencil-crayoned hearts in two, it seems most fans saved their tears for inside the show.
3. TOO HOT: Not all the music was as squeaky clean as “What Makes You Beautiful.” Opening act Olly Murs’ dubious choice for a singalong in the tween-dominated amphitheatre? Nelly’s “Hot In Here.”
4. CONCERT CHIRPS: Real fans follow on Twitter. The boys got social savvy in-between tracks, answering a slew of fan questions via Twitter. From the Irish jig to the Inbetweeners dance, the phone tappers just wanted to see the boys bust a move on stage.
5. MIC CHECK: Unlike the boy bands of yesteryear (‘Nsync, Backstreet Boys, B44!), One Direction kept their dance moves to a minimum and focused on their unified vocals. Certainly no lip-syncing from these X Factor finalists.
6. FRESH THREADS: With no pyrotechnics or holograms, the five band mates kept things interesting with their ultra-prep fashion choices. Like any pop group, there was always a theme. One Direction hit all the four seasons with a socialistic twist, from Fair Isle vests (in the middle of summer!) to dapper blazers and varsity jackets that had a Glee-like feel.
7. PARENTS ON PATROL: Don’t expect any fans to crash the stage, as parents and security were on the look out for wild child activity. After surveying the audience, we spotted at least one parent for every five tweens.
8. MELTING POINT: The audiences threw everything from hats to flowers on stage, but this band throws back. During “One Thing,” which the band announced as their next single, the stage became a winter wonderland, complete with “snow balls” (what were they really? Only the lucky ones who were pelted in the head know for sure). As for the single, expect to hear a lot more of it–Niall Horn implored the audience to call the radio and request it.
9. UNDER A BAD SIGN: Clearly no one was censoring the signs. Upon spotting a sign reading “Free Shag,” Liam Payne noted, “There are some very naughty signs in that section. I’m not reading any of them.”
10. THE REST IS JUST GRAVY: The band certainly knew their audience. Harry Styles recited an absolutely exhaustive list of the best things about Canada. “Poutine is pretty incredible,” he said. “And the second best thing is you lot.” Yup, that about covers it!