The commotion at the KFC Yum! Center coincides with the fact that there are thousands of hoarse teen girls waking up across Louisville Monday morning. Both conditions were caused by a Sunday night visit by pop sensations One Direction. Every mention of the band, or photograph, or appearance of the logo sent teens and tweens into a shrill frenzy.
By the time the Brit pop boy band finally hit the stage, pandemonium began to swell. It got so loud that at several times the music those fans came to hear ended up being drowned out the sheer excitement of seeing their idols.
And calling them idols isn’t that much of a stretch since they came together on the British version of Simon Cowell’s “The X Factor” two years ago. While that qualifies them as overnight sensations, the inexperience of performing caught up with them at times.
Partial lip syncing during highly visual shows like this one is an open secret, but it was painfully obvious when Niall Horan forgot to move his lips as his face was shown on the big screens during one of his solos. Not that the fans cared. They were screaming too hard to notice.
Working the crowd isn’t a strong suit for the boys either. The stage banter came out forced and sometimes unintelligible. A lengthy riff on their Twitter followers brought the entertainment to a halt. And when they affected fake southern accents no one knew if it was a tribute or if they were being made fun of.
One of the more creative portions of the show involved a different take on the “band flying through the air” motif. A section of the stage moved over the crowd and let the band members spend some time on a second platform set in the middle of the arena. It enabled the fans in the rear to see the guys a little closer. Naturally, they shrieked their appreciation as you can see below.
Overall, the presentation came off as a slickly produced 2 hour music video with some pre recorded skits thrown in to lengthen the presentation. One has to remember, the band only has two albums to their credit so there’s not a lot to pick from. However the loudest cheers came from the hits “What Makes You Beautiful,” “Live While We’re Young,” and “One Way or Another (Teenage Kicks).”1D fans went home happy.
Or at least happy enough to forgive the shameless commerce that bombarded them between acts. As the set change occurred, concert goers were inundated with 45 minutes of non-stop advertisements from the big screen televisions. Some of them even repeated during that stretch. The length of the set change seemed to be predicated on how many ad impressions the sponsors were promised.
And since Nabisco was a sponsor, fans also left the arena with handfuls of Oreos and Ritz Crackers to get their late night snacking in. That seemed particularly fitting since the music was the equivalent of junk food: enjoyable at the time but nothing that would stick to your ribs.
5 Seconds of Summer opened the show with a easy going 30 minute pop set that included their hit “Out of My Limit.” They were inexperienced as performers as well, but since this band consisted of musicians rather than just vocalists, they could hide behind their instruments to cover their awkwardness.
Photo/Video: Louisville.com/Tim Girton
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