Seeing One Direction live is truly an experience that you can’t put into words. I’ve tried and tried I still feel like each time I try to explain the way you feel before, during, and after the concert; I’ve never truly given it justice.
I was lucky enough to see the OTRA tour four times this summer, three of them being within a 6 day span last week. I had floor seats 3 times, B section in Indiana, front row in E for Chicago, front row B stage seats in Cleveland (I’m still dead about it), and seats in section 129 6 rows up from the floor in Detriot. Needless to say, I was close enough each time to really take in the full One Direction experience.
I’ve written about two of the dates in detail from a One Direction fan’s point of view, generally giving information about how much the boys were on fire, especially at the last few shows, but this one is for the hearts of the fans who have been on an emotional roller coaster for the larger part of 5 years. The ones who went into 2015 with positive expectations and instead experienced the most dramatic year in the fandom so far. This one, is for the Larries.
2015 was set to be our year, we were given two time lines and although we took them with a grain of salt, we still anxiously awaited the next month, or date, to come along to see if they were right. In large, they were. The timeline told us of pap photos, break ups, Harry and Louis getting mentioned together more, and eventually, a good place for us to enjoy the intense love between the boys. Unfortunately, that’s the one level we have yet to reach, but not entirely. I think we’re guilty of waiting for the big moment, the thing that ends all doubt and speculation, and we’ve been missing the little things. We’ve been paying less attention to the things we get now that we never would have been able to experience a year ago, not even a month or two ago in my opinion. We just have to realize that even the small steps matter.
OTRA Chicago was a date I took my son to, he’s 4 and knows all the words to a few songs of theirs but hears their entire music library on a weekly basis. It was a surprise for him so I went in with high hopes about the entire thing. That night, there were a few snags in the plan that brought me down a bit, and in true Ashley fashion, I got overly emotional and just sort of gave up. I texted a friend and she told me to reevaluate and just enjoy it, and once I did, I saw the little light I would have missed because I was too busy searching of the big bang. The boys all love each other, they love the fans, and regardless of what else is going on, they love their job too, even if it’s been an exhausting ride.
Louis and Harry, they love each other. I could be overstepping here because I’ve never had a sit down with either one of them to ask them myself but I just don’t think that’s the case. I’ve never had the privilege of hearing their love story come from their own mouths, but I have seen it play out with my own eyes. I have experienced it from the outside looking in and after what was a very long winter, spring has finally shone it’s light.
When we first heard Four at the end of 2014, there were songs on the album that undeniably made us think of Larry. Luckily, some of those songs have been added to the set list, such as ’18’, ‘Night Changes’, ‘No Control’, and ‘Fireproof’. We’ve been able to not only sing them at the top of our lungs in the car or dancing around at home, but to sing the lyrics at the boys as they’re singing them to us and watch the emotion play out on their faces, in their mannerisms. It’s truly lovely to watch them sing songs that they wrote about, as Louis would say, their deepest love.
I know it will be brought up that @ Louis_Tomlinson has denied Larry and said he’s 100% straight. While that is true, Louis Tomlinson has not, neither has Harry. Regardless of whatever interviews they do, they’ve never been able to on tape or video deny each other. There have been attempts made, but we all remember “some people genuinely think…”. We all remember a crying Harry being comforted by Niall when he had to act shocked at photos of him with Louis that appeared romantic. Things like this speak with only a whisper, but if you listen, it’s a sound that resonates in your head for a long time, it’s heavy.
For years during their concerts, Harry and Louis were not able to interact, so when OTRA was announced, many fans anticipated the same thing. As the months of 2015 have progressed, we’ve been pleasantly surprised with not just more of a brotherhood within the band, but more special moments between Louis and Harry. The last week of August showcasing many of those moments, sending some of us into a complete tailspin.
In Chicago the way Louis watched Harry out of the corner of his eye was a highlight for me. He is hyper aware of where Harry is at all times, even if he doesn’t have a clear line of vision. Harry is the same way, his glances are harder to catch, but just as meaningful when you do. Harry changed lyrics in ‘Little Things’, and turned his entire body to face Louis at the end of ‘Night Changes’ when he sings “It’ll never change me and you”. Harry also actually spoke to Louis on stage, and the fact that it makes us all as happy as it does is sad, but a true testament to how distanced the two of them were forced to be, and how much it affects us to see them be able to act like friends again.
In Cleveland, it was like the Larry gates opened, Kings Louis and Harry walked out and blessed us all with their love. Being front row for this show meant absolutely everything! We were able to see every stolen glance, hear every note change, and more importantly, sense the connection between them. Louis watched Harry intently during ‘Drag Me Down’ which I’ve said before is definitely an anthem for the four boys as a group, but for Louis and Harry specifically as well. In ’18’ Louis’ entire body turned towards Harry as his usual declaration of the song being important to his heart. Harry turned towards Louis during ‘Night Changes’ and looked at him during ‘Ready To Run’ as well. Louis also fonded quite hard when Harry did his note change in ‘Fireproof’. The rest of this particular experience is lost on me as Harry and Louis stood in front of myself and my group of girls and laughed/joked with us for a lot of the show. We had an intense water/silly string fight with Louis and we got Harry and Liam in on it a bit too. I was so enthralled by it that I didn’t focus on as much Larry, but it was there, and so so so real.
— Louis Tomlinson (@Louis_Tomlinson) August 24, 2015
OTRA Detroit is where Larry rose and rose and rose and at this point I truly believe we’ve all flown ourselves into the sun. The boys were so excited to be on stage and Liam got to talk a lot, he thanked us all for being in attendance there with him for his birthday and the other lads made sure acknowledge it as well. Harry was on fire, he tweeted about Augustana (the band who opened for the boys in Detroit) being his friends and it was apparent that he absolutely adored them as he snuck on stage to watch them perform. He looked so excited through the entire concert, belting out lyrics, performing flawless runs and hitting every note, but more than that, he was very in tune with Louis. The two of them were mirroring each other multiple times throughout the night, each of them stealing glances through the entire show.
Harry forgot what song they were supposed to sing next during one part of the show and Louis turned into a giggly fond boy about it, waiting for Harry to glance at him so he could tease him about the moment.
Night Changes in itself was lovely, the boys paid close attention to each other during the song, Louis looked longingly at Harry during his first verse before turning slowly toward Harry for almost the entirety of the song, something that’s usually reserved for ’18’. The lyrics in Night Changes make this gesture especially important.
We’re only getting older baby
And I’ve been thinking about it lately
Does it ever drive you crazy
Just how fast the night changes?
Everything that you’ve ever dreamed of
Disappearing when you wake up
But there’s nothing to be afraid of
Even when the night changes
It will never change me and you
Harry lately has been more subtle in his body turns and gestures but during his first verse in ’18’ he turns towards Louis . Harry walked down the stage with his mic stand during the song and Louis followed him, on more than one occasion, and in an expected, but still surprising moment during the part of the song where the crowd goes quiet to hear Louis, he again said “I have loved HIM since we were 18.”
These all may seem like small gestures, and if you don’t believe any of it, or don’t see the significance, that’s quite alright too. No one is here to change any minds or force anything upon anyone, but you can’t deny that these small changes mean a lot, they mean everything.
So the little things that we’ve been given are starting to add up, the boys are starting to act more like friends on stage, in my opinion, they’re starting to act like two people who’ve had to hide their desire for a long time and are finally able to acknowledge it a bit, on purpose or because their bodies just can’t handle being so close and ignoring each other anymore.
Things back stage have changed too, and this, is just as huge.
During the last few meet and greets the boys have been able to not only stand ‘next to you’ during photos, but they’ve been allowed to touch. There are fan stories where people who won meet & greets wanted the boys to hug or hold hands and were told no by handlers, but that is something that’s not happening anymore. They’re being allowed to embrace again.
So in 6 days I saw Larry rise in multiple ways, during multiple songs, on multiple stages and my heart was touched every single time. It is an incredible thing to watch love that’s existed for 5 years keep growing. It’s lovely to see two people who know they can’t be together in public find ways to pledge to each other that they belong to no one else, and it’s something that almost brings me to tears (who am I kidding, it makes me bawl) to see real, true, inspired love exist in the way it does between them. They’re the kind of people who have fresh but familiar, new but aged, big but comfortable, love.
As a disclaimer; if Larry isn’t real (but it is totally more real than I am) then the fans have taken signs from Harry and Louis and created a pretty special love story, and that in itself is beautiful. But Larry is real, so…
What lucky boys they are, what lucky fans we are to experience it, and if you haven’t been able to experience it I hope I did a good enough job explaining it, but if not, you can hopefully find my pics and videos up soon!
Larry is so real, they have risen so hard, and I guess if you have a group text where you can cry in fetus Larry videos and chat about how you’re going to quit everything in life when they come out and rage for months, now’s the time to get those plans started loves. Times are changing.