August 27th, before this year, was just another date. Now, it’s a historic event.
One Direction has been On The Road Again since February 7th of 2015 and fans have been impressed with the boys more with each added date. They’ve been to Australia, Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America singing their hearts out with old fan favorites and new bangers from their fourth studio album ‘Four’.
This was my third time at OTRA and by far the most memorable concert experience of my entire life.
The atmosphere from the minute you walked into the stadium was electrically charged; almost like you could actually feel the energy radiating off the boys before they even graced the stage. It was all positive, the vibes were all good, and the minute Icona Pop left the stage everyone was anxiously awaiting when the lights would go down and the music would rise before the boys made their way to the stage.
There is truly nothing like the minute the entire stadium goes black and for a split second there is nothing but the sound of hearts racing in anticipation. Last night it was that butterflies and lost breath feeling but not just during the light drop, it lasted through the entirety of the concert.
Clouds is definitely the choice song to start the concert with, it opens the show with incredible energy and sets the bar high for the next two hours. It allows the Liam, Louis, Niall, and Harry to rush the stage, smile as they belt out lyrics that prove that no mater what, they’re never going down. It’s an anthem of sorts, it’s a staple to who they are and who they have the possibility of becoming after their confirmed break next year.
The boys worked their way flawlessly through every song, especially hitting every note perfectly in ‘Ready to Run’, ’18’, ‘No Control’, ‘Girl Almighty’ and ‘Little White Lies’. They put their all into making sure the crowd knew how important their songs are to them, because the fact that they love the music makes it mean more to us, and when an artists music touches the fans the way One Direction’s music touches all of us, they’re bound to be everlasting.
Another pivotal part of OTRA Cleveland was Drag Me Down, their latest hit single. Since the July 31st Indianapolis show where they first debuted the song as the newest addition to the set list. The crowd quickly took to the song and at every show there are hundreds of vines and twitter videos of the boys singing it. However, at OTRA Cleveland; Louis, Harry, Niall, and Liam delivered Drag Me Down in a way they never had before. There was so much power and conviction behind the lyrics, there were times when it seemed as if the boys were singing to each other. Making a promise within themselves to remember who’s always been there, who’s never left, and how regardless of what’s thrown at them, love will keep them up. Love wins.
The camaraderie between Harry, Liam, Louis, and Niall was unlike anything One Direction fans have seen in a long time. They were not only confident in themselves and their own voices, but in who they are as a group, who they are as best friends, and their new sound. The boys were absolutely in love with the crowd but more than that, they are in love with who they are and getting that vibe from them was absolutely everything. It’s been so long since there was a sense of friendship that strong between them, it’s been so long since I truly think they’ve felt this confident and sure of who they are.
My best friends and I were in the front row at the B stage and we were able to experience all of this from mere inches away. We were able to sense the desperate emotion from Harry when he sang ‘Drag Me Down’, we were able to see the love on Louis’ face during ’18’, we were able to hear Liam’s note changes so clearly you could feel them, and we were able to sense how thankful Niall was to be there when he talked about ‘Don’t Forget Where You Belong’.
We were also close enough to really understand how it feels when the boys see you, sense your energy, and form a bond with you. It was lovely to truly get to look into their eyes, watch them smile because of a funny face you made, or look at them so admirably when they hit certain notes that they just gave you a loving look right back.
We were able to make Harry laugh so hard he had to stop singing a few times. We felt his energy and his love and it truly felt like we were joking all night with an old friend. We had a silly string/water gun fight with Louis who shook his head us with a look of determination once we first sprayed him, before coming back at us with his counterattack and we captured it all on video. It happened during ‘Little White Lies’ so basically my every dream came true in 3 minutes and 15 seconds. We laughed with Liam and grinned all evening as he danced in front of us a lot and kept letting us know that he enjoyed our company, just as we enjoyed theirs, and we got to see Niall send his energy all around us mixed with his full of life smile.
I also asked a few twitter users what their favorite parts of the concert were:
@lexicintron18 – says her favorite part of the concert was 18 “I cried a little bit”.
@samanthaaddis3 – says her favorite part of the concert was getting to hear Drag Me Down.
@_hannahbradford – says her favorite part of the concert was hearing No Control.
@meganbehm – her favorite part was Girl Almighty when Harry dropped to his knees, and all the note changes that they threw in.
So while an eminent break looms in One Direction’s not too far off future, I will say this, last night proved to me a thousand times over that Niall, Louis, Harry, and Liam have no desire to give it up, no desire to give in, and no desire to back down. These boys are in love with what they’ve done so far, in love with the fans who have supported them along their journey, and are in love with the promise of a new future with the end of their contract coming with the release of their 5th album. The possibilities are truly endless for these 4 amazing young men.
If you haven’t been to an OTRA date yet, and there’s one near you (or even not that near), make sure you find yourself a ticket and get in the stadium. You will not be disappointed.
Especially because you get to see this, in person.