I often find myself explaining why I’m a One Direction fan. My declaration of love for these four boys, no matter to whom it is, is invariably followed by a baffled “but… why?”. In my countless replies I’ve mentioned almost everything: how humble they are, their strong voices and immense song writing skills, Harry’s sparkly boots, the fact that they bring two rainbow bears to every show as mascots, everything. From now on, I think I’ll just show them the encore of the last On The Road Again show.
The last three songs of Saturday’s show in Sheffield were like a One Direction Crash Course.
It was when the boys ran back on stage for the encore accompanied by the first notes of Act My Age that everyone in the arena realized that this was it. In fifteen minutes or so, the tour would be over. And though that might be a sad thing, you don’t get sad during Act My Age. You sing. You dance. You scream. You see Niall’s mum running past you to dance an Irish jig with Liam’s mum and sisters. You see Liam’s dad leading the conga towards the B-stage where the boys are standing. And this is why you love One Direction.
And when you think Act My Age is over and oh god, there’s only two songs left, the boys, beaming and sweaty, ask the band to play the last part of Act My Age again. And again. And again. And again. They’re happy, you’re happy, their families are happy, everything is right in the world and this is why you love One Direction.
You get through almost all of What Makes You Beautiful fine. It’s fun. But then there’s the bridge and they’re doing their formation and oh wait, this is the last show. What if they don’t perform What Makes You Beautiful ever again? Is this the last What Makes You Beautiful bridge EVER?! So you start to cry, but that’s fine because all the boys are standing arm in arm and Liam and Louis are play-wrestling and you see Harry grab Niall’s ass and by now everyone else is crying too, so whatever and this is why you love One Direction.
Before you know it Niall’s telling the other boys he loves them, and of course you know that, but he’s saying it out loud and they’re all hugging each other again and hopping around like excited little bunnies and this is why you love One Direction.
Drag Me Down is a blur because all you can think is this is it this is the last song it’s almost over and then it is over and there’s more hugging than you could have hoped for and they’re crying and everyone’s crying and Harry and Louis slam into each other and the screams are deafening. The boys are radiating love and pride and happiness and so are you and this is why you love One Direction.
They walk back to the main stage for the final bow with their band. And when you think it’s over, they do another final bow (okay, so the first one wasn’t really final) because that’s how grateful they are for everyone on their team and this is why you love One Direction.
Hugging, they walk off stage. The lights go on and you’re sad because it’s over, but you’re also very happy because One Direction just showed you how worthy of your love they are. In fifteen minutes, they showed how much fun they still have when they’re performing, even after five years of almost non-stop touring. They showed how much they love their friends and families, never wanting the dance party in the aisle by the B-stage to end. They showed how much they love each other, and us, and everyone they ever worked with probably.
So I’m not gonna try to explain why I love One Direction by pointing out Louis’ wonderful accent or Liam’s dance moves or reciting my favourite lyrics. I’ll just show the encore of this show.
Enjoy your break, One Direction. I’m sure we’ll meet again, but on the off chance we won’t – thank you for everything.