Last Night: One Direction at The Woodlands
Photos by Barry Sigman
One Direction Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion June 24, 2012
Ahh! OMG... Eek! I love you guys! Now repeat that a million times and it will somewhat sum up Sunday night's show.
Along with my little sister, I arrived to the sold-out show in astonishment. I did not expect to witness what I saw: Handmade T-shirts, car windows painted with "Honk if you love 1D," cars parked next to me with Tennessee and Louisiana plates, and a massive amount of young screaming girls.
The first thing that struck my mind was, "Now I know how my mom felt taking me to see *Nsync and the Backstreet Boys."
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But with the group's impressive crowd interaction -- and actual singing talent -- I was surprised and survived.
I'll be honest, my little sister is nine and knows a few One Direction songs, so of course I was going to take her with me. I decided, "Why not be a good big sister?", and figured that it would help get me through the night since this isn't really my scene. (I mean, Van Halen was playing last night too.)
The British boy band didn't hit the spotlight until after the 2010 season of UK talent series The X Factor. The five -- Harry, Liam, Niall, Zayn and Louis -- formed after the show's judges' panel suggested their talent shouldn't be wasted and to form a group. Needless to say, 1D took the advice.
Hours before the group took the stage, at any sight of the curtain moving or anyone coming to the stage my ear drums were pierced by the girl behind me going crazy thinking that one of the 1D guys happened to be onstage. Okay, all the girls were screaming, but I clearly heard one. I have my left ear to thank for that one.
I thought, "All right, then I know how loud she yells I can brace myself for when the guys hit the stage." And oh, was I so wrong.
After helping my little sister get up to have a good viewing area (she is only nine), I was about to cover my ears, but it was too late. The screaming reached a whole new spectrum that I could not have guessed.
I looked around and noticed that if the girls weren't screaming and giving every adult there a pulsating headache, they were crying their eyes out. The girl next to my little sister just could not contain herself. She literally was crying a river.
I tried to go back and remember my boy-band days. I think I screamed plenty, but never did I cry.
I think the principle has stayed true, however. If the boys are cute to the girls, screaming will proceed shortly (very shortly) after the group's appearance.
At certain points, the screaming was louder than the music. But to my surprise, I actually found the show entertaining. As is, the boys were just funny. They seemed to have a good time and that's what makes a good show.
Now I've seen Twitter incorporated at shows, but not like the way 1D did it. They pulled up some of Houston's tweets and answered some questions that had been sent via Twitter. They made sure to have it on the big screen -- along with the name of each person's name and what section and seats they were located.
A few things that flew up to the screen were: What's your favorite thing about Texas? [Answers included the girls, the accents and the heat.] Favorite song by Ed Sheeran? [Answers included "Give Me Love" and "Kiss Me."]
Best thing about the 2012 tour? The unanimous answer from all five band members was getting involved with the crowd.
Getting involved, all right. They jumped down into the pit and ran and shook hands with as many people as they possibly could. Beach balls appeard out of nowhere, and the crowd would hit them to 1D, who played right back.
Their involvement doesn't stop there. 1D started talking to the crowd and told them what they have learned about Texas, girls that is: "Two things we've learned about Texas girls -- one, they are very hot and two they are very loud."
Cue more screams, not to mention a bra someone flung onto the stage.
The boys laughed it off and actually swung the bra strap around. But after all they tend to have interesting taste in women. Like girls who like to eat carrots.
After a few songs, One Direction would disappear from the stage while music and videos played on the screen. They would return shortly with a wardrobe change. Nothing to crazy --they just put blazers on. I didn't see the reasoning for this, but hell, it's their show.
The Houston stop of the 2012 tour was sold out completely More than 20,000 people were in the crowd and 1D yelled out that it's the largest crowd that they have ever headlined for. So Houston has set a new mark for them. It's no wonder they'll be returning in July of next year --Houston tends to bring the noise and the audience.
Even as I walked out of the Pavilion, I can assure you there were tons of people who didn't even have tickets, but stood outside the gates just to hear 1D and, I guess, be in the same spot as the band. That's some commitement.
I kept thinking to myself as my little sister and I walked back to the car: Are boy bands really coming back?
As far as I could tell it's a solid yes. It may not be my thing, but my sister loved it, along with the thousands of other girls her age and on up.
Personal Bias: I don't think anyone can really compare to *Nsync. Hell 1D doesn't dance! However I like how 1D incorporates Twitter into their show.
The Crowd: Screaming, jumpy, emotional girls, some accompanied by parentals.
Overheard In the Crowd: Not much other than screaming.
Random Notebook Dump: Wow, I'm such a good big sister. Props to myself.
Another Notebook Dump: Buy Advil on the way home.
See more photos on the next page.
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