1. I went to a One Direction concert by myself. This is my story.
7:51 p.m.: I arrive at MetLife Stadium, home of the most recent Super Bowl, which I’ll be reminded about by Liam of One Direction at least 12 times over the next three hours. I missed the opening act, 5 Seconds of Summer, by about three minutes, which I might regret at a later point in life but to be honest I don’t really care about them right now. This is about my first ever One Direction concert and how I went alone. And I’m 25 years old. ~Cool huh~
7:55 p.m.: I find my seat and scope out my concert neighbs. I’m really distracted by the sea of crop tops and tiny denim shorts. I want to yell at the tweens to put some clothes on, but then decide to go get a beer instead. I CAN DO THAT BECAUSE I’M AN ADULT. I walk past all my teen friends who aren’t my friends at all because they are strangers. But still I feel connected to them because we are all here together, ready to scream for Harry Styles.
8:00 p.m.: I wait on line for the bathroom. A mom is holding two shirts and her daughter comes back into line from wherever she just was. She asks her why she needs two shirts. The daughter says, “This one is for 5SOS and this one is for One Direction.” I feel a pang in my heart for the mother’s wallet.
8:05 p.m.: A girl with braces on declares to her friend that she wants a beer. I’m glad that I don’t have braces anymore and that I’m about to get a beer.
8:15 p.m.: This is the line for alcoholic drinks. Feeling #blessed. The sole four people on line were guys and three of them were from the U.K. They couldn’t get more than a few beers at a time so I offered to purchase one for them in the hopes that they were secretly with the band and might return the favor by bringing me backstage and introducing me to the boys as “the best person in the world whom you should immediately fall in love with.” That didn’t happen; they just took the beer and walked away.
8:18 p.m.: I bought stadium fries. They are so good and only cost me one month’s rent.
8:20 p.m.: I’m back in my seat and ready for the show to start. It’s that portion of the concert where they play loud music to pump up the crowd. “Dynamite” by Taio Cruz comes on and the crowd goes insane. I suddenly remember that it actually is a good song. Then “Paradise” by Bruno Mars comes on and the crowd erupts even more. THE TEENS LOVE BRUNO MARS. I’m learning a lot.
8:30 p.m.: All the teens in my section and the surrounding areas have turned around and are all looking at something in the stands. I try to befriend the girls in front of me by asking what everyone is looking at. They say, “There’s a kid up there dancing and having a lot of fun.” It was true, there was a kid dancing and having fun, but heck, WEREN’T WE ALL? WHY WAS THIS KID SO SPECIAL? I keep eating my fries.
8:40 p.m.: I’m getting restless but mostly because I’m desperate for One Direction to come on because I legitimately like them and I just want to have a fun time with all my stranger friends. The dad sitting in front of me looks miserable. I ask the girls who I had talked to before and now feel I have a solid relationship with who their favorite member of the band is. Two of them say Harry (UH…DOI) and one says Niall. I ask her why she likes Niall and she says, “He’s Irish and I’m Irish.” I decide I don’t think they like me and finish the last of my fries.
8:50 p.m.: THE LIGHTS COME DOWN AND THE SHOW STARTS. IT’S HAPPENING. The crowd goes completely insane. During the opening sequence each boy gets his own 30 seconds on the Jumbotron. Harry gets the loudest screams by far, followed by Niall. They make their entrance on to the stage and go right into “Midnight Memories.” I hug everyone around me. Not literally, only in my head.
8:51 p.m. I see the boys in the flesh for the first time and text my friend who is also at the show. Harry stands a mere 150 feet away from me. My pulse is racing.
8:55 p.m.: Drama unfolds between my row and the one directly in front of us. Three girls who are all under the age of 10 are holding up signs while being held up by their parents and blocking our view. My row bands together to intimidate them into putting their signs down. Mostly though we just politely ask if they could lower them so that I can see Harry’s ass. They comply, but not for long. A cold war is brewing between the two rows. It will be a source of contention for the rest of the night.
9:20 p.m.: I notice that Niall has a farmer’s tan.
Sometime between 9:20 and 9:30 p.m.: I look around during the show and see some wonderfully made signs. This girl claims she loves someone more than pizza, which, I know if I wrote, would be a higher compliment than literally taking a bullet for you, so I appreciated her sentiments.
This girl wanted Zouis (Zayn and Louis) to say “high.” Get it, because they smoked weed in a car that one time.
This teen wanted to get hit by Harry’s (golf) balls, which I think we all know really means his ball BALLS. Meaning his penis balls. Meaning this teenager was holding up a sign saying she wants Harry to hit her with his dick. I wanted to be this girl’s friend.
Then there was this girl, who just wanted to thank the boys for being her heroes for the last four years. I’m honestly not sure how many people they have saved over that amount of time but I’m sure it’s more than 100.
9:30 p.m.: The concert is less than halfway through. I’ve sung along to every song so far and I’m feeling pretty good about my standing as a fan. I notice a girl behind me who seems to be sulky and her mom keeps coming over from a few rows back to talk to her. Maybe if the mom would just leave her alone and let her LIVE HER LIFE she wouldn’t be so sulky. I don’t interfere though; I’m here for the music.
Me (in the corner wearing glasses — what, I’m an old woman!) and my thousands of friends.
9:40 p.m.: They sing a song I don’t know. I want to crawl up in a ball and hide underneath my plastic folding chair. Everyone around me knows it. It dawns on me that I’m not a teenager anymore. I begin to have a quarter-life crisis in the middle of the show. I make a note to listen to this song as soon as possible and learn the lyrics inside and out.
9:45 p.m.: QUARTER-LIFE CRISIS AVERTED. They are singing a song I know again (“Strong,” one of my favs) and I can breathe easy. Harry makes his way toward the side of the stage and starts flirting with the crowd. Every time he moves his head the screams get louder. I scream internally… until I stop recording, and then I scream out loud, for real.
9:50 p.m.: The sulky teen behind me has devolved into a full sulk and is now sitting on her chair. I pray that the next song can cheer her up.
9:55 p.m.: The guys are raised into the air on a platform. It’s the biggest performance aspect of the show. The rest of the time they’ve just been wandering around the stage. Whenever one of them walks down the runway part of the stage they are cheered on. At one point Harry beckoned over a security guard and then hugged him. The entire audience whoooed. The guard walked away with a giant smile on his face and I was immensely jealous.
10:00 p.m.: Harry is seen on the Jumbrotron eating a banana. The crowd goes wild because the banana eating is a thing and they’ve just seen it in real life. I make a mental note to remember the banana eating because to actually see it happening in real life felt like a momentous occasion.
10:02 p.m.: The under-10s who were holding up their signs earlier are holding them up again and I can’t see a thing. I want to scream. I make knowing glances with my rowmates. We are all in this together.
10:05 p.m.: The boys perform “What Makes You Beautiful.” I sing it louder than they do and hopefully my seatmates enjoyed it. After the song they disappear into the stage so fast with rousing applauses.
10:05–10:10 p.m.: We wait for the encore. Some fools left because they are dumb and don’t understand that clearly the best songs are about to be played. Also probably because they have a bedtime. At this moment I am proud of myself for not having a bedtime. The sulky girl behind me is still sulking. Maybe the encore will cheer her up.
10:11 p.m.: THEY ARE BACK and Niall has put on a long sleeve flannel so I can’t see his farmer’s tan anymore. They sing “You and I.” The stadium gets quiet-ish while the song plays. Then they sing “Story of My Life” and things really pick up again. That song is so good. Everyone loves it. I love it.
10:15 p.m.: By now most of my row has left and I scurry to get closer. Me and my friends decide to screw the no-standing-on-chairs rule and we all leap onto them. The view is much better from two feet up.
10:20 p.m.: They announce that this is their last song and then play “Little White Lie.” I panic and wonder why they aren’t going to play “Best Song Ever.” WHAT ABOUT “BEST SONG EVER.” My freak out was premature because then they go right into “Best Song Ever.” It really is a great song but even I’ll say they might be jumping the gun a bit with the title. Fireworks and flares are shooting out of the stadium and the boys are going out with a bang.
Video I took during “Best Song Ever.” It got cut short because I ran out of space on my phone as I was recording (talk about the actual worst thing to ever happen to anyone, ever). I spent the next 20 seconds frantically deleting all the shit on my phone I probably don’t need but was saving anyway.
10:30 p.m.: The show ends and I run so fast out of the stadium because I’m scared of getting trampled by teens on a natural music high. On the train ride home I sit and reflect and smile at the girls and guys who are gabbing about their wonderful night. I feel like my grandma who can’t hear well, so at big family dinners she just sits and observes and nods but has no idea what anyone is actually talking about. Also my phone died from too much picture taking so I really had nothing else to do.
In conclusion: Going to a One Direction concert by yourself is fun, but I recommend bringing a pal with you so that when Zayn makes a weird face at the camera you can turn to your friend and exclaim that what Zayn just did was really out of character and it surprised you.
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