I worked as a barman at the most recent One Direction gig in the 3 Arena. I walked in expecting the night to go one way, but I was seriously surprised by how things turned out. So what did I learn while casually bopping my head along to annoyingly catchy music?
1) One of them actually knows how to play an instrument
Niall (the Irish one) can play a guitar, who would have guessed? Probably all the people who like One Direction, but hey, it was news to me. Here I thought they were just a product of Simon Cowell's screwed up concept of what talent is - either you're surprisingly good but not that hot, because ugly people don't have talent apparently, or you're sort of ok at it but you're a smokin' hotty. Nope, turns out one of them can actually play an instrument, and play it well at that. I tip my hat to you, Niall.
2) It's not entirely populated by 5-year-olds and tweens dragging their mammy and daddy along
No one could see this coming. After all, wee kiddies, tweens and teenyboppers are the faces of the hardcore One Direction fan base. I expected to be assaulted by kids with their mammy and daddy and a bunch of teenagers who have just been run over by an abundance of hormones trying to convince me they are, like, totally 18 and over. Instead, I saw more people legally allowed to drink than people underage. Not just legally allowed to drink, but old enough that I didn't even need to bother asking for ID, and no they weren't the respective parent or guardian of the real fan.
3) Everyone gets fuuuuucked up
Maybe it's being surrounded by overly giddy kiddies who have all the energy in the world, but everyone wants to try to get to the same level. Maybe it's just the case that that when it comes to college, you drink and you drink hard. Regardless, people will go through bucketloads of drink, particularly vodka and coke. What was unusual for this gig was that no one showed up that smattered. They ease themselves in, but they all end up screaming along the lyrics, swaggering and swaying, while they try to dance. Also, no one got to the point of falling over drunk. Now that's an achievement for a crowd of nearly 15,000.
4) There's a random lad on stage
There was definitely a fifth body on stage throughout the show. I don't know what he was doing there, but he sure as hell didn't look like a roadie. I didn't see him singing or playing anything either but yeah, he was just kind of there floating about.
5) Harry can rock the long hair look
Even I have to admit that Harry's dreamy with the long hair. I just like to imagine him riding a beautiful stallion through a meadow, wearing a half-unbuttoned white shirt and tight riding pants while his luscious locks gently blowing in a warm summer breeze... sighs*
6) They ALL have tattoos
If I'm honest, I don't think they can rock this sort of look. The whole boy band, teenage heartthrob and tattoo image doesn't really mix. Sure one or two is grand, but they are COVERED in the things. They look like they're trying to pull off the classic rockstar look while they sing pop songs about how that really vaguely described girl is amazing so it could probably, maybe be you they're singing about. They also look too clean and fresh to have tattoos plastered all across their body; that excess of ink belongs to musicians who dress and look like an Osbourne. But hey, that's just me.
7) They're not very loud
Yes, I had earplugs in for the night as per staff policy, but when I've worked the other gigs I can normally still hear everything pretty clearly. Not the boys, though, bless them. Don't want to wake the neighbours. I could hear the roar of the crowd and a distant hum that was their singing, but nope, not a whole lot of noise overall. Even when I took the earplugs out it was still fairly quiet compared to what I'm used to. Got to protect all the little kiddies sensitive ears I guess.