One Direction at Croke Park – Review & Photos

One Direction at Croke Park Dublin

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One Direction at Croke Park Dublin - Review & PhotosIt’s hard to approach anything One Direction related in an honest and unbiased way. For one, if you have anything bad to say about them, the ‘directioners’ will literally do anything to make you wish you hadn’t said anything; and they are just a band that everybody seems to have an opinion about. Even being indifferent to their existence shows that you have in some way taken a stance. For anybody who was in Dublin for the weekend of the 23rd – 25th of May, it was impossible to ignore the chaos that descended on the city.

As Croke Park fills up for the last night here, the anticipation is at an all-time high. First up are 5 Seconds Of Summer, the Australian pop-punkers who are quickly becoming a band that everybody in the tumblr/twitter sphere is talking about. Their set is filled with upbeat songs such as new single ‘Don’t Stop’, or a particular favourite ‘Disconnected’, and some slower songs including ‘Amnesia’, from their upcoming debut album. They also throw in a couple covers, ‘Teenage Dream’ and ‘What I Like About You’ to include people who might not have heard of them before. Their set is infiltrated with bits of chat and banter from the band , which although enjoyable, is not what stands out the most. Their musicianship, in particular Ashton Irwin’s drumming skills, is particularly impressive, and it’s nice to see a four piece band who are all playing instruments getting a bit of recognition from a young crowd, although this shouldn’t deter other people from giving them a chance. All in all it was a brilliant opening act and the audience is left with the feeling that this is probably not going to be the last stadium 5 Seconds Of Summer see.

By time One Direction are coming on stage, ‘deafening’ doesn’t even begin to describe it. They start with ‘MidnightMemories’ which sees the crowd going mad, and Niall Horan playing guitar. This is something which happens a lot through the set, and although it’s nice to see someone in the band playing an instrument, you can never really hear anything particularly impressive coming from him, so you could ask whether or not it’s just a gimmick.

At different points in the set, their individual voices stand out and show their skills. Every member has an incredible voice, it’s also noticeable that they seem to enjoy their more rock influenced songs. A particularly enjoyable moment is when they perform ‘Don’t Forget Where You Belong’ which also shows a montage of the boys’ lives on the screens. Another great song is ‘Happily’ and their voices, particularly Harry Styles’, really shine through on this. However these songs do not get huge reactions from the crowd.

The biggest reactions, unsurprisingly (and maybe unfortunately) are kept for the big ones: ‘Live While You’re Young’, ‘Little Things’, ‘One Thing’ and so on… ‘One Thing’ is probably one of the loudest the crowd is all night, along with ‘What Makes You Beautiful’. They work the stage very well, and get the crowd going and singing along to their songs, giving the last chorus of ‘Little Things’ to the crowd to sing alone, with phones lighting up the stadium, it’s a very nice moment.

To be honest, the whole night isn’t flawless, but it also doesn’t have any major faults. It’s an enjoyable set, they all show that they’re talented. One of the biggest problems is that the night is kind of tainted with a feeling that this is a money making scheme. With an inordinate amount of merchandise around and their constant advertisements for their perfume, it takes away a bit of the artistry, makes it a bit uncomfortable.

They also have a Q&A interlude, where they answer some fan’s questions which although is a really nice idea, it somehow falls a bit flat, it’s a bit awkward. It’s kind of hard to hear the questions and even harder to make out their answers.

For the most part, it really is nice to see both the fans and the boys having so much fun with Harry and Liam dancing around stage, Niall hardly able to stop smiling and Louis running about the stage, (all except Zayn who seems to be mostly moping about the stage, but in fairness it is his voice that particularly impresses over and over throughout the performance), it’s here where you can really understand the passion that these fans have for the band. Every time Niall speaks, sings, or even is just shown on the screen, the stadium erupts. It’s not just a boy band for these fans, it’s everything that goes with them. The whole night is pretty innocent and enjoyable, filled with really catchy and energetic songs, and goes someway to explain the success of the phenomenon that is One Direction.

Review by Orla Conway
Photos by David Doyle


Tudor Marian

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