One Direction took Pittsburgh by storm

It was a beautiful day for a concert at Heinz Field August 2, when One Direction took Pittsburgh by storm – but the fans … just weren’t there.

The stadium was filled barely to half capacity with the field level seats backed, but around the stadium large voids remained with many upper levels closed off and patrons upgraded to better seats to fill in. It was quite the surprise given the popularity of the band and the accompanying band of girls that typically follow in droves. Still the show pressed on and delighted those in attendance.

There were three distinctive groups in attendance at Heinz Field. The twenty somethings, many old enough to drink, screaming for the men of their dreams. The pre-teens, many attending their first concert ever, lit up as the bands took the stage. Some of the pre-teens even had parents who were actively jumping right along with them. And the “I just brought my kid here” parents, passing time with their nose glued to their phones on Facebook or Candy Crush, waiting for the show to be over.

The show is exactly what you would expect from a band that has worked hard to maintain a semi-clean image, knowing a good portion of their success lies in the hands of pre-teen girls and the approval of their parents. There were no questionable antics and with the exception of a few four letter words, the show was really clean.

Breaking away from the traditional synchronized dancing of many popular boy bands, One Direction is not a group of dancers. Making great use of their nearly full-stadium sized catwalk, the group took many laps back and forth, but there were no coordinated dances present. I can’t say I missed it. It was nice to see artists on their own, just enjoying the music and their fans.

One Direction was very appreciative of their fans. They took time to read signs aloud, sing directly to one or two people in the crowd and interact as much as they could without putting their own lives in jeopardy.

Keeping many of their fan favorites in the line-up, each song had fans erupting louder and louder, including their opening number, “Clouds,” and “Little Black Dress,” “Ready to Run” and “Night Changes.” Of course, we couldn’t forget two of their biggest hits – “What Makes You Beautiful,” “Story of My Life” and their big finale – “Best Song Ever.”

Opening for One Direction was IconaPop who’s only name maker to date has been “I Love it” though their newest single, “Emergency” is not only addictive, it’s gaining more airplay each day. Iconapop was drastically different than One Direction. Featuring some choreographed moves and scantily clad female back-up dancers, the group didn’t really thrill. Many fans simply sat until the final song – “I Love It” seeming disinterested in the whole performance. Though, there’s no denying the band has a fan base in Pittsburgh as IconaPop will be returning in October for the Kiss Halloween Show at Stage AE.

Overall, the One Direction show as a huge hit for Pittsburgh. It was great fun for all ages and fans left with many memories. It’s sad to think it might be the last time we see the entire group together as the band has been rumored to be taking a “break.” Whether it will be a disbandment of the boy band in pursuit of solo projects or just a few years to recharge, only time will tell, but I’m sure there are many heartbroken girls.
Review by Hayley Lynn Martin for Pennsylvania Bridges




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