Concert review: One Direction at Wolverhampton's Civic Hall

The screams almost shattered the walls.

Concert review - One Direction

Wolverhampton Civic Hall

The screams almost shattered the walls.

From the moment the lights went out and a countdown clock ticked down 5-4-3-2-1, Wolverhampton’s Civic Hall was filled with ear-splitting teenage squeals.

But the girls were just getting warmed up. When Niall, Zayn, Harry, Louis and Wolverhampton’s Liam Payne bounded on to the stage just seconds later, the volume level exploded, fans leapt to their feet and a million camera phones burst into life.

Click on the image on the right to see more pictures.

You could forgive Simon Cowell’s boys for looking more than a little overwhelmed.

After all, this was the first gig of their first tour and for a few brief moments, all they could mouth was “wow”.

The group arrived at the Civic in two sleek silver Mercedes Viano vans at around 3.10pm yesterday for the 9pm show, for which fans had been queuing from 6.30am.

Despite coming third in X Factor 2010, the boys have gone on to be the success story of the series, with Cowell and his Syco label backing them to the hilt and securing them not only a UK tour but also an American one.

The investment of the record label was evident last night as the group offered fans an indoor snowstorm, lavish big-screen videos and a live band.

Na Na Na was the first song, set against a beach backdrop complete with VW Camper Van.

The band were dressed in preppy little outfits, all nautical stripes and coloured jeans, and looked every inch the perfect pop stars. From the off, it was 17-year-old Harry Styles who took the lead.  With a confidence that defied his young years, the curly-haired heart-throb showed why he has caught the eye of 32-year-old Xtra Factor presenter Caroline Flack with his cheeky grins and self-assured swagger.

After a couple more of their own numbers, it was all-round-a-campfire for a collection of acoustic covers.

I’ve Got A Feeling by the Black Eyed Peas, Valerie by The Zutons and Torn by Natalie Imbruglia were all offered up and, if you had been able to hear them over the shrieks, you would have heard the lads do a pretty solid job.

By now, the temperature inside the Civic had reached withering point but still the fans jumped, danced and screamed.

The second act started with a video of the boys going back to school after the summer break and they quickly returned to the stage, now set up as a dorm room, in uniforms.  And it was here that the power of Twitter was demonstrated. One Direction have more than one million followers and picked a few of their favourite messages from the day to be beamed on a big screen – one of which revealed that two super fans had travelled to Wolverhampton all the way from LA and Arizona just for the gig.

Up All Night was the standout song from the back-to-school set, which then gave way to a winter wonderland.

A snowstorm broke out in the Civic and flakes fell from the ceiling. The boys also nearly caused a riot when they threw snowballs into the crowd and the girls battled to catch one. A little more than an hour after they first hurled themselves on stage, One Direction performed an encore of I Want against the backdrop of a dinner party.

The boys gave the crowd one last example of the sweetness and humility they had showed throughout the show before disappearing into a waiting minibus as the band still played and into the night.

At this point gold streamers fell from the sky, marking the end of the show – and more than 2,000 broken hearts.

By Elizabeth Joyce.

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