I have been dreaming of going to my first concert for years. But sadly, for one reason or another, I have yet to attend my first one. I’m also from a small town in the middle of Washington State, so the closest city I could go see one is four hours away in Seattle. Not exactly the most convenient place to get to.
But one of the artists I have been wanting to see live for years is Niall Horan. In case you have been living under a rock, you might remember him as a member of One Direction, one of the biggest boy-bands of our time. Horan released his second studio album Heartbreak Weather on March 13, 2020. Unfortunately, it was released when the nation-wide quarantine began in the United States, so he never had the chance to tour the album.
Yet in October there was a ray of hope when he announced that he was doing a special live stream from the Royal Albert Hall in London, England on November 7. His motivation for hosting this was to bring awareness to the value of an artist’s tour crew; all the proceeds went to supporting his own touring crew and the #WeNeedCrew relief fund. According to Billboard, Horan said in a press release that he is, “putting on this gig to try and raise awareness of the immense value they bring to an industry enjoyed by so many and do something to help them and their families.”
That Saturday, I could not wait to relax for an hour and see one of my favorite artists in a different setting, even if it wasn’t a traditional concert. All day, I stayed off of social media to not see any possible spoilers, because I really wanted to be surprised during the experience. I honestly had no idea what to expect, and I’m so glad I went in with this mindset.
One of the surprises that Horan had for his fans was a special guest during the show. He collaborated during quarantine with Ashe, an American singer-songwriter who is best known for her song called “Moral of the Story,” featured in the Netflix sequel of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. They performed for the first time together during the show, and it was truly remarkable. I enjoyed seeing this because I love how their voices sound together in the song. It was also nice to finally see them interact in person, having never met in person prior to the show, only collaborating via FaceTime and Zoom.
From Niall’s vocals, to the instruments, to the camera panning, everything about the show felt magical. He sounded brilliant and I was blown away every time he started singing the next song. My favorite piece he sang was “Everywhere,” which also happens to be my favorite track off the album. I love how Horan builds the imagery in the lyrics and makes you feel the rush of emotions as you listen. By the way he sang, you could feel his passion through a computer screen, and I know it had me crying during this part of the show.
Another song that had me sentimental for an entirely different reason was “This Town.” Horan was the first active member of One Direction to release his solo music after the indefinite hiatus that the band announced in 2016. “This Town” was the first single released off that studio album, Flicker. The first time I heard this song was when I was a sophomore in high school. As a huge One Direction fan, I got really emotional, accepting the fact that I would possibly never see them live together as a band because they might never reunite. When I saw Horan perform “This Town”, I just got a sudden feeling of nostalgia. It was surreal to think of everything he has done as a solo artist, and even if I miss the band being together, I still felt extremely proud of him individually.
The entire show was unbelievable. As I said before, while I have never been to a live concert, the feeling I experienced the entire time was still unexplainable. Just hearing some of my favorite songs performed and seeing the passion Niall Horan gave into every song had me really emotional on a Saturday night in Washington State.
While I still hope to see him live in concert one day, I will be sure to tune in to watch Niall or any of my favorite artists if they decide to do a virtual concert.