Wednesday 13 December 2017

One Direction at Croke Park: It's pop for the tots – but what a night we had

Barry Egan

Barry Egan

THERE is only one way to break up One Direction – get parents to stop their seven-year-olds' pocket money.

Until then, the X Factor quintet will continue world domination, not a bad place to be as Croke Park became a weird-but-wonderful parallel politics-free universe.

It was bliss on Friday to spend three hours without seeing a Yellowpack Machiavelli smile sinisterly down from an election poster.

Instead we had the million-watt smiles of the biggest boy band in the world. Not that the biggest boy band in the world are unaware of the power of spin or soundbites.

Knowing exactly the reaction he'd get, One Direction star Liam Payne, from Wolverhampton, asked the crowd: "Does anyone like Superquinn sausages?" While local hero Niall Horan told the crowd: "Not too many Westmeath men make it to Croke Park."

Let's just say the shrill reaction from the tiny tot squealers to these statements probably had earth in Dublin's north inner city trembling, to say nothing of my hearing perhaps permanently damaged.

Prior to their arrival on stage at 8.30pm, the whole stadium seemed to be vibrating with excitement, with devotion, with obsession.

Once One Direction came on, it was pure, age-appropriate mania.

I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that it was like the biggest children's party you've ever been at in your life.

I tried to acclimatise myself by attending my eight-year-old godson Zack's sports day a few days ago but that pales into insignificance when you have 80,000 literally screaming five to seven-year-olds in Croker to pop music.

One Direction – a creation of the Great Satan, Simon Cowell, or not – were a phenomenon to watch perform.

Snobs view pop music as a cheap, despised art form but you'd want to be pretty hard-hearted to think of One Direction's music as anodyne.

I've seen some big acts over the years going through the motions but One Direction aren't one of them.

This was clear proof that Oscar Wilde was wrong. Youth isn't wasted on the young.

Sunday Independent

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