The college senior was spotted last weekend in Dallas by herself at a ‘One Direction’ concert.

Ms. Nielsen was not available for comment.

Okay, but seriously. This may sound sad. This might sound pathetic. But this is a blog post that, at its heart, is about embracing your guilty pleasures. One Direction is one of mine. If you told me two months ago that I would be at a One Direction concert I would have laughed in your face. Which I did, actually, to my friend Brian, when he said that the band I’d been rolling my eyes about for the past 4 months would end up becoming something I loved.

I made a rule half a decade ago that I was going to stop not listening to music I enjoyed because I was worried what it said to others about me. Because, really, what does it matter what kind of music I listen to? How does that impact the lives of anyone other than me? I’m done with music snobbery – if  listening to a cheesy pop song puts me in a good mood, then I’m listening to that cheesy pop song. Probably on repeat. For like a week.

This isn’t a blog post designed to make you like One Direction. It’s a blog post designed to let you know that I don’t care whether or not you like One Direction. (Although really, you should give them a shot, they’re fantastic.)

It always amazes people when they find out I’m willing to go to events like this by myself. They can’t imagine going somewhere like a sporting event or concert or book signing alone. But my reasoning is, why miss out on an experience that I want to have just because I can’t wrangle some friends to go along with me to some of them? Sure, being with people you know at this kind of stuff usually makes them better, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be fun anyway. And it’s also usually an opportunity to make more friends.

Okay, now I’m actually going to write about the show.

A little background on One Direction: All five members (pictured below) auditioned for The X Factor UK in 2010, and made it through the first few rounds into bootcamp, where they each were cut as individuals, and then formed into a group by Simon Cowell (watch here) despite not knowing each other. They finished 3rd on the show, recorded their debut album, had a huge hit song and are now touring internationally.

And have I mentioned that they’re really absurdly talented?

Anyway. Moving back around toward the point of this blog post.

Waiting outside the venue before the show started was probably the closest thing I have experience to hell on Earth. It was 100 degrees, there was no shade and they stopped selling water outside two and a half hours before the gates opened. People were actually passing out  because of heat stroke. And at one point the entire crowd took up a chant of, “WATER! WATER! WATER!”

m i s e r a b l e

After I made it inside it was better though. Still hot and sunny, but I could stay in one place for an extended period of time and the sun was to my back. And I wasn’t in danger of dying from dehydration any longer. I ended up being at the front of the GA lawn area, but the place definitely filled up (19,500 people!).

Here’s some video I took during one of the opener’s sets to show how many people were there:

I probably have permanent hearing damage from attending this show. When they ran out I was afraid my ears were going to start bleeding from the screaming. But it was worth it. I’d definitely prepared myself for them to not be good live, but I think they were actually better.

Here’s the one great shot I got during the show:

And video of Moments where you can see how massive the crowd was again. And how loud. And also this is my favorite song.

I had an amazing time. Despite the heat, the screams, the sweat, I’d do it all over again. The passion and energy and light they brought to the stage was so fun and engaging and I already want to see them again. There are a lot of musicians and bands I like, but not as many that I consider myself a “fan” of. Being a fan is something more to me – I can’t just love their music, I have to love them as people too, and this show definitely affirmed that to me. So, yeah, I guess you can call me a One Direction fan now.

And then, as all good concerts go, it was over before I knew it and I was heading out to my car.

And then this happened. Take it away, crazy vlogging Emily.

  1. Jessie said:

    I love going to shows alone. I can appreciate the sentiment, if not the band. Do what you want!

  2. Erika said:

    i love how great your pictures turned out even without taking you camera with the detachable lens. lovely!


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