|British-Irish boy band consisting of members Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson played the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 during the first of two sold out shows. The second concert is Thursday night. (QMI Agency/Jack Boland)
TORONTO - There was an ungodly sound emanating from the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre on Tuesday night.
The five fresh-faced members of reigning British boy band One Direction - Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Zayn Malik and their Irish bandmate Niall Horan - whose presence at the lakeside shed stirred up some off-the-charts-hormone-induced howling that verged on demonic at times.
The crowd of 16,000 mostly young girls raised their voices in unison and produced a wall of sound so loud it seemed supernatural.
Certainly One Direction, who return to the amphitheatre for a second sold-out show on their Up All Night tour on Thursday night, were impressed at the vocal display, along with the various signage, home-made T-shirts, and the odd bra that was thrown up on stage.
"There are two things about Canada that we really love," said Harry. "One is poutine. And the second is YOU lot." Having recently interviewed Niall and Louis during an earlier promo stop in Toronto, I knew they were charming and cute.
What I didn't really prepare myself for was that they all can actually sing in concert.
And they're cheeky too.
When Liam casually draped his arm around Harry early in the show, Harry in turn grabbed Liam's crotch and left his hand there for the rest of the song.
And there's none of that choreographed dance move nonsense.
Instead, One Direction, backed by a four piece band, moved naturally through a pretty classy, low-key production that saw them in different settings thanks to three video screens - beach, school, party, winter cabin, and dinner party - in various preppy-inspired outfits.
They all looked like they'd just climbed out of an Abercrombie and Fitch ad.
And if their opening number, the unfortunately named Na Na Na, was at the lower end of the 15 songs performed over 90 minutes, the quality went up from there.
Among the highlights: a stripped-down acoustic medley that saw four of the five members take turns on lead vocals - the Black Eyed Peas’ I Gotta Feeling (Zayn), Gym Class Heroes’ Stereo Hearts (Niall), the Amy Winehouse-popularized Valerie (Louis) and Natalige Imbruglia’s Torn (Liam); the Ed Sheeran-penned Moments; the ballad More Than This; the Kelly Clarkson-written Tell Me A Lie; a pop cover of Kings Of Leon's Use Somebody; their next North American single, One Thing which caused the first major sing-and-clap along; the uptempo Save You Tonight and the song that started it all, What Makes You Beautiful.
I also liked the bit where One Direction read tweets from fans in the crowd which had them doing silly dances and voices.
Hey, if you can't make fun of yourself when you're in a boy band, you might as well just stay home.
For those One Directioneers who like to plan ahead, 1D (as they are called), have already booked two July 2013 dates at the Air Canada Centre.
Next time, I bring earplugs.
Na Na Na
Medley: I Gotta Feeling / Stereo Hearts / Valerie/ Torn Moments Gotta Be You More Than This Up All Night Tell Me a Lie Everything About You Use Somebody One Thing Save You Tonight What Makes You Beautiful