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Biggest concert in Sun Bowl history

Ruben Ramirez/El Paso Times

Sept.19 couldn’t get here fast enough for the thousands of fans that cheered and chanted as the British boy band, One Direction, took the stage at the Sun Bowl with much energy as they opened up the concert with “Midnight Memories,” a song from their third best-selling album in the United Kingdom in 2013.

Fans came from near and far to be part of this unique experience– people from New Mexico, Arizona, Mexico and Utah, among other places, made up a crowd of more than 50,000 attendees who gathered to scream for Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson—making it a sold-out performance and drawing more people than previous concerts by the Rolling Stones, U2 and Pink Floyd.

Although the band didn’t take the stage until 9 p.m., fans’ energy was visible from the moment they entered the crowded venue. The stage was designed in three-dimensional diamond-shaped skate park, with multiple performer levels that spread across the main stage. LED lights also enhanced the production overall.

The emotion never waned from the lively crowd, but nonetheless the contrast was clear between the dotting fans and their accommodating parent, who chaperoned their young daughters. While their children’s singing along to the songs surrounded them, they counted down the minutes for the concert to finally end and to find relief from all the noise.

Despite the obvious fact that some parents didn’t share the same type of excitement as their children, there were still others who weren’t embarrassed to sport their support and wore shirts that read, “Proud parent of a Directioner.”

One Direction surprised the fans with some unexpected fireworks that happened throughout the concert, and while singing their top songs “Kiss Me,” “Why Don’t We Go There” and “Rock Me.”

It was a very emotional night for the fans as tears streamed down their tween faces—and they never missed a beat to any of 1D’s songs.

The British boy band made it clear several times how thankful they were for every person that attended the concert, and according to Horan, “El Paso was sure to be one of the best concerts in the tour so far.”

In between songs, Payne took the opportunity to practice his Spanish and saying, “Hola El Paso, su casa es mi casa.” The fans cheered over their British accents and One Direction made an effort to have a real connection with the audience, and showed their goofy side.

As they were halfway into “Little Things,” Payne carried a can of silly string that he later used to cover Styles’ head. Not losing a beat in the song, Styles kept singing and chased after Payne across the stage. Laughter echoed throughout every bleacher, including those who sat far away in the stands, who were able to witness this silliness through the gigantic video screen.

Styles definitely earned the clown award, as his fun side continued, when he stole Payne’s microphone and used both of them to sing “Live While We’re Young.”

They continued performing and energizing the crowd with songs such as “Moments,” “Strong,” “Better Than Words,” “Alive,” “One Thing,” “Diana” and “What Makes You Beautiful.”

Near the end of their concert, Payne asked the audience to lift up their posters, some which read, “I skipped school to be here” and “Liam you are so thin”—in which he sucked in his stomach and said thank you, and the last one that read, “today is my birthday.” Moments after reading this 12-yr-old girl’s poster, Payne invited the rest of the band along with the audience to sing “Happy Birthday” to her. She stared at Payne, as he handed her poster back, as if she were hypnotized.

Overall, the fans had the best time of their lives and kept screaming long after One Direction had disappeared from the stage. However, the constant cheering and screaming paid off as the band took the stage and continued singing four more of their songs, “You and I,” “Story of My Life,” “Little White Lies” and closed with “Best Song Ever.”

Although El Paso’s fans couldn’t get enough of the band’s charms and singing, by 11 p.m., each member took a second to thank El Paso for welcoming them with open arms and for being such a fun crowd. Overall, fans were amazed by their fun, interactive concert and left the Sun Bowl Stadium with hearts floating above their heads.

Andrea Acosta may be reached at [email protected].

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Biggest concert in Sun Bowl history