Niall Horan at Cardiff Motorpoint Arena, 24th March 2018
Wow, first off I’ve got to say I’ve been slacking so much on the blogging front recently. I’ve been so busy finishing off the second semester of my Masters and I’m not going to lie it’s been pretty stressful so I just haven’t had time, or the ideas, to write.
But last weekend I got the chance to see one of my favourite people, Niall Horan, again! Unfortunately he didn’t do any dates in the Midlands (rude) so I travelled all the way to Cardiff just to see him, dedication or what.
After four train journeys we finally made it to Cardiff at about 4pm on the day of the show and went straight to our hotel to check in. Then we made our way to the arena to meet up with some friends before going to have some pre-show dinner. When we finally got inside, we bought merch and then found our seats, which were on the floor and although we were pretty far back in our block we still had a great view because the arena was so small!
Niall’s support act was Julia Michaels and she was actually one of the best support acts I’ve seen in a while, she was really sweet and thankful to the crowd and really got us all hyped up to see Niall. After her set was finished it wasn’t long before Niall himself came on stage. The only thing I have to complain about from the whole night was that there were two girls in front of us who were standing on their seats the entire time, meaning that short little me had to stand on my tiptoes basically the entire time to get glimpses of Niall – which wasn’t ideal, but the atmosphere was still amazing either way.
The show kicked off with Niall’s latest single ‘On The Loose’, which was such a great choice for an opening song because it’s so feel-good and gets everyone up and dancing straight away. The upbeat vibe continued into the next song, ‘The Tide’, before a mellowing in tempo for his first ever single ‘This Town’, which I still adore. It was one of those moments where everyone has their flashlights out swaying along to the song which is my absolute favourite thing at concerts, as you probably know by now if you’ve ever read my posts before! I just adore the slower tunes for that precise reason, it just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside because I know I’m surrounded by people who are all here for the same reason I am. ‘This Town’ was followed by one of my favourites from Niall’s album, ‘Paper Houses’, which is also a chilled out and slower paced, sway-worthy song that sounds even better live with Niall’s incredible vocals.
Niall also sang three covers during the show, all of which were amazing. The first was a Bruce Springsteen song, ‘Dancing in the Dark’, which I enjoyed so much! It fit Niall’s voice so well and he really made it his own, playing the guitar with the same passion that he does throughout the whole show. The second cover was the One Direction song, ‘Fool’s Gold’, which he sang when I last saw him on his smaller tour last August. Hearing it in an arena with so many people singing back was an even more incredible experience. As most people know, One Direction mean a hell of a lot to me, so hearing Niall sing one of my favourite songs by them made my heart swell. The third cover was Camila Cabello’s song ‘Crying in the Club’ which admittedly I thought was a bit of a weird choice for him, but he totally made it his own and it really worked.
Another of my highlights was when Niall sang the title track from his album, ‘Flicker’. At every show he asks everyone to put their phones away and just listen to the song and enjoy the moment. I think this is such a sweet idea because I’ve got to admit that I find it quite sad when you look around at a show and all you can see is phone screens. Okay, I’m guilty of it too. But I’ll get my phone/camera out to take a few snaps or a quick video and then I’ll put it away again, I’m not one of those people who has their phone up constantly throughout the entire thing. I just think it’s much better to live in the moment and I’ve got to say that I remember ‘Flicker’ so well even though I don’t have any video or photographic evidence of it. It’s nice to just focus on the lyrics, Niall’s beautiful vocals, the music and the moment.
Niall sang all the songs on his album, including the bonus tracks, and some of my other favourites were ‘Seeing Blind’ and ‘Since We’re Alone’. He also sang an unreleased song that wasn’t on his album, but that he said he regretted not putting on it, called ‘So Long’. For this song he also sat down and played the piano which was really beautiful, and I loved the song itself so much as well. Yes Niall, I agree, you should have put it on the album.
The encore was also possibly my favourite part of the entire show. When Niall came back on stage, he sang three songs and it just finished the show on such a high. First was ‘Drag Me Down’, another One Direction song that really got the crowd so hyped up; I was almost screaming the words and dancing around like there was no tomorrow! This was followed by ‘Slow Hands’, which is also another song which is so upbeat and makes me so happy. The amazing thing was that half of our row left before the last song, so we got to move away from the annoying chair girls and actually see Niall fully! He ended with ‘On My Own’, which was honestly THE best song he could have chosen to end a show ever. We danced all the way along the empty seats and sang our hearts out – it’s such an uplifting song and made me have a literal grin on my face as he went off stage.
The thing I love about Niall is that his personality always shines through his shows. He interacts with the crowd so much, keeps talking to you throughout and really makes you feel at home. One of my favourite things he said that really stuck with me was when he was thanking us at the end and said that he knows it’s hard to come out to concerts nowadays and that he appreciates the fact that we did it for him. There’s a twinge of sadness there when he says that, but I know that it’s true and I for one will never let anything, or anyone, stop me from going to concerts – they are my safe place no matter what, and nothing will take that away from me.
So once again, Niall didn’t fail to impress. He gave me a much-needed amazing night where I felt truly happy and forgot about the stresses of everything else for a few hours. His energy on stage is amazing, his vocals are on point and seeing him perform to an arena full of people made me so happy and proud (and made it worth travelling all the way to Cardiff!).
Have you been to any of Niall’s shows? Let me know what your highlight was or your favourite song in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!
Once again thank you so much for reading, x