I’m still reeling from One Direction’s concert in Sydney, nearly two weeks after the fact.
Our seats were surprisingly good – quite close to the secondary stage set up in the middle of the floor – and I almost squealed myself to death when they performed my favourite song (‘Last First Kiss’) mere metres away from me. I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun at a show.
I also can’t remember the last time I was double the age of most of the audience.
Yes, despite leaving high school behind over a decade ago, I am head over heels in love with One Direction, or 1D for short. Though the band is synonymous with screaming hoards of teenage girls, there is a surprising number of AFOODS (adult fans of One Direction) out there.
Other grown ups have reacted surprisingly badly to this information. I’ve had many conversations with many baffled friends and colleagues as to why I’m so into them. Yes, I know they were created on a reality show. Yes, I’m aware that they’re marketed at the pubescent. No, my love is not ironic. Yes, I can sing basically every word to every song; would you like me to show you?
Michelle, a 30-year-old AFOOD, says “The lack of irony involved in loving them that almost feels like backlash against all the cultural influences in my life.”
Indeed, there’s absolutely no room for irony in the One Direction fandom. The 1D guys are all in, churning out albums and concert tours to a hungry audience, and being so generous with their fans despite their inevitable and visible exhaustion.
The 1D fans are plainly all in, screaming out their love for the band members with all their might. You don’t often find that kind of earnestness in adult life.
I understand that One Direction fails according to every snob’s criteria for musical credibility: a band making their way up from the very bottom, writing their own songs, not aiming for an audience of young girls, and so on and so forth.
And yet I, and the rest of my AFOODS, cannot bring ourselves care because we’re having so much fun. As Liam, my 28-year-old concert date, says “I'm used to rock shows where everyone is super hip and disaffected. It's nice to just let yourself feel something for the music and the experience. It's refreshing to casually engage in this activity where you "love" your favourite member, and just SCREAM AND SCREAM when you see them at a concert.”
And scream we did, with utter abandon. As it turns out, yelling alongside 20,000 other fans while five cute boys jump about onstage is one hell of a drug.
I highly recommend it.
Frances Lockie is a Sydney-based writer who spends way too much time on the Internet.