Little Mix support band as they play gig at Roundhouse venue in Camden
One Direction played a rare intimate gig at London’s Roundhouse last night as part of this year’s Apple Music Festival with Harry Styles joking that the gig gave the band hipster credibility.
The chart-topping boyband began their 15-song set with a stirring rendition of 2014 single ‘Steal My Girl’ before pausing to address the crowd after second number ‘Little Black Dress’. “Our job is to entertain you as much as possible,” Harry Styles told the 1,700-strong audience at the Camden venue, with many more watching from home via a live stream. “Don’t pretend you don’t know the words,” he added with a wink.
The four singers, backed by a full band, then launched into the Mumfords-style stomp of ‘Where Do Broken Hearts Go’ and swaggering Joan Jett-aping rock banger ‘Midnight Memories’. This was followed by a more subdued section including well-received renditions of the group’s Ed Sheeran-penned chart-topper ‘Little Things’ and melancholy 2014 ballad ‘Night Changes’.
After the group sang the emotive slow song ’18’, Niall Horan briefly left the stage without explanation, prompting his bandmate Louis Tomlinson to joke, “We’ve lost another one!” in reference to Zayn Malik’s departure from the band this March. Horan later told the crowd that the venue’s heat was affecting him and he wasn’t feeling well, but the 22-year-old Irishman gamely soldiered on for the rest of the gig, playing guitar as well as singing on the majority of the group’s songs.
One Direction brought their 65-minute set home with crowd-pleasing renditions of recent hit ‘Drag Me Down’, debut single ‘What Makes You Beautiful’, fan favourite ‘Girl Almighty’ and reflective ballad ‘Story Of My Life’ before signing off with a boisterous ‘Best Song Ever’. Towards the end Styles noted that even “men with beards” had cheered when the group asked if the crowd were enjoying themselves, taking this as a “sign of approval from the hipsters”.
Styles also joked during the gig that he was “distracted” because he was keeping an eye on his sister, who was in the crowd with a date. “Behave!” the singer warned the pair lightheartedly.
The group now has a night off before beginning a 25-date run of UK and Ireland arena shows at London’s O2 Arena tomorrow. These are currently the group’s last live dates before a planned hiatus begins in March next year.
One Direction played:
‘Steal My Girl’
‘Little Black Dress’
‘Where Do Broken Hearts Go’
Ready To Run ‘
‘Drag Me Down’
‘What Makes You Beautiful’
‘Story Of My Life’
‘Best Song Ever’
Earlier in the evening, Little Mix had opened for One Direction with an energetic 25-minute set during which they debuted new song ‘Grown’ and teased their next single ‘Love Me Like You’ by performing a snippet of the song a cappella. The four-piece girl-group ended with a bombastic rendition of recent chart-topper ‘Black Magic’.
Apple Music Festival continues at London’s Roundhouse tonight (September 23) with a headline performance from The Weeknd. The Chemical Brothers, Pharrell Williams, Mumford & Sons and Florence + The Machine are also due to headline before this year’s event comes to an end.