The last date of One Direction’s On The Road Again Tour was scheduled for Halloween in Sheffield. It was kind of a big deal, after they announced they’d be taking a break in 2016, this would be their last concert for a while. True, I’d already seen them 4 times in 2015, but there was no way I was going to miss such an important show.
The night of the concert was also the Rugby World Cup Final. New Zealand were playing Australia, so I found an antipodean sports bar and watched us win. What a game, New Zealand. On such a patriotic high and Don’t Forget Where You Belong already in my head, I headed to the venue, where the doors were open and the arena filling up.
The show was very much like the other dates I had attended, except for the feeling of finality hanging in the air. It couldn’t be ignored. We knew and they knew that this was it for OTRA and for 1D, if only for a little while. Everything just meant a little bit more and every song was just a little more special. The four of them hugged on stage after the final song, you could see what an achievement it was for them.
I spent the 30 minute walk back on the phone to my friend in New Zealand, who I met through One Direction and Twitter. We talked about everything I had just experienced, about the boys in general, about the past 5 years and a future without the band. The hostel I stayed in seemed to be a popular choice for fans, as the places was overflowing with One Direction shirts and flashing bow headbands. It was an incredible atmosphere. On both nights I was there, I stayed up for hours talking to a girl from Chicago, who had spent the last 6 weeks travelling the UK and attending as many shows as she could. An Australian also joined us for our discussion after the final concert, which was full of our favourite One Direction memories, Zayn controversy and a weird joint sense of history. We talked till 3:00am. I didn’t even ask their names, nor their Twitter handles, but that’s the beauty of common interests.
What a wonderful conclusion to a wonderful chapter in music history. Thanks for everything, boys. See you when we see you.