I was a Directioner, and in some ways I still consider myself one. I saw One Direction six times over their six year reign. I saw them play the 2800 person capacity Beacon Theatre in New York during their first album run, and then saw them play to 50,000 people at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane during their final year together. No matter the size or setting of the venue, the one consistent variable was their strong interaction with the crowd. It was always about the fans, and that’s what made them the biggest boyband in the world. And since they’ve all gone solo it’s the thing that has kept them going, as their fans still feel such a strong bond to them.
Following the release of his debut solo album ‘Walls’ in 2020, Louis Tomlinson has hit the road for his first world tour, and unsurprisingly the crowd reaction has been wild to say the least. Kicking off the Australian run of dates in Brisbane with two sold out nights at the Fortitude Music Hall, he had over 300 fans lining up before 7am just to secure the best spots in the venue. With the line looping around the block by the time the doors opened, everyone raced in, and the “Louis” chants started almost immediately .
With the house lights dimming and the screams reaching deafening level, Louis Tomlinson walked out onto the stage with a big smile on his face for opening track ‘We Made It’. “Hello Brisbane” he exclaimed to the very emotional crowd, before rolling straight into an amped-up version of the One Direction mega hit ‘Drag Me Down’. He didn’t ponder too much on the past, but throughout the night he did perform ‘Little Black Dress’ and ‘Through The Dark’ from the 1D back catalogue, as well as reminding the crowd that he always loved Australia and the time he had previously spent here. But this show was all about showcasing who he is as a solo artist, and his alt-pop rock aesthetic was immediately represented. Inspired by the likes of Oasis, DMA’s and Catfish And The Bottlemen, the show was built around the interaction with his band, as well as strong guitar solo’s that elevated the ballad energy some of the songs brought.
‘Don’t Let It Break Your Heart’, ‘Two Of Us’, ‘Habit’, and ‘Defenceless’ were the clear set highlights from his solo material and received huge singalong’s, as well as a cheeky cover of ‘7’ from Catfish And The Bottlemen, and ‘Beautiful War’ from Kings Of Leon which showcased his influences. But he also performed two unreleased tracks including ‘Change’ and ‘Copy Of A Copy Of A Copy’ which are both expected to be on his highly anticipated sophomore record. Closing out the set with ‘Kill My Mind’, he left the crowd sweaty, excited, emotional, and super happy from the show they just witnessed.
Louis Tomlinson is a natural performer. He always has been, and he always will be. His debut solo tour was an engaging show that paid respect to his past, celebrated the present, and hinted at the bright future to come. No matter where you stood in the 3000 person capacity venue, you felt like you shared a moment with him, and that is pretty special.
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Photos by Richard Boltron