After the world-famous boy band One Direction, which consisted originally of five members, all went their separate ways in 2016, Louis Tomlinson, like his ex band members, pursued a solo career. He released his second studio album “Faith In The Future” last year and has been touring the album around the world. The North-American leg of the tour came to an end in July and Tomlinson has recently started touring Europe. He had his first concert of the European leg held at Hamburg’s Barclays Arena on the 29th of August, meeting with 15.000 fans.
Before Louis came on stage, two openers played their own works – Andrew Cushin and after him The Lathums. They had the chance to introduce themselves to the loyal fanbase of Tomlinson with their musical works and vocal performances which were really impressive. They had unique sounds to their music whilst both making music that can be considered to be in the “indie-rock” genre. In my opinion, as someone who saw them perform live, they really deserve more recognition.
Andrew Cushin – His songs “Yeah Yeah Yeah” and “You Don’t Belong” were the songs which caught my attention the most. You can find the setlist for Cushin’s part as an opener from this playlist:
The Lathums – First time in my life I observed this many people standing up for an opener and dancing during their set. The group who had an immense amount of chemistry with the crowd performed 6 songs with “Say My Name” and “I See Your Ghost” being the most influential ones over people.
At 9 PM, Louis Tomlinson came on stage and from that moment on the crowd never stopped roaring, screaming, cheering until it was the end of the two hour set and it was time to go home. The fans’ love for Louis is of course not one-sided. Tomlinson expresses his affection towards his fanbase at every chance given. He even opened up the show with the song he had written for the fans: “The Greatest”.
“Alone we’re only just as good as the rest, together we’re the greatest!”
As the minutes and hours passed by neither Louis’ nor the fans’ energy dropped down. Each song was sung more powerfully, as if the crowd was this big choir with every member being memorized each and every lyric. Tomlinson even stated during the concert that this was the loudest show of the tour so far. So the vibrant, colorful and moving stage lights, nearly 10 screens showing the camera-work focused on Louis and the sound system which made you feel the music move inside your ribcage were the cherries on top making the night unforgettable.
The concert setlist included the singles “Bigger Than Me” and “Out Of My System” from Louis’ last album, “Paradise” which was only available on vinyl, “Copy of a Copy of a Copy” from the Target Special Edition Deluxe vinyls and “505” which is a very popular song originally by Arctic Monkeys. Tomlinson also sang three songs from his first studio album “Walls” making fans go through a feeling of nostalgia from the previous world tour.
Of course fan projects were not absent. During the song “She Is Beauty We Are World Class” we put colorful pieces of paper, which were prepared and given out by voluntary fans, in front of our cell phone flashlights to create a rainbow.
As he always does, Louis Tomlinson went into the crowd during the last song of the concert “Silver Tongues”. Fans trying to get a glimpse at him and/or touch him in the pit, ripped Tomlinson’s shirt apart making him finish the concert shirtless.
“You smile at me and say, ‘It’s time to go’, but I don’t feel like goin’ home!”
On top of everything, in the three hours I spent inside the arena I chatted with people around me as if we were friends for years, danced, sang the songs very loudly and of course enjoyed the incredible feeling of being there for the same reason with all those people: seeing Louis, appreciating his art and have fun! When the concert was over I left the arena with my voice hoarse and my ears ringing, but they were the outcome of a collective experience I shared with 15.000 people and that made them beautiful.