Since this was the home stretch in the boys own countries, you would think that it would be a Victory Tour of sorts. But NOPE. This leg culminated in the first ever cancelled One Direction Concert, and that was the final shock of a tour that had already seen Zayn flounce, the end of Elounor and Zerrie, and a pregnant girl named Briana. And that it was Liam who faltered at the end was all the more un-nerving because he has been unwavering for five long years. There was a reason he was dubbed Daddy Direction way back at the beginning, because he was seen as the strong one. But perhaps in a way, his failure at the end was a poetic way to rap up a long, long road.
And on top of all that - the Hiatus was looming over everything. And nobody really knows what the future is going to bring. For with this tour over, there may never be another.
The time period covered here is Sept. 24 thru Halloween. There were 25 shows. Instead of doing one night stands in giant stadiums, they played multiple nights at smaller venues, making it hard for them to go back to their homes between shows.
By the end, it wasn't just the boys who were exhausted. So was the fandom. And me. Me too.
The focus for this recap will be London, Belfast, and the final show in Sheffield which was the emotional, and sentimental conclusion.
Recapping The Recap
Part One - Setting the Stage
Part Two - Australia
Part Three - Japan
Part Four - The Last Breath Before The Fall
Part Five The Phoenix On Fire
Part Six - The Phoenix In Ashes
Part Seven - OT4 Take Flight
Part Eight - Clean Living
Part Nine - Dirty Secrets
Part Ten - A Summertime Ball
Part Eleven - Fourth of July
Part Twelve - #Real Music
Part Thirteen - Birthdays and Broken Legs
So, here we go...
Sept 24 thru 30 - London - The Bump
The last leg began at home in London for a six night stint at the O2 Arena. Lots of people think that the main thing that happened was that there were some stuffed animals at the concert. LOL. But remember, I promised early on that this recap was stuffed animal free, because in my opinion... not that important.
The most interesting thing that happened during the six night stint was the presence of Briana Jungwirth.
So let's do a recap within the recap of Briana's life, since the news broke that she was having Louis' baby. Prior to her appearance in London, she had only been papped twice in her home town of Calabasas..
<--First she was papped at a gas station, around the time the pregnancy was leaked in July.
<--On August 5th, she was papped at a Passport office. I guess that passport came in handy. At the time, she was about three months along.
And that's the extent of it.
For the fandom, the analysis of these pictures was intense, most of it centering on "the bump", because there is a large segment of the fandom - you know which one - who is dead set upon proving that Briana's pregnancy is fake. So there was much ridiculous fandom speculation, and fake pregnancy expertise going around with the aim of disproving this whole thing... Anyway...
Briana was at all six London shows, where she hung out with Louis' family.
My thoughts about this at the time was that this seemed like a lovely and supportive gesture. Both for Briana to be there in the face of all the fandom hate that she gets, and on the part of the Tomlinson's to look after her while she was there.
But after the last night in London, Louis pretty much turned that impression on it's head. Louis, along with Liam and Niall, went to a London club called Circ du Soir. Sophia was there with Liam, but Briana most definetly was not there with Louis.
Sept 30 - London - Louis papped leaving Night Club with a van full of girls...
<-- Louis is not with Briana! Message received.
Also, to provide some context for later in the month, Liam and Sophia still seemed like they were a very strong couple that night at the Circ du Soir.
<-- Yup, still cute.
As for Briana, she returned to California after these six shows, where she has been papped only once since...
<--Nov 3 - Briana was papped out and about in Calabasas. She was about seven months pregnant by then.
Oct 5 - Manchester - Fight! (No Not Really...)
Leaving the drama aside for a moment, there was some hilarity mid tour revolving around Lilo's play fighting on stage. Their play fighting has been the highlight of many a gig going back to the European leg of the tour.
This particular exchange was caught on film:
The hilarity was that this led to a situation where actual tabloids were posting actual articles about Lilo's body language which suggested that Liam may have been slightly annoyed with Louis after being grabbed in the crotch.
Imagine the headlines. Boybander slightly annoyed over attempted crotch grab. Actual tabloids printed actual articles about this. LOL.
<--Lilo's adorable response on Instagram.
So ends the humerous aside... :(
Oct. 18 - Dublin - Something's Not Right
As I showed above, Sophiam seemed to still be going strong in London. Sophia had been a presense on this tour through the entire Summer, and even back in the Spring when all the Zayn drama was going on. So, on the surface, everthing seemed fine.
But I guess appearances can be deceiving. Below are the last pap pictures taken of the couple together. Liam looks so beaten down and bent over in these pics. I thought at the time that something looked wrong.
I guess I was right.
They played three nights in Dublin before moving to Belfast, with a one day break between. I guess it wasn't a pleasant break for Liam. But the fandom was unprepared for what happened next.
Oct 20 - Belfast - The Crash
Oct. 20 was supposed to be the first night of a three night stand in Belfast. And it started out just fine. The opening videos played. The opening act played. And all the build up to the boy's entrance was played as well...
But the boys did not come out.
Instead, an announcer came out on stage, like a sacrificial lamb to announce that Liam had taken ill, and that One Direction would not come out on stage.
Having been to three shows, I can't tell you how keyed up and hyped you are waiting for the boys to hit the stage. Especially after the opening act has finished. I can't imagine what it would have been like to be in that atmosphere, and right at the last moment, it all goes up in smoke. It must have been devastating.
Harry, Niall and Louis all tweeted appropriate apolegetic tweets that night. But all night long, and into the next day the fandom was going nuts worrying about Liam. #GetWellSoonLiam trended on Twitter for hours. There were rumors that he had been taken to hospital. And of course so much worry about whether the show scheduled for the 21st would happen or not because nobody knew how serious Liam's illness was.
The next day, Harry, Niall and Louis did an interview, but left it very vague in regards to what exactly happened. And the nature of the illness was not specifically explained. It was attributed to "stomach problems".
On the afternoon of the 21st, 1DHQ announced that Liam was better, and that the cancelled show was rescheduled for Oct 23, and that all tickets would be honored. (They actually kicked a hockey game out of that arena to accomodate the rescheduled show.) So, now all of a sudden, everything was OK again. Liam hadn't been hospitalized, and was apparently on his feet again and just fine.
Before the concert on the 21st, he broke his silence, with a massive apology on Twitter.
"I'm so sorry to everybody I disappointed last night. I'm feeling better now. I really hope everyone can make the rescheduled date on Friday. Thank you so much for all the trends and lovely messages you guys did for me it really shows how amazing u(sic) guys actually are. As I said I'm feeling much better now and I really can't wait to perform and make it up to everyone later".
And so the show went on.
<-- He may have been a little flustered
<-- But was generally OK on the 21st.
This left the fandom to speculate as to what exactly about "stomach problems" had kept Liam from performing the night before. The man had been on stage with a broken arm and a sprained ankle, and through all kinds of colds and flu-like symptoms. Liam loves being on that stage. So what was so serious that it cancelled a show, but left him fine to perform the next day? These were the questions that were raising suspicions amongst the fans...
And of course the Tabloids had their say too. The headline on The Sun on the 21st was "Fame Made Liam Payne Ill". According to the Sun's "insiders", Liam essentailly had a "complete meltdown" backstage just before concert time.
We know that these boys were under pressure. We know that they were exhausted and stressed and had been for many months.
But we will never know what actually happened on the night of the 20th. I personally think that a panic attack of some kind is plausible. Especially in light the news that was about to surface...
Oct 25 - The Last Ship
On Oct. 25, the announcement was made that Liam and Sophia had broken up. It seemed very abrupt, and Liam seemed to be genuinely heartbroken.
He even said so at the first Newcastle concert.
And thus for the first time ever, all five members of One Direction were publicly single. The tour began with three long term relationships, and by the end, they were all over.
(Though, at the moment Niall seems to be dating Selena Gomez, Zayn seems to be dating Gigi Hadid, and Louis is hanging out in Chicago, one suburb to my East, with the actress who plays Davina on The Originals, while Briana is due to deliver his child in a few weeks. So, LOL, the fandom had that dream of five single boys for a couple of months anyway... )
Oct 31 - The Last Show
And so, we finally come to the last show of the tour, in Sheffield, England, on Halloween. To think that the tour had begun all the way back on Feb 7. It was a rough road indeed. The band was down a member, and three girlfriends, and had suffered their first and only cancelled show.
And the future was uncertain. The Hiatus was looming.
In that light, all of the boy's families came to Sheffield to support them for this final show of the tour (or ever, because we don't at this point know what the future is going to bring,or if 1D will ever tour again, even though all of them have promised.)
The Sheffield concert may, or may not have been the end of One Direction, but is certainly was the end of an era.
At the end, all the boys hugging one another, and that is how I will end this recap.
< -- Narry hugged.
<-- Lirry hugged.
<-- Niam hugged.
<-- Nouis hugged
<-- Lilo hugged.
<-- And yes, after all this time, even Larry hugged. Awwww.
and thus it was done. And so am I. Like the boys, I NEED A BREAK!!!! I need some time to relax with family, and maybe work on some side projects. But not to worry, it's just going to be a temporary hiatus! Don't take this to mean I'm going solo.
And, I have one more part to write, sort of an aftermath. I just may not do it until after the New Year. And then it will be on to new things!