“I’m from a small town called Bradford,” said an “overwhelmed” Zayn Malik as he addressed more than 20,000 Directioners. “And let me tell you, things like this do not happen to boys like me.”
For Malik and his bandmates — Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson — the past two years have been a whirlwind ride, as they went from X Factor castoffs to one of the biggest pop groups on the planet. And that was something the lads didn’t let their audience forget.
“This is a dream of mine to play this venue,” said an emotional Horan. “And to say hello to New York City is absolutely incredible.”
But sappy sentiments weren’t the only things the boys had to offer. In fact, 1D’s hour-and-a-half set was jam-packed with hits off their debut album Up All Night and a few choice singles from their sophomore release — which also debuted at No. 1 — Take Me Home. Here are Celebuzz’s top five OMG moments from One Direction’s MSG set.
1. Taylor Swift supports her man, Harry Styles.
Before Ed Sheeran kicked off his opening set, Styles rumored new girlfriend, country-pop superstar Taylor Swift, made quite the entrance at MSG. When Swift, 22, entered the arena, she sent thousands of tween fans into a screaming frenzy. Some were supportive of the couple’s newfound romance, and other were Haylor haters. The singer-songwriter later joined One Direction at the MSG after-party, where she and Styles were spotted enjoying a night of karaoke.
Danielle Peazer (Payne’s girlfriend), Perrie Edwards (Malik’s girlfriend) and Eleanor Calder (Tomlinson’s girlfriend) were also in attendance, showing support for their boys alongside their friends and family. “I’m a little nervous,” said Payne. “Both my sisters and my mum are in the audience.”
2. Ed Sheeran opens for 1D.
It was the concert’s worst-kept secret, but when Ed Sheeran walked out onstage, fans went crazy for the red-haired singer-songwriter. Sheeran’s surprise four-song set — “Give Me Love,” “Lego House,” “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You” and “The A Team” — was a strong showing for the fellow Brit, who penned two tracks off One Direction’s latest album, including current single “Little Things.”
“My dad always said, ‘You know you made it when you play MSG,'” Sheeran told the crowd. “I’m so happy to be sharing this moment with the boys. Thank you for singing, thank you for jumping.”
Before ending his set with his hit single “The A Team,” the clearly emotional singer asked the audience to hold up their glowing phone screens in the air. “I want to see a sea of lights!” he said, before snapping a photo. Sheeran also joined the lads onstage for their performance of “Little Things.” He chimed in alongside his close friend Styles, before giving each one of the boys a congratulatory hugs.
3. One Direction covers Wheatus’ “Teenage Dirtbag.”
Who knew One Direction had indie cred? Three songs into their headlining set, the boys covered Wheatus’ one-hit-wonder “Teenage Dirtbag.” Horan even pulled out his guitar for the performance, as he took the lead on the second verse.
However, it was Styles who seemed to be enjoying himself the most during the indie-rock jam. Perhaps it was a message to his new lady love Swift? Or maybe the lads are just fans of 1999’s American Pie.
Regardless, Wheatus seemed appreciative of 1D’s cover. “Once again, Very happy 1D covered our song at MSG tonight,” the band wrote on their official YouTube. “Thanks for all the kind words Directioners. Safe travels.”
4. Styles lives up to his “Ladies Man” reputation.
During their encore performance of their hit “What Makes You Beautiful,” one overeager fan threw a bra onstage — much to Styles’ amusement. Of course, this isn’t the first undergarment that’s been tossed at the boys, but Styles still ran around with it onstage before throwing it in the air among a cascade of confetti and balloons.
Horan called the evening “the best night of our lives.” No doubt thousands of tween and teen girls agreed completely.
5. One Direction tap into their animalistic sides.
“What would you do if a chicken attacked you? Please demonstrate,” read one of the fan-submitted Twitter questions the lads projected onscreen mid-way through their set.
Payne took on the role of the chicken, running around the stage confronting his bandmates. As it turns out, Tomlinson would cook the bird, while Horan would punch the fowl in the face.
Other requests had the boys impersonating New York City cab drivers — Malik took that one, doing his best NYC tough guy accent to the delight of his teenage fans — and taking part in a contest to see who could jump the highest. It was a close call between Horan and Styles, but ultimately, the band’s smallest (and most limber) member — Horan — won.
But perhaps the biggest crowd pleaser came when one fan tweeted, “If you were an animal, what would you be and what would your mating call sound like?”
Styles’ response? “Hello, I’m the real Liam Payne. Nice to meet you.”
One Direction’s MSG Set List:
“UP ALL NIGHT”
“NA NA NA”
“TEENAGE DIRTBAG (COVER)”
“GOTTA BE YOU”
“MORE THAN THIS”
“LIVE WHILE WE’RE YOUNG”
“TELL ME A LIE”
“EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU”
“SAVE YOU TONIGHT”
“WHAT MAKES YOU BEAUTIFUL”
Below, see One Direction jump into the crowd at MSG.