Our team was on the scene at Niall’s latest concert stop. Here’s our show review!
Niall Horan is incredibly special to me. I’m fiercely supportive of his career: with One Direction, his solo projects, and even his ventures in the golf world (which I don’t understand at ALL but try to nod along enthusiastically to.) So of course, last night I returned to the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey — where I had just seen 5 Seconds of Summer perform the night before — to take in the singer’s latest stop on the Flicker World Tour.
The show opened with a beautiful set by Maren Morris, who showed off her powerful voice and cross pop-country range. In one heartwarming moment, she thanked Niall’s fans for embracing her music while out on this global tour, sharing that she’s a big 1D fan herself. (!!!) She got the entire venue on its feet performing the smash-hit that “changed her life this year,” — “The Middle.”
Niall hit the stage soon after, and lit up the entire ampitheater with his geuninely radiant smile and the first notes of his acoustic tunes. Throughout his set, he performed his most emotional AND upbeat songs off the “Flicker” album, like “Slow Hands,” “Too Much To Ask,” and “On the Loose.” Maren joined him back on the stage to perform their song “Seeing Blind” together, and it combined the best of their voices and friendship.
Because he was in New Jersey, he added in a Bruce Springsteen cover: “Dancing In the Dark.” He did a really great job, and the dads in the audience were super impressed. Joking, joking. Who am I kidding, I was too. Everyone loves a nostalgic Springsteen tune!
As I’ve seen him do before, Niall seemed absolutely stunned that the entire audience was there to see him. Yes, we would go to see him with One Direction. Yes, we’d proudly support him at shows like Jingle Ball or other radio concerts, where he performs alongside other top acts in the industry. But yes, a packed arena will gladly come to see just him, singing along with him the songs he wrote himself.
When he got ready to play “Flicker,” Niall shared it was one of his most personal songs — yet easiest to write. He marveled how fans have been able to transform his title track into a song that reflects their own experiences.
One of my favorite highlights of the show was Niall performing “Finally Free,” the song that’s featured in the upcoming animated movie, “Smallfoot.”
This movie will be coming out on September 28 — and the voice cast features a ton of great stars like Zendaya, Yara Shahidi, Gina Rodriguez, and more — so you bet I’ll be watching it!
I also loved Niall’s performance of “This Town.” After all, this really was the single that started it all in terms of Solo Niall, and it will always have a special place in my heart.
And even though I’m all about Niall’s solo work, it’s always incredible to see him honor his One Direction roots. Which is why I (and pretty much the entire crowd) went wild when he worked a couple 1D tracks into his set.
For this NJ show, Niall performed “Fool’s Gold” and “Drag Me Down,” which is a SOLID selection. While I’d love him to go on for hours, filling the 1000+ day void 1D left us with, I was really pleased with these two tracks.
Judging by the volume of screams and enthusiastic sing-alongs from the crowd, I think everyone agreed!
Written by Kristine Hope Kowalski