Written by: Nicole Chedraoui
As a lover of all things music, it breaks my heart seeing all these amazing singers’ concerts get cancelled in lieu of the pandemic, for it seems as though right now we need music more than ever to bring us together. So you can imagine how ecstatic the media was when they heard word of the first ever virtual concert being held by none other than the Irish legend himself, Mr. Niall Horan. Performing live at the Royal Albert Hall in the great city of London, Niall Horan made history being the first ever performer to host such a wide-scale virtual performance event, and with tons of success no less. The global event accommodated all time zones, with four separate live streams of live music, performing for nearly 70 minutes straight. Since it was first announced, fans of the talented singer rushed to their laptops hastily buying the $20 dollar tickets, totaling 125,000 tickets sold and viewership from over 151 countries. This event hosted more viewers than Niall had ever had at any stadium concerts ever, and the man was in the biggest boy band in the world, so that’s saying something.
With nearly 2 or 3 people projected to be watching with every ticket sold, there were an estimated 400,000 people tuning into the stream, which is exactly the size of six Wembley stadiums in one. However on several occasions Horan has expressed that he isn’t actually in fact keeping the profit he makes out of this live concert; no, all of the ticket and merchandise proceeds will be going towards charitable causes that will see the money is directed to his touring crew who’ve been left high and dry by the cancellation of live music. Many are struggling to feed and support their families as Horan watched it happen, and he states to this day that is truly his reasoning behind hosting such a large scale event, to help out his crew, or as he called them, his family.
From the very second the show began, Horan exemplified such a natural up-beat energy and charisma that was big enough to fill the void of the absence of screaming fans. The historical venue was pristinely glamorous, for even though none of us were really there, the lighting and set crew really went all out with the theatrics that you would see at any other in-person show. Songs were angelically sung from not just his new album Heartbreak Weather, but also his first-ever solo album Flicker. Performing a mix of his heartbreaking ballads to his iconic fast tempo anthems, Horan really had his viewers on the verge of tears from his raw and vulnerable voice all the way to bouncing around the room like a maniac. However what truly brought this concert to the next level was the guest appearance of Ashe, or you may know her as the singer of the hit chart single, Moral of the Story.
On November 7th, Horan broadcasted an unexpected Instagram live stream from the presence of the Royal Albert concert hall. In just nearly 5 minutes, he had over 167,000 viewers and decided it was time to make the ground announcement. He finally announced that the guest singer who would be performing alongside him at the concert was none other than the Northern California resident Ashe, who had quarantined for two weeks and endured multiple Covid tests in order to perform that night in the London stadium. The top 40’s song was performed for the first time live that night, and in my opinion, it sounded even better live than it did on the radio. The two are the exact definition of best friend goals, and just in case you missed that earth-shattering performance, you can find videos on YouTube–thank me later.
While at first this pandemic presented itself as a two-week lockdown, it has now become a necessary lifestyle. With live concert venues being closed down for at least another year, this live performance was the closest we will ever get, and have ever gotten to live music. In some ways it seems almost better, for there is no screaming over the singer, and you can truly hear the clarity and emotion in the lyrics, as well as not having to deal with the crowds and parking fiasco that is PNC. Niall and his crew confessed they were proud to be the artists that pioneered this trend, for he believes many, many, singers will follow in his footsteps and broadcast their performances into these empty stadiums. So fear not if you missed this virtual concert experience, I would bet money there will be many more events like it being held in the future. However, if you are as in love with Niall’s heavenly vocals as I am, someone did God’s work and screen recorded the whole 70 minutes and posted it to YouTube for all of our viewing pleasures.
As a longtime fan, I think I speak for everybody when I say it’s a good day to be a Niall Horan stan.