The One Direction star from Mullingar proved he really is an artist on his own, giving the sold out 3Arena in Dublin a taste of the world famous performer he is becoming.
Last night was Niall Horan's first ever solo gig in the 3Arena with not an empty seat in sight. Coming out on stage in blue jeans, a white t-shirt and his guitar slung around his shoulder, the Mullingar boy was all smiles as he acknowledged the sea of screaming (mostly) teenage girls. Without saying anything he goes straight into playing 'She's on the Loose,' from his album Flicker. In an attempt to calm the crowd who are going absolutely ballistic, he begins his slower set of the three songs; 'You and Me,' 'This Town,' and 'Paper House.'
"Dublin, I'm home," he shouts, sending the crowd wild again. You can really tell that he is genuinely humbled and shocked at the turn out and support being received on the night telling the crowd that he has played here numerous times before but never as a solo artist and that tonight was a very special night for him.
The stage is simple, not too many lights, no back drops and no setting other than some old granny rugs underneath the all Irish band. Proving he truly is a multi-talented musician, he puts his guitar down and walks over to the piano where he apologises for his 'rusty key skills,' before playing 'Why Did It Take So Long.'
To begin with, I thought his outfit of jeans and a white t were to reflect his modesty and comfort of feeling 'at home', but it gradually worked it's way into the set of the night as he played a cover of Bruce Springsteen's 'Dancing in the Dark' along with Thin Lizzy's 'Dancing in the Moonlight,' both demonstrating his strong vocal abilities.
Irish singer and song writer Ruth-Anne Cunningham who is most famous for writing tracks such as Britney Spear's 'Work Bitch,' One Direction's 'No Control' and JoJo's 'Too Little Too Late,' joined Niall on stage to help him out in the song she co-wrote; 'Slow Hands,' as well as singing their latest country rock ballad 'Seeing Blind.'
The energy was high for the whole night with multiple intervals of interaction with the crowd as well as a big wave to his own Mammy Maura, who was there in the crowd. But the big surprise was when he came out for the final encore, evidently feeling more confident than when he started, blasting out One Directions song 'Drag Me Down.'
It's definitely clear that this is Niall's first solo gig as there wasn't enough there to entertain a full 3Arena gig like some of the usual expected gigs, however he's certainly learning fast and proving himself. You can tell that he is trying to ween away from the pop star image and pave a new path for himself in country rock music, which would probably work well for him. At the rate he's going, by the time he returns to the 3Arena on March 29th, we reckon he might have mastered it all.
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