Deafening screams, fizzy boy-band hits: OMG it's 1D in Philly!

One Direction in concert, from left to right, Zayn Malik, Harry Styles , Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne and Niall Horan ( HANDOUT / HANDOUT )
One Direction in concert, from left to right, Zayn Malik, Harry Styles , Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne and Niall Horan ( HANDOUT / HANDOUT )
Posted: June 26, 2013

Piercing, dizzying, cat-like yowls and screeches. Hand-made posters draped with flashing Christmas lights held up by tireless young arms. Thousands raised from their seats with cheering mouths, singing and flailing away - it had to be a boy band.

And it was.

One Direction hit the Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday, drawing a crowd of many who had purchased tickets a year in advance - this show was sold out before 1D played the Susquehanna Bank Center in May 2012.

The London-based, 19- to 21-year-old pop band - Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson - were modestly dressed in tee-shirts and jeans.

Over nearly two hours the quintet played 22 songs. They had the house jumping and singing to upbeat pop tunes, hit singles like "One Thing," "What Makes You Beautiful," "Live While We're Young" and "Up All Night," but showed their sensitive side, too, with slower songs like "Over Again" and "Little Things."

During "Moments," a heartstring-tugging song about a boy coping with the loss of a girl he loves, the group glided on a suspended stage above the crowd, moving to a smaller stage in the center of the arena, then floating all the way to the back.

An eclectic mix of other favorites made the set list too, such as Blondie's "One Way or Another," Wheatus' "Teenage Dirtbag" and the rapped introduction from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (to show a little Philly love).

Many people paid a pretty price for those 22 songs, including two Plymouth Meeting moms and their daughters. Tammy Marchozzi (Nicole, 15) and Maureen Malason (Colleen, 15) spent $250 for each of their four tickets.

"They're not great seats at all," Marchozzi said.

Christy Weikel and her 14-year-old daughter, Jenna, in the same group, managed to get a pair of tickets a week after they went on sale. "It was easy for me," Weikel said.

Why? It made their daughters happy.

"They just want to get in there," Marchozzi said.

"That's all she wanted for Christmas," Malason added.

The madness didn't stop there.

Do I hear $400?

$500?

$750?

The price was even higher for Brooklyn natives Anna Capua and her daughter Juliana, 14, who came from Staten Island.

The mother-daughter duo with matching black tank tops, and glamorous silver-and-chrome eye make-up bought their tickets in December on StubHub - for $1,000 apiece.

That got them to the front row of section 114, close to the stage.

"She's a really good girl. She tries very hard in school - she does very well," said Capua. "She never asks for anything, her entire life."

For the crowd, there were two main dress codes. There was the Michael's craft store look - cotton short-sleeve tees decorated with puffy paint. The plastic-beaded fringes and bandanna headbands made for a sort of updated Woodstock look. Others wore a New Age adaptation of a '70s-'90s mix - high-waisted Levi shorts with a bralette cutoff tank and string bracelets stacked up the arm.

Fans, called "Directioners," stayed connected to 1D throughout the night - for what would a concert in 2013 be without a little social media? On a video screen the band took three questions from Twitter.

What were their favorite pizza toppings? (Harry: sweet corn and chicken). And a request for the band to do "The Harlem Shake" - which they did.

Directioner @Gillian_Sauter asked: "If you had a pet unicorn, what would u name it and why?"

The band spotted her in the crowd and thanked her for the question.

"omg you're so lucky!" another fan tweeted her back Wednesday morning.

"I would've cried!"


Contact Allie Caren at 215-854-2301 or acaren@philly.com.

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