The Flicker World Tour makes a stop at The Greek Theatre in LA for an unforgettable night 

Since the beginning of March, Niall Horan has been hitting the road with his first ever solo world tour. Currently in America, the Irish singer-songwriter comes to meet his fans following the success of his debut LP « Flicker » released in October 2017. You’ve missed the show? You want to relive a memorable night? You’re eager to know what to expect from an upcoming date of the « Flicker World Tour »?  On The Move was at The Greek Theatre yesterday in Los Angeles and we give you all the details!

Who would have thought, at the time of One Direction, that Niall was going to headline his own world tour?

The Irish part of the quintet was frequently labelled as the shyest one. But you just have to see him live to realize that was jumping to a false conclusion.
Yes, Niall Horan’s music is characterized by a smooth yet catchy folk sound. Yes, the man carries around an elegant modesty but God knows there can be a lot of charm in being reserved and we witnessed it in real life. The mythical venue was full and people were eagerly waiting for the singer to finally appear on stage.

While Niall was getting ready, the country artist Maren Morris decided to offer a very good introduction to the show by showcasing her divine vocals on different tracks from her repertoire including « Hero », « My Church » and of course her latest hit « The Middle » with Zedd and Grey. If you’re not familiar with Maren Morris we highly suggest that you dig into her music, she is as good live as she is on the record!

The fans are starting to loose it when Niall Horan finally appears on stage and what’s the best song to start the night on an already suffocating venue than the groovy « On The Loose »? The fans – on the loose themselves – shout the lyrics as one, and won’t cease to sing along for the entire set. A bright start that Niall Horan doesn’t allow to fade away by carrying on with the catchy « The Tide ».

Between songs, Niall Horan let his fans know that he’s been dreaming of performing at The Greek for many years after seeing some of his favorite bands on this same stage. After throwing some jokes and thanking his fans for their dedication Niall Horan takes on a softer side with « This Town », the track that revealed him as a solo artist. Whether it is ardent or vulnerable, emotion is running through every song performed as in the charming « Paper Houses ». In « You and Me », charm mingles with confidence, shining through the deep vocals of the artist.

Being confident is what you also need when you tackle a Bruce Springsteen’s song like « Dancing in the Dark ». Niall covers it with no pretentiousness and most of all, brilliantly ! « You can’t start a fire without a spark » the song says… And that special spark, Niall definitely has it! Master of his favorite instrument and comfortable in occupying the whole stage, there is no doubt that Niall belongs where he is standing right now.

On « Seeing Blind », Niall invited Maren Morris to come back on stage to perform the song with him and we love the musical chemistry between those two.

The fire soothes a bit on « Too Much To Ask », « Flicker » and « Fool’s Gold », the last one being drawn from One Direction’s discography. It becomes very difficult to channel the public’s fervor even though the artist asks to put phones away and enjoy the silence on « Flicker ». Excitement eventually fades away for a second and the moment feels like a beautiful respiration in the course of this show.

On « So Long », it is time for Niall Horan to shine a bit differently, in front of a piano. He leaves us thinking he should play it way more often before singing the charming « Since We’re Alone », opening a space of intimacy.

Another languorous song « Fire Away » is playing and violins twirl around before one pop anthem you can’t resist. Niall Horan covers Tom Petty’s « I Won’t Back Down » and gradually leads us towards a flamboyant grand finale. Indeed, as the show unravels, the energy doesn’t cease to increase especially while he’s playing « Drag Me Down » by One Direction which clearly electrified the crowd. It was almost too predictable but the reference to his early career as one of the members of the band feels nice to remember, and fair-play to emphasize.

As a goodbye, Niall Horan chooses his hit « Slow Hands ». On this song, Niall leaves his guitar aside and becomes a true performer. Going from one end of the stage to the other, he goes for a few dance moves and comes to meet his public.

If we learned something about Niall Horan tonight, it is clearly that his apparent calm and supposed timidity actually hide a true energy and a delicate self- confidence. In front of a public that sometimes comes very close to hysteria, Niall Horan doesn’t lose himself and delivers an honest, generous and playful show. The jump from studio to live is totally convincing thanks to simple, solid arrangements and even some surprising reinterpretations of his own songs or songs of artists that particularly inspire him. Then, if the audience at The Greek was clearly won over from the very beginning, the rare people that were left to convince are charmed as well!

 

Pam Charbit & Coraline Blaise