One Direction has what it takes at MetLife Stadium

One Direction during their concert at MetLife Stadium

One Direction during their concert at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford on Aug. 4, 2014. (Credit: Calvin Aurand)

Glenn Gamboa

Newsday columnist Glenn Gamboa Glenn Gamboa

Glenn Gamboa writes about music for Newsday.

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One Direction has charted a new, entertaining course that could lead them to longevity.

The U.K. sensation isn't a conventional boy band. Yes, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson do actually sing, often quite well. However, they don't really do any of the other things boy bands do -- no synchronized dance moves, no actual harmonies, no instrument-playing, aside from Horan's guitarwork. Oh, wait, they do one other thing boy bands do: They make girls scream.

The screaming at MetLife Stadium Monday night was basically a show unto itself, often as palpable as the booming bass. "You're so good at screaming," Styles encouraged the crowd at one point. (One Direction returns for another show Tuesday night.)

However, it seems clear that the lads are getting ready for a time when the screaming won't come merely from walking down a long catwalk and pointing and waving.

The middle of their 105-minute set was packed with poppy, guitar-driven songs like "Right Now," "Happily" and their hit, "Little Things," that could prove to be their musical sweet spot.

As fun and fizzy as "One Thing" and "Kiss You" are, with their shout-along choruses, the more rock-oriented songs have a better chance of aging gracefully.

Not that the 20-somethings really have anything to worry about for a while, especially when the crowd can carry entire songs on their own.

"This is my favorite show of the tour so far," said Payne, to a huge ovation that showed how believable the band still is.