Backstage Pass

Music, concerts, musicians and more.

One Direction storms into Jones Beach

From left, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Harry Styles,

From left, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Zayn Malik and Niall Horan of One Direction perform at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan. Friday night they took their talents to Nikon at Jones Beach Theater. (Dec. 7, 2012) (Credit: Getty Images)

Never underestimate the power of catchy pop songs, cute boys and teenage hormones.

That combination was far more responsible for turning One Direction's two-hour show Friday night -- the first of two sold-out ones at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater -- into something extraordinary than the U.K. sensations themselves.

Granted, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson are nice enough lads and they all can certainly sing. However, they generally don't sing in harmony. They sing in unison. They don't do synchronized dance moves, preferring to walk around the stage, waving at fans and jokingly bumping into each other, when they're not sitting down.

One Direction's show is that extremely rare one where the performers sit down more than the audience. There was a point in the ballad-heavy middle where they sat for four of five songs, leaving it to the crowd to keep the energy up, which they happily did. It's an odd phenomenon.

One Direction is less like a traditional boy band and more like a pop-rock band with five lead singers. They were at their best and seemed happiest when Horan was on guitar and they rocked out to "Rock Me" or their impressive covers of Blondie's "One Way or Another" and, surprisingly, the full version of The Undertones' "Teenage Kicks," which Styles particularly sold well. They offered a special shout-out to Wheatus before doing the Northport band's hit "Teenage Dirtbag."

All the adulation becomes understandable when the group sinks its teeth into the sweet pop of "I Would" or their current single "Kiss You," especially when Malik starts showing off his soulful vocal range. They are certainly likable entertainers, answering Twitter questions and showing off their Long Island accents.

"We know tickets [for tonight] went on sale over a year ago," Horan said. "Thank you for being patient . . . We hope we did you justice."

Tags: One Direction , Niall Horan , Zayn Malik , Liam Payne , Harry Styles , Louis Tomlinson , Wheatus

advertisement | advertise on newsday

@ndmusic

Follow Newsday music writer Glenn Gamboa for the latest from pop's biggest voices.
Twitter | Blog

Follow Newsday Entertainment

advertisement | advertise on newsday