One Direction's headlining gig Monday night at Madison Square Garden, the British boy band's first, was less of a proper concert and more of a victory lap from a banner year. A 90-minute plus set of the boys singing their hits as well as fan favorites like "Tell Me A Lie," "Kiss You" and "Save You Tonight," the show felt "almost like the biggest showcase you've ever been to last night," Rob Stringer, chairman-CEO of Columbia Records said the morning after.
The show also doubled as a prelude to One Direction's fan convention in New Jersey Tuesday, where fans from more than 35 countries around the world were flown in as part of a Golden Ticket package. To those fans as well as the thousands of screaming girls from all over the tri-state area, Monday's show was as intimate as a sold-out gig at Madison Square Garden could get. The low-key stage was outfitted with an extensive runway that allowed the boys to high-five the crowd and serenade fans directly from all corners. Harry, Liam, Louis, Zayn and Niall even sat down at the stage's edge at one point to sing "Little Things," their current, acoustic single -- complete with co-writer Ed Sheeran, who also opened the show.