BY JILLIAN NOWACK
To celebrate his birthday and raise money for concert crews and the Trussell Trust Foundation, which could not hold their own shows due to COVID-19, previous One Direction member Liam Payne held his second virtual concert featuring special guest Mae Miller on Aug. 29.
Payne had sold over 15,000 tickets to his interactive show which aired on VEEP, the official website for the HBO TV series. He made his ticket prices optional, starting at $10 a ticket; however, fans were able to donate as much additional money as they wanted, essentially allowing them to choose the price of their ticket. This was a great way to offer tickets because they were not that expensive from the start and it gave people an option on how much they were willing to donate.
Payne opened his show with his 2017 hit single “Get Low” featuring Zedd. “Get Low” is a highly energetic tune and one of his first-ever solo songs, so it felt fitting for Payne to begin the concert with it.
The concert was captivating as it included Zoom calls, giveaways, live questions and pre-recorded happy birthday messages from Payne’s fans, family members and friends in addition to the incredible music. One of the exciting guests that wished Payne a happy birthday was former band mate Niall Horan. This was one of best parts of the concert due to the fact that it showed how the two are still in touch and great friends.
For the Zoom meetings, Payne had 20 lucky fans join the call that was then broadcasted across the screen for everyone to see. One of Payne’s friends that was on the set with him held up a dart board for Payne to throw a dart at, and whichever number he landed on would be the fan that got to ask a question and chat with Payne.
During the show, Payne switched back and forth between a couple different sets. One of these was an amazing LED light set where he carried out most of his performances. The other set Payne utilized looked more like a lounge with games, couches and drinks. This is where he interacted with his fans and chilled out for a little while. I thought this was a great way to separate the music from the fan interactions because the LED light set looked very much like an actual stage and it could have been intimidating for some fans to ask questions, whereas the lounge area created a comfortable and homey feel to the set.
As for the music, Payne sang a total of 14 songs, which included some of his best hits, such as “Strip That Down” and his latest single “Midnight” featuring Alesso. He also included four One Direction songs such as “Drag Me Down,” “Night Changes,” “What a Feeling” and “Best Song Ever.”
It was unexpected and heartwarming to see Payne choose to sing some One Direction songs because it felt like a tribute to One Direction’s 10 year anniversary that occurred this past July.
As Payne’s concert came to a close, he sang his hit single “Polaroid” featuring Jonas Blue and Lennon Stella. Payne ended on an energetic note with this song. His concert was a huge hit, and he was able to raise a great deal of money for the charity and concert crews. This show was definitely a treat, and Payne recently announced that he will be having his next virtual concert on Oct. 31 to celebrate Halloween with special guest Tom Felton who is best known for playing Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter franchise.