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What I Learned By Taking My 10-Year-Old Sister to See One Direction and 5 Seconds of Summer

Music is the best when you just fucking listen and embrace the moment.
September 21, 2014, 5:23pm

Photos of One Direction and 5 Seconds of Summer via Facebook

“You and your sister are going to tonight’s One Direction concert.” What I assumed to be a joke from my mom ended up being true, as her, my sister Jaida and I drove to the 5 Seconds of Summer and One Direction concert in El Paso, Texas.

Traveling to the Sun Bowl Stadium, where the concert occurred, was overwhelming. The closer we got to it, the more chaotic the situation became. Anxious boys and girls were pulling their unenthused parents across busy streets. Teenage girls wearing “Mrs. Styles” T-shirts and taking group selfies, and, there I was, the older brother accompanying his 10 year-old sister to her first concert ever.

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The closer we got to the stadium the more we could hear the screams. The screams. I have never been to a concert where the group’s core fanbase is made up of children and teenagers. Have you seen that episode of "Bob’s Burgers" where Louise accompanies Tina to the Boyz 4 Now concert, and there are teenagers running rampant and throwing up? This is exactly what it was like (minus the throwing up).

By the time I purchased a beer and entered the stadium, 5 Seconds of Summer were beginning their performance. Here's how the evening went down, exchange-by-exchange between my sister and I.

5 Seconds of Summer

Elijah:

5 Seconds of Summer might be my new favorite band. Three songs in and they are evoking feelings I had when I first heard Blink-182 and Taking Back Sunday. I want to pull pranks and mix slurpee flavors together, while being passive aggressive towards my friends that do not have me in their Myspace top eight.

Jaida:

Who is Blink-182 and Taking Back Sunday?

Elijah:

You just killed my vibe, dude. Are you into [5 Seconds of Summer]?

Jaida:

They are all right. I am going to text my friends and ask them where they are at.

Elijah:

Ok.

*The band goes into “Amnesia”*

Elijah: 5 SECONDS OF SUMMER MADE THIS SONG? THIS IS THE SONG I ALWAYS HEAR ON THE RADIO?
Jaida: You did not know 5 Seconds of Summer made “Amnesia”?
Elijah: No. I used to hate it but now I kind of like this song. Before, “Amnesia” came across as too pitiful. “I wish that I could wake up with amnesia”? For real, Luke Hemmings? Who is the Australian girl that broke your heart? I change the radio station every time this song comes on. But now I get it, I think. Like when my dude Adam Lazzara said “And with my one last gasping breath / I’d apologize for bleeding on your shirt.” A little much? Yes. Real as fuck? Yes.

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*Jaida has no response because she is singing “Amnesia” word for word*

*The band goes into a cover of “What I Like About You”*

Elijah: This is the only song the parents—specifically the brothers, boyfriends and dads—will truly appreciate. *Begins to air guitar*

*The band ends their performance with “She Looks So Perfect”

Elijah: “YOU LOOK SO PERFECT STANDING THERE / IN MY AMERICAN APPAREL UNDERWEAR / AND I KNOW NOW, THAT I’M SO DOWN”
Jaida: Turn down.
Elijah: What? TURN UP. Wait, “I got your name tattooed in an arrow heart”? Ok, that is stupid. Jaida, never get a tattoo of a boy’s name in a heart. You’re better than that and not basic.
Jaida: Boys are gross.
Elijah: Great answer.

On Who Is The Hottest One Direction Member

Jaida:

Liam is the hottest member of One Direction.

Elijah:

Which one is Liam?

*Jaida shows me who Liam is on her One Direction wallet*

Elijah: Ew. Harry is the hottest.
Jaida: No he is not.
Elijah: Harry has that young Mick Jagger swag going on. Just look at his hair.
Jaida: Liam.
Elijah: Ok, who is hottest from least to most?
Jaida: Louis, Zayn, Niall, Harry and Liam.
Elijah: Psh, your answer should have been Niall, Louis, Liam, Zayn and Harry.
Jaida: You will see why Liam is the hottest when they perform.

On “Turning Up”
Jaida: Are you usually this energetic at concerts?
Elijah: This is nothing. I once took my shirt off at a Waka Flocka Flame concert.
Jaida: Really?
Elijah: Yup.
Jaida: The girls in the bottom row keep looking back at you.
Elijah: So? *Does the cooking dance while the “Macarena” plays*
Jaida: Please stop.
Elijah: Yeesh! *In Young Thug voice*

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On Sneaking Into The Floor Section Of The Concert
Jaida: We should sneak into the floor section.
Elijah: All right, I am down. Here is the plan: You will walk to the security guard and show him your ticket. Because you are adorable and no human being wants to leave this world as “the one that crushed a child’s dream at a One Direction concert,” he will contemplate letting you go through or, at the very least, place us in an area where we can see the stage much closer.
Jaida: Ok. *Walks up to the security guard*

*The security guard is visibly uncomfortable telling my sister she cannot enter the floor area*

*Jaida looks back at me and she is nervous, so I decide to step in*

Elijah: Hello, sir. So will these tickets grant us entrance into the floor section?
Security Guard: I am sorry but no. But you can go here. *Points in a row right before the staircase that leads to the floor section, which is a lot better than where we were (the nosebleed section).
Elijah: Awesome, thanks!

*Jaida and I high five each other*

One Direction’s Performance

Elijah:

The stage is like a large ramp. This is a larger than life stage for a larger than life boy band.

Jaida:

I LOVE YOU LIAM!

Elijah:

You’re embarrassing me.

Jaida:

Now you know how I feel.

*The members of One Direction appear onstage and begin their performance with “Midnight Memories”*

Elijah: One Direction has a backing band? Did you know this Jaida?
Jaida: I LOVE YOU LIAM!
Elijah: I guess not.

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*One Direction is halfway through their set*

Elijah: One Direction are The Beatles. This entire concert is a spectacle: the stage and its several screens showcasing different images and videos; the lip synching; the fireworks; the touching and blowing kisses to the fans; the running around the stage; the gorgeous hair; the perfect smiles; and those British accents. Whether you like One Direction’s music or not is fine. But the level of extravagance of this concert is incredible.

*Jaida has not looked away from the stage ever since One Direction began performing. She responds to my observations by shaking her head, or yelling “I love you Liam.”*

Elijah: But another important aspect of the One Direction experience are the fans. Their screams; their homemade concert signs; their selfies; and their enthusiasm. As a “music journalist,” sometimes I find myself going in too deep about music. But my sister and this stadium filled with other Directioners have reminded me that music is best when you just fucking listen, and embrace the moment. Because that is what it is all about.

*The group goes into “What Makes You Beautiful”*

Elijah: *I grab Jaida’s shoulders: “YOU DON’T KNOW YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL / OH OH / THAT’S WHAT MAKES YOU BEAUTIFUL”*
Jaida: Oh no, Liam just fell! *Liam actually fell and he is wearing a cast. This guy needs to be more careful*

*The group leaves and returns to the stage for an encore, doing “The Story Of My Life” and “Best Song Ever”

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Elijah: I like that this song interpolates “Baba O’Riley.”
Jaida: “AND WE DANCED ALL NIGHT TO THE BEST SONG EVER!”
Elijah: “WE KNEW EVERY LINE, NOW I CAN’T REMEMBER!”

*The song ends, resulting in more fireworks exploding, as well as large amounts of confetti being shot throughout the lower parts of the stadium*

Jaida: This is so beautiful.
Elijah: Thank you Based God.

Who Was Better: 5 Seconds of Summer Or One Direction?
Elijah: 5SOS because they made me feel 12 again.
Jaida: 1D. Duh.

You should really follow Elijah Watson on Twitter - @elijahcwatson.