“This show is very important to us,” he told the Staples Center crowd, “because it’s the last time we’ll be performing together in America for a while.”
Just like that, the gravity of what we were witnessing set in, and a sense of urgency filled the building: We had to make this the best show ever. We had to make it count. Because going to a concert — any concert — is a two-way street. It’s the artist’s job to entertain you, but the fans also have a responsibility to reciprocate the energy and love thrown their way.
So our mission became clear: We were going to rock the f—k out and leave hiatus-bound One Direction with the greatest memories of their passionate U.S. fanbase.
Luckily for us, Liam, Louis, Harry and Niall returned the love by treating us to a six-song mini-concert that was basically the quintessential 1D experience. Any Directioner who’s seen the band live before knows there are a few things you can count on seeing at every show, and Jingle Ball — though quite short and sweet — was no exception.
Harry gave us the “our job” spiel.Getty Images
The newly-tattooed Harry has been giving the same adorable speech at live shows for a while now. It’s never 100% verbatim, but the sentiment is always the same: “Our job for the next 23 minutes is to entertain you,” he told the crowd, then adding that it’s our job to have as much fun as we possibly can. Yes, the spiel’s quite predictable by now, but it’s a nice reminder that the guys want fans to let go of their inhibitions and their worries, and just have FUN.
Fans screamed, cried and lit up the arena with their phones (which was especially beautiful during "Infinity").Getty Images
One Direction crowds are the best crowds.
And the building literally shook during their entire set.Getty Images
Of course, 1D were only a fraction of the killer Jingle Ball lineup. We also witnessed 5SOS’ show-starting energy, Shawn Mendes’ no-frills magic, DNCE’s bonkers dancing, Selena Gomez’s sultry moves and The Weeknd’s fiery finish, just to name a few. But One Direction easily rallied the loudest screams. As per usual.
They told us how beautiful we looked approximately 37 times.Getty Images
That’s only a slight exaggeration. 1D love to make their fans feel special, and they did that by complimenting us over and over again. No complaints.
And Liam flipped his mic approximately 370 times.Getty Images
The dude can probably pull off this move in his sleep by now, right?
Harry made fun of a fan on her phone.Getty Images
“She was Snapchatting,” he guessed (probably accurately) with a fake smirk.
They got a little sentimental…Getty Images
“This is the song that made our American dreams come true,” Liam said before launching into “Story of My Life.” Awww.
…but they mostly kept things silly.Getty Images
There was plenty of onstage love — namely, lots of LiLo and Narry affection.
Niall played instruments — kind of.Getty Images
For once, he did NOT have his acoustic guitar onstage, but that didn’t stop him from pretending to play the chords during “Perfect.”
There was some splendidly cheesy dancing.Getty Images
These guys have never been good dancers. They know it, we know it, and it’s one of the many reasons why they’re so damn charming.
Of course, they had to play “What Makes You Beautiful.”Getty Images
Throwin’ it back to where it all began.
They simultaneously made us laugh and cry.Getty Images
And they ended it all on an optimistic, reassuring note.Getty Images
“We’ll be back very soon,” they said. And we have every reason to believe them.