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Watching the Today show this morning, I learned that a self described boy band was to appear.  As many of you might know, Today regularly has music groups perform on their show, outside in their plaza.  I’m sure there has been showcased groups that impressed me, but for the most part I’ve never cared for the new groups they put up as the latest shade of great.  However, the lead up to this morning’s band caught my eye for some reason…I thought I’d give them a shot.  The name of what was called the latest British invasion and given fab five status was One Direction

So, drinking my morning coffee, I watched the tube as a double decker bus approached with five cute-as-could-be British kids slowly approached the packed plaza where the concert is always held.  Coming to a stop, first to exit was a security guard worthy of Secret Service status…he then ushered the fab five toward the stage…more security types followed.  Giving credit, there were several thousand almost exclusively teenage girls packed into the street venue…the guards were probably necessary.  When the group took the stage, it became apparent they were to be accompanied by a backup band…I was disappointed already.

One Direction then performed a three song set.  The songs were perfectly done.  Each member is showcased as they sing.  The crowd knew every word of their songs.  The group’s performance was almost immediately predictable.  We had the attempt to get the young girls to clap.  There was more than enough prancing and skipping all over the stage.  We had the serious heart throb looks at the appropriate heart throb places.  They each worked the crowd, touching the out stretched hands of the teenyboppers at every opportunity.  Afterwards, they were interviewed by the Today show hosts…there was the predictable cute performance, cute jokes and cute answers by One Directions’s members. 

All I could think was WTF…if this was the latest and greatest in music.

I easily remember when the Beatles burst upon the scene after struggling for years in British and European dive bars perfecting their music…all of which they wrote and performed themselves.  In my late teens and early twenties I’d attended four rock festivals and have seen live, and multiple times, anybody who was anybody in the late 60s and early 70s music scene.  And, I’ve attended more concerts than I could count since then.

I’ve seen Janis Joplin wail Piece of My Heart at the top of her lungs while chugging Southern Comfort…and watched from mere feet away as It’s a Beautiful Day performed White Bird.  I once saw Santana perform three nights in a row before anyone even knew who they were…and have seen the Allman Brothers play for hours when the original group was all alive and at the apex of their career.  I could go on and on and on with groups I’ve seen…as many of you have.  It was a time when the superstar bands wrote their own materiel, played their own music, and whose performance consisted of walking on stage and up to the microphone and just did it.  They didn’t have to depend on tight choreography and skipping around on stage to sell themselves…their music and musicianship did it for them.  It was a great time.

One Direction is a canned boy band in the same vein as New Kids on the Block and Back Street Boys.  At least the BSB could sing, and sing very well.  In fact, the song below by 1D, as they are known, even has refrains that sound exactly like the Back Street Boy’s song, I Want it That Way.    I’d bet the farm they have the same future as the other canned boy bands.  For your enjoyment…please welcome…One Direction and their hit single One Thing




I have to give them one thing though…they are seriously cute kids.


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