Niall Horan’s The Show tour hits Melbourne (Rod Laver Arena – 03.05.24)

Niall Horan‘s inaugural Melbourne show on The Show tour at Rod Laver Arena marked a monumental milestone in his solo career journey. Having risen from his One Direction roots, Niall has solidified himself as a formidable solo artist with three studio albums to his name, amassing a dedicated and loyal fanbase.

This concert, selling out two nights at Melbourne’s iconic venue, Rod Laver Arena, was not just a musical event but a testament to Niall’s connection with Melbourne, a city he considers a second home. The diverse demographic, comprising seasoned Directioners and newer enthusiasts who may not have witnessed the band’s glory days, contributed to an atmosphere charged with excitement and anticipation. As someone who still has a strong case of One Direction Infection, missing this show was out of the question.

British singer-songwriter Birdy opened the night, creating an incredible pairing with her timeless talent. I’ve been a fan of Birdy since her 2011 cover of Bon Iver’s “Skinny Love” went viral when she was just fourteen years old. Her elegant stage presence and brief yet sweet set, although mostly covers including her breakout hit “Skinny Love,” were still a beautiful addition to the evening.

The pre-concert setlist set the perfect vibe, getting the crowd hyped for the main event. The energy was infectious, with everyone radiating joy and happiness. The stage design, featuring old-fashioned curtains and retro graphics in line with his album The Show, added a nostalgic touch to the experience. Niall’s entrance with the hit single “Nice To Meet Ya” was very fitting, and had the crowd moving and grooving.

Seeing Niall take the stage at a venue where I once stood front row during One Direction’s prime was incredibly special. He expressed his heartfelt gratitude for his Melbourne fans, emphasising the city’s significance to him. Having briefly lived in Melbourne post-One Direction’s breakup in 2015, and frequently visiting for extended periods due to family ties, he shared a candid moment saying, “I’ve seen many an Aus Open Grand Final in this very arena – just over there.” He admitted to feeling nervous before the show, attributing it to a sense of homecoming. Reflecting on his boyband days, he briefly mentioned, “Ah, the memories we’ve had in this city, the shows we played, the stadiums we filled…” That moment struck an emotional chord with me, to say the least!

Niall’s band were stellar, and brought a unique folky rock element to the night, especially shining during the acoustic set with “Put A Little Love On Me” and “This Town.”

“You Could Start A Cult” saw Niall take to the stage alone with his guitar- a truly raw and lovely moment. Noticing that a fan needed medical attention, he stopped the show and ensured they got help. When it was safe to do so, he restarted the song and the magic was still there- a testament to the incredible performer he is.

It is well-known that each former One Direction member usually sings one or two One Direction tracks. With the hit single “Night Changes” on his setlist for this tour, fans were shocked and over the moon when the familiar sound of the deep cut “Stockholm Syndrome” started instead. For a moment, I forgot what year it was and fully embraced my sixteen year-old self. He absolutely did the track justice, and Melbourne was treated to a really beautiful moment!

He also treated the Melbourne audience to “Paper Houses” a fan-favourite from his debut solo album, and the first time playing it live in Australia on this tour.

After engaging with fans, reading signs, and even accepting gifts, Niall returned for an electrifying encore. “Save My Life” and the hit single “Slow Hands” wrapped up the night on a high note, leaving everyone buzzing with excitement and euphoria.

The Show was a perfect blend of nostalgia, musical brilliance, and Niall’s genuine appreciation for his fans. His vocals were outstanding, stage presence was infectious and his band was next-level. Whether you’re a longtime Directioner or a new fan of Horan’s solo hits, there’s a little something for everyone at The Show.


Niall’s latest album, The Show, is out now through Capitol Records.