Outkast and One Direction concerts deemed highly successful


On Sept. 27 and Oct. 1, respectively, dozens of Westminster students attended the highly publicized Outkast and One Direction concerts. Students used the concerts as a way to escape the stress of school, socialize, and see their favorite artists.

While One Direction has recently come to Atlanta, Outkast, the diamond-certified hip-hop duo consisting of André “André 3000” Benjamin and Antwan “Big Boi” Patton, has not toured in years. This revival tour is more of a ceremonial gesture, signifying the 20th anniversary of their debut album, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik.

Atlanta, their hometown, is the final stop on the tour, and therefore the most extravagant. #ATLast, as the event was dubbed, was a three-day music festival starring Outkast itself. The band’s reputation, the nature of the tour, and of course the variety of artists all contributed to the high turnout rate of Westminster students.

“They are simply such a legendary group,” said sophomore Omari Matthews. “And they just got revived, so I just had to go. When Outkast comes to perform, especially along with other iconic hip-hop acts like Childish Gambino, 2 Chainz, and Janelle Monae, you go.”

Much more popular with Westminster students, however, was the One Direction concert at the Georgia Dome.

“I went with my friend this year, but I didn’t even need to because there were Westminster students everywhere,” said freshman Meghna Patel. “I saw kids from all grades sitting in front of me, right behind me, on the floor. Overall, it was a great social experience.”

The concert, the third to last stop on One Direction’s “Where We Are” tour, emphasized the universality of One Direction’s music and their growing global presence.

“This year they began the show with a montage of pictures and videos of them traveling across the world. In it, they explored iconic cities and places, such as the Eiffel tower in Paris,” said sophomore Nidhi Rao. “It was really appropriate considering it was for their ‘Where We Are’ tour.”

The set list itself varied from city to city, but always included classics such as “What Makes You Beautiful” and “Story of My Life.”

“One Direction’s music is great, and they showcased their best songs in Atlanta,” said sophomore Rebby Lee. “5 Seconds of Summer opened with a great rendition of ‘Heartbreak Girl’ and One Direction continued for another two hours with their most famous songs as well as my favorite song by them, ‘Happily.’”

Many students, especially sophomore girls, were already ecstatic about the concert, but the larger stage along with openers 5 Seconds of Summer contributed to their attendance as well.

“This year it was at the Georgia Dome, so it was huge, and their opening band, 5 Seconds of Summer, is also amazing,” said sophomore Madison Minear. “They’re extremely fun to watch because they’re so excited and into their music. It was the perfect place to just have a good time, get a break from schoolwork, and let loose with friends.”

Other students primarily went to see Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, and Louis Tomlinson, the members of One Direction.

“I have loved them since their earlier days on the X factor they have only grown and become more and more attractive and successful,” said sophomore Kyla Barnwell. “I really adore Niall’s voice, especially the way he says ‘clouded.’ I also love Harry’s hair, his smile, and the way his dimples appear whenever he laughs. They are all extremely precious and sweet and I melted when they all called us beautiful at the concert. I plan on returning every year!”

Though the majority of Westminster students at the One Direction concert were female, Westminster boys offered a unique perspective to the experience.

“[I am one of] the proud male One Direction fans,” said sophomore Jimmy Balloun. “It felt great to go to their concert. I owned it and didn’t back down, and then with that mindset I had a fantastic time.”

While the overwhelming majority of reviews of the music and the band were positive, the concert experience was a disputed topic, with some students left disappointed.

“I loved the ‘Where We Are’ tour, but loved their concert last year even more. They weren’t as active with the audience this year; they just played their music, as opposed to reading audience tweets and interacting with fans like they did in 2013. Perhaps the most eventful thing this year was the live proposal, which admittedly was adorable,” said Patel. “The locale was also part of the problem, before in the Phillips Arena, it was smaller, more intimate, and easier to see the acts. But, this year, at the Georgia Dome, it was huge and therefore near impossible to see the boys unless you were really close to the stage, which was frustrating.”