One Direction First Concert Without Zayn Malik: Liam Payne Cries, Harry Styles Vows To “Always Be There” For Fans (VIDEO)

Truth rating: 10
One Direction Zayn Malik Twitter

By Shari Weiss |

One Direction Zayn Malik Twitter

(Getty Images)

One Direction performed its first concert without Zayn Malik on Saturday, taking the stage as an official four-piece at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa just days after Malik quit the band. Watch the clips below.

While Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson and Niall Horan made no mention of Malik, his absence was evident throughout the show. The “On The Road Again” tour intro video was edited to remove Malik’s sections, and Malik’s solo verses in each song (including his signature high notes) were performed by one of the remaining guys. The group also expressed their gratitude to fans for sticking by them.

“Thank you for choosing to spend your evening with us. You have no idea how much we love you right now,” Styles told the crowd. He’s further quoted as saying, “I won’t lie to you. Tonight was a big deal for us, and what you’ve done tonight has meant so much to us. We love you,” and told fans, “You’ve always been there for us and we will always be there for you.”

Payne, meanwhile, called the attendees his “favorite audience,” and even exclaimed, “This is literally my favorite gig so far.” While that could be taken as a dig at Malik, Billboard, which had a reporter in the audience, says Payne was also emotional. The outlet notes, “At the start of ‘Through the Dark’ Liam was teary, his voice broke and he walked off-stage — an unusual move for the one band member who doesn’t even do bathroom breaks.”

Payne also seemed to change one of the lyrics in “Night Changes” from “Having no regrets is all that she really wants” to “Having no regrets is all that he knew he wants.” There were a reported 95,000 fans in attendance, with some wearing clothing or holding signs that identified themselves as “Zayn’s girl.” And, given the short turn-around time from Malik’s exit to the concert, he was still featured on all the official merchandise on sale.

After the show ended, Styles tweeted, “Johannesburg, you were amazing tonight. I fell in love with you fast. Thank you for coming. H.” Horan tweeted that the “crowd was insane,” and with another show slated for Sunday, Tomlinson wrote on his page, “Gonna be a HUGE show tomorrow!!” The official One Direction account also tweeted in advance of the second concert, “Are you ready to do it all again tonight Johannesburg?”

And so, One Direction without Malik goes on. Check out the clips below, and tell us what you think.


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