There was an excited atmosphere on Tuesday night outside the UCCU Center in Orem, where thousands of giddy strangers lined up, bonded by a common purpose: Watching British singer Louis Tomlinson perform.
The former One Direction member is touring his solo debut album, Walls. The tour will cover cities in North America, Europe and South America.
Seating was general admissions by tier, so many fans showed up early to secure the best spot in their section. According to security guard Alvin McCormick, about 20 people started to camp outside the arena as early as five days in advance.
Twenty-year-old Kaylin and 21-year-old Toby got in line at 3 a.m. the morning before the concert. “It’s been exhausting but it’s been really fun getting to talk to everybody that’s in this general area, getting food and just hanging out for the day,” Kaylin said.
Both Kaylin and Toby have been Tomlinson fans since the formation of One Direction in 2010. Toby talked about the nostalgia Tomlinson’s music brings her.
“One Direction was a big part of our lives growing up, and following Louis’ journey kind of reminds me of being a kid,” she said.
Many of the fans at the concert have been devoted to Tomlinson since his time as a part of One Direction and continued to listen to his music after the group disbanded in 2016. Sixteen-year-old Teya, who had been waiting in line since noon, said Tomlinson was always her favorite member.
“He was just kind of charming and more playful than the others,” Teya said.
There were also fans in line who were not One Direction fans and had only discovered Tomlinson in his solo era. Eighteen-year-old Priscilla discovered his music early last year when it helped her through a particularly sad time in her life.
Concert attendees were required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test before entering. Once they got past the gates, fans flew up the steps and into the venue, screaming in anticipation.