The marriage proposals are still coming 90 minutes later, but the reality of the five youngsters is not quite the teenage dream their PR machine would have us believe.
While baby-faced favourite Niall works his socks off jumping around the stage and Liam and Louis make the effort to bop about and smile, Harry peacocks around the stage until someone is inspired to throw a shoe at his crotch and Zayn’s attempt at moody heartthrob ends up being more sulky teen who thinks he’s too cool for the school disco. In short, they are a bit too much like actual teenage boys to live up to the perfect image.
Initially, it’s hard to hear their singing over the band, and their facial contortions seem to bear little relation to what’s coming out of the speakers, but as the night goes on the gang have the chance to show they’ve come quite a way since a handful of decidedly average solo auditions for X Factor.
An audience singalong to album track Moments falls flat – perhaps because the iTunes generation just keep the hits on shuffle – but the lads put in a commendable shift of nearly two hours, throwing a decent cover of Teenage Dirtbag in for good measure, and while it isn’t rolled out until past a few bedtimes and after some frustratingly rambling thank-yous, a joyful What Makes You Beautiful sends everyone else home on a high.