Fond farewell or the beginning of the end? One Direction were back in town. But not for much longer.
Now just a fab four after the departure of Zayn Malik in March - Liam Payne and Co seemed stunned by their rapturous reception in Birmingham.
And the lad from Bushbury ‘kept it real’ by introducing his family on stage and laughing off jokes about his Black Country accent. His homecoming gig sparked plenty of banter with bandmates.
Louis Tomlinson and Harry Styles took pride in mocking his yam-yam accent.
“We do not even speak like that!” Liam joked, “You are all so place-ist!”
He then introduced his proud parents Karen and Geoff followed by sisters Nicola and Ruth. And he took time to thank fans, saying: “I am biased but I would say that this is the best gig so far. Birmingham, thank you so much for tonight, we will see you very soon.”
On the first of three nights at the Barclaycard Arena on Saturday, models Cara Delevingne and Kendall Jenner, one of the Kardashian clan, watched on tucked under hoodies and baseball caps.
Meanwhile Liam, the 22-year-old millionaire, showed his feet remain on the ground as his devoted family were invited to watch the show.
Having toured almost endlessly since they stormed the charts with What Makes You Beautiful in 2011, soon it all comes to an end. In three weeks time the On the Road Again tour closes in Sheffield, leaving heartbroken fans wondering if they will see their idols together again.
After next year’s fifth studio album is released the band – Liam, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson and Niall Horan – are going on hiatus.
It was a girly night out for friends Hermione Warley, eight, and Scarlet Jones, seven, who had been to the show by their mothers Stacey Martin, 35, from Wolverhampton and Katie Anslow, 26, from Tipton, respectively. Katie said: “We loved it! I really liked how Liam spoke about home and seeing his family on the screen.”
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Karen Pardoe, from Stourbridge, brought along her daughter Charlotte, 16, and best friend Georgia Townsend, 17, from Telford, to see the band.
“It is the second time we have seen them live and they are really good. We have been fans since they were on X Factor,” enthused Charlotte who had painted 1D on her cheek to showcase her love for the group.
The Stourbridge College pupil brought along Georgia, who attends Dudley College, with the pair creating their own banner.
Karen said: “The band are great individually and maybe they’ll get back together eventually for a reunion.”
Jessica Holdham, Jemma Davis, Emma Glew, all aged 24, and 16-year-old Mia Graves, travelled from Coventry to see the show.
They had seen the band play before in cities including Cardiff and Manchester and said the show was even more special.
"They are great live and really interact with the fans," said Jesscia.
Carly Lynch, from Sutton Coldfield, brought Faith Woolley, nine, from Longbridge, Birmingham to the show.
"The tickets were Faith's birthday present. We were looking forward to it for ages," said Carly.
Sue Wilson, 35, brought her daughter Sophie, four, from Studley, Warwickshire, to the show.
"We had never seen them live before - Sophie is a big One Direction fan," Sue said.
"She has been asking for ages to go. I said when she started school we could go so we got tickets."
Mother and daughter, Lisa Titterton, 35, and 12-year-old Hannah Danks, from Redditch, had the album one all week in preparation.
"We have had the album on in the car as we have been driving around, on full blast singing away," said Lisa.
Helen Joslin brought daughter Maddie, 13, and her friend Tiffney Edwards, also 13, from Banbury, in Oxfordshire for the show.
"They are really good. It is ok that there is only the four of them now," Maddie said.
Friends Ellie-Fayee (COR) Harrison and Courtney Mason, both aged 14 and Willenhall E-Act Academy pupils, loved seeing the band.
"They are great live. I really like their latest album," said Courtney from Willenhall.
Liam soaked up every moment and told fans: “This is where I come from, more or less, thank you so much for coming.”