This story is featured in CityBeat's May 17 print edition.
Former/lifelong One Directioner Louis Tomlinson is touring in support of his sophomore solo album and will be stopping in Cincinnati in June. It’s not everyday that you see a wildly popular boy band separate so that each member can go on and have their own successful solo careers, yet the boys of One Direction have proven it can be done. Thanks in no small part to their legion of adoring fans, that’s exactly what Tomlinson and his former bandmates have done.
While Tomlinson was often voted “the funny one” by fans during his days in the band, he’s not without depth. That’s never been more apparent than in his newest album, Faith in The Future, and documentary, All of Those Voices. While the other lads have leaned on their roots in pop, Tomlinson’s sophomore album sounds decidedly more alternative. The album’s starting track, “The Greatest”, is anthemic and emotional, relying on a chanting chorus and beat that trips over itself. Meanwhile, “Out Of My System” plows through you, building intensity across its short run in that familiar early 2000s way. The new documentary, which opened in March to solid reviews and heartfelt messages from his bandmates, takes a peak at what drove Tomlinson this far and inspired the heart in each of his albums.
If you’ve seen the wild fan videos of concerts from his former bandmates, take note: Don’t expect anything too flashy from Tomlinson. While just as engaging, professionally delivered and memorable, Tomlinson’s shows tend to be stripped back. They lean entirely on his music and cheeky personality and inspire a bit wilder response in the crowd. Also notable: In Tomlinson’s world, middle fingers sometimes tend to mean, “I love you.”
Louis Tomlinson plays the ICON Festival Stage at Smale Park at 7 p.m. June 3. Info: livenation.com.
Subscribe to CityBeat newsletters.
Follow us: Google News | NewsBreak | Reddit | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter