Who knew our dream life could be captured within 34 seconds? Yet with its seaweed coloring and the only hints of a tone that isn’t green coming from the far left side of the screen, as we notice a tiny yellow tour bus rolling into view, it’s exactly the type of scenery we’d want any sort of dream catcher to get tangled up in its web.
Of course, we’re talking about The Show Live on Tour preview, with its golden wheels reflected by the heavenly light guiding the bus and ensuring that Niall Horan and his band members are making their way to a venue near you. And where exactly are those arenas? The US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand! Those specific places are written across a cassette tape marked “NH ‘24” as he gently declares once again, now making true to this promise, “When it all melts down, I’ll be there.”
Backstage Managers, Us?
Though Niall’s answered one of our questions – with a Vegas-style sign welcoming The Show Live on Tour, we might add – it only brings up various other questions we hope he might answer by replying to our comments on TikTok. What other songs from his multiple eras will make the setlist? Will he join his past One Direction band members by giving us the same shock Harry Styles did upon hearing the echoing of ‘Stockholm Syndrome?’ Most importantly, what will the stage look like?
From what we’ve seen through the roll-out of venue maps for The Show Live on Tour, it’ll only be one stage with a large floor standing, and he’s not going to separate us by those vouching to reside in ‘Heaven’ and others willing to start a cult for him, but how will he pimp it out? He’s apparently an interior design guy, so we’re impressively waiting, and though he’s got it sorted, we might as well throw some ideas into the mix, right? We’ve picked three songs from The Show, including the two mentioned above, to base a concept on.
Concept #1: ‘The Show’
Now don’t go spamming us. We only know as much as we can about the unreleased tracks through Niall Horan’s ability to spoil his own album. Truly, who needs someone to take a bullet for us by leaking it if the man himself has been disclosing lyrics since live streams dated all the way back in February? However, it’s just enough for us to have some semblance of what the track is, and for the title track, ‘The Show,’ we have a feeling it’ll utterly destroy us while also channeling into where his head’s currently at. “If everything was simple, how would we know?” He asks on top of the sort of melody that fans have been declaring is up the alleyway of M83, and that’s a compliment within itself.
“How to fix your tears?” and then wait for it… “How to fake a show?” This line is particularly interesting as it represents our dreamworld theory, that the entirety of the album is taking us to another world, someplace he can only go when he closes his eyelids. Basically, it’s cluing us in that some things may not be how he’s presented them to us, and it’s up to us to figure out which network is playing the true show. This tune also seems to tie into ‘Meltdown’ as outside of the romantic bubble, he’s dealing with those grim lows, trying to console himself with the notion that if he didn’t experience the low points, he wouldn’t know what the highs look like.
“Life is like a board game some of the time / Mistakes and heartbreaks are no crime.”
For this stage, we wanted to play with the notion of The Truman Show – Niall brings up this movie while talking to Shannon Burns for iHeartRADIO – and for those who have yet to fall into Jim Carrey’s IMDb, basically, he’s trapped in a television show that’s being broadcasted everywhere and that everything is orchestrated. Only when he wakes up to it does he try to escape. Hence, it’s playing on our dreamworld theory yet again. To do so, the stage should look surrealist, as if pieces of the true reality are seeping through, but this illusion still surrounds us that we only think is real if we don’t key into its spiritualism.
All the World is a Stage
There’s a surrealist painter by the name of Mihai Criste. He has a painting called All the World is a Stage that, at first glance, features just a man’s hand gliding over piano keys until those black and white ivories blur into a chessboard with different chess pieces, and in the same position as the man playing the instrument are two hands with strings attached around their edges tangled onto the beige chess pieces, different from those that are matching the piano’s in black. We thought it would be the perfect piece of art to engulf inspiration from, even doing something similar with Niall’s guitar and turning the strings into another board game like Monopoly, thereby tuning into ‘The Show’ lyric, “Life is like a board game some of the time.”
Concept #2: ‘You Could Start A Cult’
Another song that we haven’t heard but can technically say has been serenaded to us a couple of times is ‘You Could Start A Cult.’ It’s ominous, we know, but it’s also a beautiful encapsulation of yearning. If you’re yet to be clued into that, all you need to do is pay attention to the second verse: “Darling, I would give up everything / Who I’ve been and who I am / You can have it all.”
Sometimes, by some happenstance, we meet these people who we had no idea could ever be on our path, but all too quickly, they’re ingrained in all that we do that no matter the life circumstance, we would surrender anything to be with them. Sure, it sounds wild in theory, but isn’t that what love is? And when you know, you know. Until the album comes out, Niall Horan has only played this song acoustically. As an acapella, it brilliantly shows off his vocals and gives us insight into how mature his voice has become.
“Swear you, you could start a war or two / Kingdoms fighting over you.“
Obviously, when the word ‘cult’ comes up, one can think of true crime, which Niall spends his free time watching. However, for us other folks who use crystals and watch Taylor Swift’s ‘Willow’ performance for The Eras Tour on repeat to help calm us down, we think of witches with long, black coats frolicking with orange lanterns in the middle of the forest with a giant cauldron between them. So from that standpoint, it’s common sense that we would draw on Es Devlin’s, an English artist and stage designer, work for the Bregenz Festival in Bregenz, Vorarlberg.
For those unaware of what that is, every year between July and August, there’s a spectacle art piece featured on a floating stage in Lake Constance. This one’s completion was in 2017, and it is 1000.00 ㎡! The piece features two large hands raising, the left featuring a nearly burnt-out cigarette bud, with cards being thrown between them, and for those who already know, cartomancy is the art of using playing cards to tell the future. With ‘You Could Start A Cult’ in mind, it gives off that creepy feeling while being grand and romantic through the richness of the suit of hearts.
Concept #3: ‘Heaven’
Considering ‘Heaven’ is the lead single for The Show, we don’t have to spend much time deciphering its meaning as we already have a whole article doing such. So we thought we’d just jump straight into the stage design, and we have two ideas!
The first is cited from being in the Playboy Archives, and it’s a deck of hearts set up as a maze. The man is towards the right-hand side while the female is on the left, so lost in the labyrinth itself that they’re unable to get out of it. Although there are instances of the couple interacting with each other through the dreamworld in Niall’s lyrics, à la “I’m having revelations / You dance across the floor,” the chorus still holds the confusion of a maze, unsure of how to unravel this situation but knowing that the end goal is worth it.
The other is a relatively simple stage design fabricated through stimulated images found on Pinterest. With pink clouds inside a simple set-up that look like a private room in heaven itself, there’s a piano smack in the middle where Niall’s found time by himself to think of his muse. As much as The Show is elaborate and intricately woven, it also has the simple purpose of being a confession of love, so the stage for The Show Live on Tour should act similarly.
Before The Show Commences, The Curtain Must Be Drawn
Unless you only want a peep of what the stage will actually look like through a grainy shot dropped on Twitter – don’t count us in this bracket! We want to be so close that we notice the finer details – you’ll need to know how to purchase tickets. And, yeah, Lovers, we know your particular ticket designation point is already bookmarked in your browser, so count this as a refresher.
Naturally, Niall will start The Show Live on Tour in Europe on February 21, 2024. Then his other homeland, being the honorary Australian, he is with the Straya and New Zealand leg beginning in Auckland, NZ, on April 26, and finally wrapping it up with a rock n’ roll, starlight bang in Hollywood, FL for the North American leg that will be on May 29. Although the general sale is on Friday, June 2, you can brush up on the presale and VIP packaging information through his website, as there are a couple of differentiations between all three continents’ sales.
Which of the three options above would you prefer to have Niall’s stage decked out as for The Show Live on Tour? Let us know through our Twitter @thehoneypop, and then as some extra cheeky homework: which song off the track-list are you building a stage design concept based on? And what does it look like?
We literally only have two weeks to go before NH3 comes out. We truly did it! Surviving through the golfing Niall pandemic, so bravo to all of us. While we have just a bit more waiting time, pre-save the album over here and flick through our Facebook and Instagram for more articles on our Irish lad.
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