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Louis Tomlinson Dallas 2022

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Written by: Naomi Rose Pictures From: ⁦‪@whenyouknow28‬⁩

In the early morning hours of February 1st, 2022, hundreds of Louies were soundly sleeping on sidewalks surrounding the 4,000 capacity South Side Ballroom in Dallas, Texas. As dawn approached, more eager fans made their way to the venue, keen to finally see Louis Tomlinson perform his debut solo album; Walls. Fans of the Donny boy are well-versed in his musical history, including the fact that Louis Tomlinson World Tour was originally supposed to happen in 2020. He’d only gotten through two shows that March (Barcelona and Madrid) before the tour was inevitably postponed until 2021 due to the pandemic, and then postponed again until 2022. All this to say it’s hard to tell who was more excited for this concert; Louis or his Louies.

This show was so anticipated that fans had traveled from all over the country, and the globe, to see Louis at his first well-earned performance of tour. Fans lined up outside of the venue with palpable excitement as they passed the time singing, waving pride flags high, taking naps when they were able to, and speaking to Charlie Lightning, Louis’ videographer and photographer at the time.

A couple of my friends and I happened to be some of those fans that got to chat with Charlie, who was as kind as you’d expect anyone on Louis’ crew to be. He spent quite a while asking us what this show meant to us which was hard to put into words at the time. Not only had we waited so long to see him, we knew he’d waited just as long to see all the fans. It was a mix of gratitude for all Louis had done for us, pride because we knew he had been through hell to get to the place where he was finally on a solo tour, and a sense of coming home. After so long being quarantined, that show was the first big event many Louies were attending after lockdown, and to be surrounded by so many like-minded people who shared a passion and love for Louis felt like a relief, a return to self. Community. We had finally made it there.

That sense of belonging extended beyond just the fans, though. There was such an abundance of pride flags throughout the crowd, random passersby stopped to ask what Pride event was being held in the venue and were met with smiles and answers of, “This is a Louis Tomlinson show.” Venue staff stood on the raised patio of the venue watching fans hand out extra flags to ensure that everyone who wanted one had one with smiles on their faces and making the occasional comment that they hadn’t seen a show, or a crowd, like that before. One security guard was so moved by the sight, he himself raised his megaphone, raised a flag, and came out to the crowd with a confident “My name is Marvin and I’m coming out today.” The moment was met with a chorus of elated cheering while Marvin ran down the patio with a pride flag proudly held above his head and a smile on his face. In Texas of all places, the safety net Louies and Louis himself provide was cast so wide that merely witnessing the sight encouraged an unbiased observer to live a little more freely.

That feeling of freedom followed fans inside as they waited to sing the songs that had carried them through the last few months and years. Sun Room opened for Louis, personable and cheery, and got the fans pumped up and ready to see the man himself. At 9pm he made his appearance in an unbeknownst-to-us-then black 28 Official Programme jacket, clearly just as excited to see the crowd as they were to see him. The Louis of Louis Tomlinson World Tour Dallas, however, is not the Louis fans have become accustomed to in the shows since. Despite the natural air of confidence he always carries, he was nervous. It was clear to see, and also very understandable. It had been quite a while since he’d been on tour, and had never been on tour on his own. So the fans did what they could to project all their love onto the stage with raised voices that never missed a word, raised flags that painted the venue in rainbows, and signs that asserted their devotion for him. He must have felt it because not only did he say his now-iconic phrase, “I need you and you need me, and I fucking like that!”, but he also shared with the crowd that it took about three songs for his heart to calm down but that the energy in the crowd was “fucking unbelievable.”

The entire day, but especially the show, was a testament to the fact that no matter the distance, no matter the time, anywhere Louis goes, his Louies will follow in a sea of affection and rainbows. As the tour went on and was eventually followed by his second tour, Faith in the Future World Tour, the support from fans grew with it and continues to show no indication that it will slow down anytime soon.

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