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One Direction, many followers

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Published:   |   Updated: March 18, 2013 at 07:20 PM
TAMPA -

Call it a One Direction insurrection.

Scores of screaming boy-band fans stampeded Friday evening when the gates opened to the Amphitheatre, more than three hours before the popular group was set to take the stage.

Later, still an hour before the opening acts were set to go on, rumor had it that the five heartthrobs were at the side of the stage.

Girls ran. They screamed. It seemed like there was a real emergency.

They gathered there, stacked upon one another in the sweaty heat and began chanting.

"Louis! Louis!"

"Niall! Niall!"

"Harry! Harry!"

"Zayn! Zayn!"

"Liam! Liam!"

When the gate finally began to open, the girls went wild. Finally, out stepped a yellow-clad security guard.

Ah, the price of fame.

But they weren't here to swoon over a security guard. They want One Direction, the British-Irish band taking America by storm like another band of young lads did decades ago.

"We can overcome the security guards," one girl screamed, tears running down her face.

Soon, security is on the scene with a bullhorn and a siren to restore order.

"Attention, everybody, the band is not coming out," the guard shouted. "Please return to your seats, or the show will not begin."

The threat worked.

McKenna Malison, a 10-year-old from St. Petersurg, watched the madness from the safety of her seat, eager for the show to begin.

"I was dying to come," she said. "I love all of their songs."

Oh, and she loves Niall most of all.

"He's really cute and I love his voice and his personality," the fifth-grader said.

Kristin Sickau, 13, flew in from Buffalo, N.Y., with her mother after winning tickets. She's a Niall fan, too.

"He always seems so nice and likes people for who they are," she gushed.

But what about those dreamy looks?

"Those are just extra."


rshaw@tampatrib.com (813) 259-7999

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