One Direction's gig the shrillest one to be held at National Stadium

The National Stadium on Wednesday night hosted what was possibly its shrillest crowd to date - 30,000 mostly young female fans of British boyband One Direction screamed and cheered their way through a 100-minute show.

The gig was the band's first in Singapore and was one of the largest shows by a Western pop act here in recent times.

The five members came on at 9pm, one hour later than scheduled, and performed songs such as Clouds and Steal My Girl from their latest album, Four, as well as signature hits including What Makes You Beautiful.

Formed in 2010 on British singing reality television show The X Factor, the group is ranked by concert trade industry publication Pollstar as the most successful live act in the world last year, and have had all their four albums chart at the top of the Billboard album charts.

Earlier - much earlier - in the day, thousands of fans queued up to get the best places. While concert promoter Live Nation Lushington declined to reveal the actual number of fans who had arrived early at the venue, National Stadium staff estimated the figure to be between 2,000 and 8,000.

The fans who were there early had bought free-standing tickets in Category 1, which were worth $172 each, and they were there to get as close to the stage as possible.

Mr Tommy Giovanni, 18, reached the National Stadium at 8pm on Tuesday, and did not leave till 7.30am yesterday for a bath and nap before going back.

He is not a fan of One Direction, but was accompanying his schoolmates who are - one of them paid for his ticket.

The Ngee Ann Polytechnic student from Indonesia said: "I just watched shows on my laptop to pass the time."

It was not only fans of the band who were waiting outside the National Stadium hours before the concert started - some parents and at least one grandmother were also there with their young charges.

Madam Olive Fones, who is in her 70s, cancelled her lunch appointment to accompany her granddaughter and the girl's two friends, to the National Stadium.

The Secondary One students arrived at about 11am yesterday, after attending lessons which ended early for the day because their school was holding its swim meet.

Madam Fones, who is retired, said: "I need to be there with the girls, as they're so young. Anyway, I think the band members are cute. My favourite song of theirs is Best Song Ever."

She watched movies on her iPad as she waited till 6pm, when her daughter arrived to attend the concert with the girls.

Ms Rhoda Yau and her husband even came from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore with their daughter, who is attending the concert.

The housewife, who is in her 50s, was there at about 11am this morning with her husband to pass some buns to their 17-year-old daughter.

Ms Yau said: "I don't mind doing things like this, if it pleases my kid. One Direction's songs are also quite healthy, and I personally like some of them too."