Irish folk-pop singer-songwriter Niall Horan, formerly of One Direction, dedicated his sold-out performance at the Beacon Theatre in Manhattan, to the victims of Tuesday’s terror attack in New York City.
According to CNN, there are eight dead and more than 11 injured, after a man in a rented pick-up truck mowed down cyclists and pedestrians along the Westside Highway. The driver, who police identified as 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov continued down the busy bike path for almost a mile before smashing into a school bus, nearby the World Trade Center. Investigators said he then exited the vehicle brandishing a weapon and screaming “Allahu Akbar,” prompting police to open fire. Saipov was shot in the abdomen and considered to be in critical condition, but is expected to survive.
Much of the city was on lockdown following the mid-afternoon attack, but that could not stop Horan from performing for his adoring fans. “This is the most beautiful room I’ve ever seen… thank you for selling it out,” Horan said during his performance on Tuesday night. According to Billboard, he opened his 14-song setlist with “The Tide,” followed by a heartfelt cover of Frank Sinatra‘s “New York, New York.”
Horan’s performance continued with “Seeing Blind,” “You and Me,” and the title track, “Flicker,” which he confessed is his favorite song lyrically because it required the most emotion to record, and dedicated his performance in tribute to the innocent victims killed in the Oct. 31st attack.
“I would also like to dedicate this song to the people who lost their lives not too far away from here today in that terrible incident,” Horan said before performing the title track off his debut album. “I dedicate this song to them and the beautiful City of New York.”
During his performance, fans also threw in a special surprise for the 24-year-old singer, lighting up their phones to fill the theatre with the colors of the Irish flag. Horan acknowledged and thanked fans for their gesture and for the recent success of his debut solo album, Flicker, which recently premiered at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 charts.
The evening concluded with his latest single, “Too Much Too Ask,” followed by an acoustic cover of the One Direction song “Fools Gold,” his chart-topping single, “Slow Hands,” and an encore performance of “On My Own.”
In light of the tragic events, New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo held a press conference to address what he referred to as a “failed effort” to cause mayhem and terrorize.
“The reaction by New Yorkers, as evidenced last night, this morning—people got up, they went to work, children went to school—and that’s what makes New Yorkers special,” Cuomo said. “That strength. That resilience. That ability to be undeterred in the face of ugliness and the actions of a depraved coward, because that’s what this was. This was the actions of a depraved coward. There is no grand statement to what was done. It was the act of a coward. And that’s the way it should be regarded because that’s the way it was.”