If the Whole World Was Watching, We'd Still Pick These Performances as Niall Horan's Best
Niall Horan is coming for us with new music, and I, for one, am so ready. He's kicking off the excitement for his as-yet-unnamed second album with a new song called "Nice to Meet Ya" that he's been teasing all over social media, and Oct. 4 can't come soon enough. In the spirit of devoting all our energy to the Irish legend himself and the new music that is bound to be played on repeat in all of our homes from now until forever, I took a look back at his live solo performances since 2016 and picked my 10 favorites. This man has been very busy since his One Direction days! Keep scrolling to see all 10 performances — including the One Direction cover that I absolutely could not leave out.
Niall Horan Performs "Slow Hands" at the Capital Jingle Bell Ball in 2017
What makes this performance of "Slow Hands" especially fantastic is that Niall Horan really leaned into the Christmas theme of the concert and sported a Santa Claus shirt. "Slow Hands" is always a jam live, but this 2017 performance is my favorite.
Niall Horan Covers Julia Michaels's "Issues" in the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge in 2017
Before Niall Horan teamed up with Julia Michaels for a duet of their own, he covered her smash hit "Issues" on the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge. As with most Live Lounge performances, this song was stripped down to a pretty simple yet compelling version of the original.
Niall Horan Performs "This Town" in the Dunkin Donuts Iced Coffee Lounge in 2016
You'll have to fast-forward to about 13 minutes into this video to get to the performance, but trust me, it's worth it. In one of Niall Horan's first solo performances post-One Direction, he sang his first single "This Town" in a tiny room in New York for about 50 people. As someone lucky enough to be present, I can confidently say that this was a moment where I wanted to cry from sheer pride because he had come so far since his first audition for The X Factor so many years ago.
Niall Horan Performs "Flicker" Acoustically
Niall Horan has said many times that "Flicker" is his favorite song from Flicker, and we can see why. When he gave this touching song the acoustic treatment, it was all over for everyone. It's too beautiful for words.
Niall Horan and Julia Michaels Perform "What a Time" on The Late Late Show in 2019
Adding Julia Michaels to anything makes it pretty perfect, and this performance of "What a Time" is no exception. She and Niall Horan did a flawless rendition of their duet on The Late Late Show, and it seems pretty certain to me that the song works so well because of the friendship these two share. They just blend so well, and I'm going to need more duets from these two, please.
Niall Horan Performs "So Long" at the RTE Radio Studio 1 in 2018
"So Long" is one of those songs that Niall Horan wrote and didn't put on Flicker that I'm honestly still mad about, but luckily he performed it on tour, then recorded this version with an orchestra. I loved the song live on tour, but this version with strings is absolutely stunning.
Niall Horan Performs "Finally Free" on Tour in 2018
If you're looking for an upbeat bop, "Finally Free" is it. I love how fun this performance is — it's so fitting for this song from the Smallfoot movie.
Niall Horan and Maren Morris Perform "Seeing Blind" in Sydney, Australia, in 2018
I love how much fun Maren Morris and Niall Horan had on stage while on tour together. This performance of their song "Seeing Blind" is especially good — I love that they can't stop smiling. They just love to sing together, you guys.
Niall Horan Performs "On the Loose" on Sounds Like Friday Night in 2018
I love the slightly stripped-down version of this performance of "On the Loose." Going this route really lets Niall Horan's voice shine, and shine it does.
Niall Horan Performs "Drag Me Down" at The Biggest Weekend in 2018
Listen, any time one of the members of One Direction resurrects a One Direction song as a solo artist is very important. Niall Horan brought out "Drag Me Down" for his live shows, but he twisted it into his own version, and, well, you just have to listen. My favorite part of this performance is the audience's anticipation and not knowing what song it's actually going to be until he starts singing.