In his memoir Hitch-22, Christopher Hitchens wrote, “To be the father of growing daughters is to understand something of what Yeats evokes with his imperishable phrase ‘terrible beauty.’ Nothing can make one so happily exhilarated or so frightened.” This quote clearly applies to the experience of a good father, make that a really good father, taking his tween daughter to a One Direction concert.
Nothing encapsulates the lonely-in-a-crowd phenomenon so much as the face of a father staring in blank horror as the sound and the fury of a stadium packed with young women screaming the names of Harry, Liam, Niall, Louis and Zayn at the top of their lungs washes over him. In a video with photos by The Spin’s Angelina Castillo, the faces on these fathers say it all — they’ve seen things and they are reflected in their blank, staring eyes, but they would do it again and again for their beloved daughters. In the words of One Direction, it’s what makes these fathers beautiful.
These dear old dads have put up with so much that they clearly deserve this moving tribute set to Gary Jules’s haunting cover of “Mad World.” Terrible beauty, indeed.