Perth Arena, Monday 29th of June 2015 – Words & Photography: Ocean Trimboli
Australian band, 5 Seconds of Summer recently returned to their home shore with their first headlining tour: Rock Out, With Your Socks Out. Having just finished touring in Europe and the UK, they were ready to go back to the roots of where they came from. And to think these boys were, only a few years ago, just high school teens with dreams. From mediocre music covers on Youtube to now packing out stages and stadiums around the world, I wanted to see for myself if they really were worthy of all the attention and popularity.
Hundreds of girls flocked to Perth Arena last Monday night, eager fans bearing flannel t-shirts and ripped skinny jeans, no doubt the influence of 5SOS’ own edgy, punk-rock style. Band Members – Luke, Calum, Ashton and Michael, claimed to be influenced by punk-rock bands such as Green Day and Good Charlotte, both in music and their signature look.
Standing in the mosh, pushed up against overly excited fangirls; I had no idea what to expect from this whole experience. And so it began, the concert opening by State Champs, an American punk band with a reasonable fan following in the crowd. I usually lose interest in supporting acts, but these guys brought so much energy and power to their first song right up until their last. With excessive hair flicking and hard, pumping beats, State Champs amped everyone up and had them dancing along even before 5SOS graced the stage.
It was now time for the boys we had all been waiting for. A countdown, hysterical screams filled the arena and an elaborate light spectacle fuelled the anticipation of the entire audience. As the backdrop lifted slowly, the screams grew louder and stronger, Ashton entered first and was straight to vigorously drumming away to their track, “End Up Here.” With no delay Luke, Michael and Calum also claimed the stage, rocking out on their guitars. Transitioning into their much loved songs, “Out of My Limit” and “Heartbreak Girl,” their strong vocals and musical harmony as a group was evident. Two songs in and 5SOS already had their whole audience singing along, including me. They had talent and they knew it, truly owning the stage and performing before thousands of awe-struck teenage girls.
Michael was first to interact with the crowd, claiming Perth to be the best audience of the Australian tour. He was upbeat and optimistic, in-spite of the recent pyrotechnic mishap where he received burns to his face. Throughout the entire show, Michael appeared to be the most energetic alongside Ashton, who proved to have great connections with their fans that night. Calum kept it real and fun, joking around and winning hearts over with his hit song,“Amnesia”. His friendly banter with Michael was a crowd-pleaser to many, referring to who farts the most in the band.
The same can’t be said for Luke, being unwell as made public on social media, he was quiet between songs and didn’t engage with the crowd too much in conversation. When it came to the music, Luke gave it all and powered through each song, particularly in “Don’t Stop” and their popular Green Day cover, “American Idiot.” Regardless to being ill, he delivered a great performance with his amazing voice and guitar skills.
Leaving their biggest hit to last, “She Looks So Perfect,” was the cherry on top to an impressive, fun and worthwhile concert. Running off stage with no thank you or good night, the fans knew 5SOS would be back with an encore. Finishing with “Good Girls”and “What I Like About You,” left me breathless and genuinely happy. I honestly loved it all; their enthusiasm, crazy-good performance and connection with the crowd.
5 Seconds of Summer are often pegged as just another boy band and the Australian One Direction, I now know these labels are wrong and really don’t define them or their music. Their concert demonstrated that, yes the major demographic of their audience is girls, however their music is really for anyone. They are not just a boy band. They really do rock.