Live Review: 5 Seconds of Summer | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Live Review: 5 Seconds of Summer

Music Writer Amrita Mande reviews 5 Seconds of Summer at Birmingham's O2 Academy, a performance that transcended their 'boy band' label

5 Seconds of Summer were on their final leg of their ‘Meet You There’ tour when I had the pleasure of seeing them at the O2 Academy here in Birmingham. The Australian band is made up of Luke Hemmings, Calum Hood, Ashton Irwin and Michael Clifford. They’ve certainly come a long way since their early days of posting song covers on YouTube in 2012. Their trajectory in the music industry has been absolutely insane, from touring with One Direction in 2012 to releasing their third studio album last year, which topped the Billboard charts. And, after seeing them live, they are showing no signs of slowing down.

They opened their set with ‘Babylon’, a song that perfectly set the tone for the concert and introduced their new sound
After waiting in line in the chilly weather, it was lovely being welcomed by the supporting act, Lovelytheband. They did a fantastic job of warming up the freezing fans and getting them singing along to ‘These are my Friends.’ When the lights dimmed, the anticipation was tangible. The entrance of every silhouetted stagehand provoked a flurry of whispers as to whether it was a band member. But there was definitely no doubt when the band finally appeared, greeted by thousands of fans screaming at the top of their lungs.

They opened their set with ‘Babylon’, a song that perfectly set the tone for the concert and introduced their new sound: a fast, drum-heavy song with strong riffs and an addictive melody that immediately got the audience revved up. The following songs kept the audience’s energy up, each one making the crowd scream the lyrics louder and louder. ‘Talk Fast’ stood out, enchanting the audience with its nostalgic, 80’s-eque tune that got everyone dancing.

When the band transitioned to their slower songs, the audience turned into a sea of swaying lights. ‘Ghost Of You’ was enrapturing, balancing the mournful lyrics with a brilliant guitar solo. The hall got particularly quiet when the band played ‘Amnesia’, an old fan favourite.

5 Seconds of Summer’s music is definitely evolving into a more mature sound as the band tries to shake off it’s ‘boy-band’ label that causes many too write them off too soon
The set ended with the band playing some songs that best highlighted the new route they were taking their music: ‘Valentine’ and ‘Meet You There’, which, with its electrifying guitar and drums, had people on their feet dancing. When the band returned for the encore, they played ‘She Looks So Perfect’, the song that started it all, and ‘Youngblood’, the title track from their album. By the end, not a single person was seated or still; everyone was singing along, living in the moment and enjoying the last part of the performance.

The concert was brilliant, and if I had any complaints, it could be that it ended too soon. The O2 Academy was the perfect venue, allowing for a much more intimate experience and letting the fans really feel connected to the artists. 5 Seconds of Summer’s music is definitely evolving into a more mature sound as the band tries to shake off its ‘boy-band’ label that causes many to write them off too soon. So, if you’ve ever been put off from checking out 5 Seconds of Summer because ‘they’re just another boy-band,’ I’d suggest giving their new songs a listen. It may not be for you, but it’s clear that the boys have real talent and it’s fascinating to see them pushing the boundaries of their music.

'Youngblood' is available now via One Mode Productions. 



Published

10th January 2019 at 7:00 am

Last Updated

10th January 2019 at 12:12 pm



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