5 Seconds of Summer Live in TO (Review)
Imagine this: Standing on stage during your first headlining tour. That’s enough to get any musician excited, but let’s put a fun little twist to the situation; standing on stage during your first headlining tour with fifty thousand fans singing your songs right back to you. Now THAT sounds like a dream come true.
These are all things that were witnessed at the 5 Seconds of Summer concert in Toronto on August 25th, 2015. From the beginning of the show to the very end, there was never a dull moment. It was constant visual stimulation and a very fast paced environment and I loved every single moment of it.
The show started off with the headlining act, Hey Violet: A young band from Los Angeles, California that was scooped up by 5SOS not long before the start of the Rock Out With Your Socks Out tour. What most people don’t know is that Hey Violet has been around for quite a few years, just under a different name. Cherri Bomb was a 4 piece all-girl rock band that got their big break through a Youtube cover of The Pretenders by the Foo Fighters back in (enter year here). They had a relatively small following, but they definitely knew how to carry themselves at the ages of (enter ages here). They released one full-length studio album (End of Control?) back in 2012 before experiencing a falling out with lead singer Julia Pierce. Enter the small hiatus and entrance of new guitarist Casey Moreta and you have Hey Violet!
The opening act was a little bit rocky which is expected for such a young band but they certainly played to their audience. After playing a few original tracks, they came in with a rock cover of Taylor Swift’s Blank Space of the 1989 album released in 2014. With a crowd mainly made up of young teen girls to young adult women, this really struck a chord and was a huge hit! They continued the set with more original tracks before exiting the stage. For their first show in Canada playing to a large crowd of people who probably had no idea who they were, they did a pretty damn good job! Kudos!
Following the opening act was about 25 minutes of changeover where they played Hey Violet music videos on the big screens, blasted some One Direction and basically shoved ads down our throats (which was quite annoying to me as an adult watching all of these ads for children’s products, but again, you have to play to the majority). They made up for the crappy advertisements by prepping us all for the main attraction and playing The Final Countdown over the sound system. Many of the adult attendees definitely appreciated this and sang aloud to their heart’s content. Following this was a short snippet of Eye of the Tiger (to which all the small children screamed and cheered about) before the lights went down.
Something that younger concertgoers need to learn to do is save their screams! They spent the entire 25-minute intermission screaming their heads off when the band wasn’t even coming on stage. Two rules that everyone should know:
- Save your screams for when the lights go down
- Don’t leave until the lights come back on
But we’ll touch base on that a little bit later.
Then it was time for the big reveal! 5 Seconds of Summer came on stage and played a set that lasted about an hour and a half, which isn’t bad for a newer band! Overall I was very impressed with their performance and their interaction with the fans, but that’s not surprising in the least. I’m not going to lie to you, I’m a very big fan of 5SOS, but I do have a couple bones to pick about the show this year. First, let’s talk about the good things!
The stage was fantastically designed. It was very simple at it’s core, but with numerous large screens that were constantly panning between the band members and the fans holding their large signs. There were small details of the stage that you could probably miss if you weren’t paying attention, like the fact that every few songs, Aston’s drum risers would change position, or the fact that the lights changed based on the speed of the song.
Michael and Luke were the kings of witty banter on this night as they spoke to the fans like they were long time fans, but also made some intelligent (and not so intelligent) comments throughout the evening. During the song “Good Girls”, Michael changed a line in the song to say “I’m a Moose, eh?” to create a funny comment about being in Canada. Any fan of Michael probably took it as an adorable joke, but I know many people standing around myself thought it was in poor taste and was being made at our expense. Another moment that was a little bit funnier was before they introduced a song later in the set, Michael joked by saying “This is our new song, Photograph.” Before breaking into the infamous Nickelback song. For those of you reading who don’t know much about 5SOS, one of their favourite bands to listen to before a show is Nickelback, so this joke was not made in distaste.
Now let’s converse about some of the things that I did not enjoy about the evening. First off, whoever was in charge of the sound throughout the evening, was not quite on point for this show. At first I thought that it was just because my ears were fatigued from all of the screaming girls surrounding us, but then I heard someone else comment on the fact that Michael’s microphone was making him sound like a chipmunk… I don’t even know what the engineer was thinking if he actually pitch shifted the sound for the mic, but God only knows what happened there. That was the only technical issue that I spotted throughout the entire show, which impressed me if I’m speaking in all honesty.
The things that bothered me the most were some of the fans that I encountered throughout the show. No matter what concert you go to, you’re always going to find the psycho fan girls who cry every time they hear the bands voices or see their faces, although these fan girls are annoying beyond belief, they’re nothing knew. What is new is the amount of people I saw taking selfies for 98 percent of the show. You’re there to watch a band perform live, WHY ARE YOU NOT PAYING MORE ATTENTION?! Then there was the time when the band shut off the stadium lights and asked us to “light up the stadium” so they could pick someone to come up on stage with them. Obviously the entire crowd raised a cell phone of some sort, but I saw a few lighters here and there (most likely from parental units accompanying their children), so I figured I would do it the “old fashioned” way and put up a lighter instead of my phone. When I proceeded to do this, I had a young girl, no older than maybe 16 years old turn to me and say “What the $&%* do you think you’re doing? You’re not at a rock show, dumb***.”…………… Yeah. That happened. That’s pretty much when I lost all hope for the new generation of concertgoers.
If you would like to read more about my issue with younger concertgoers, check out my other article about the use of iPads at concerts.
Overall, this concert going experience was fantastic. I’m a pretty critical person myself, so most of the negative things I saw, others would never pick up on. The fact that we had an awesome time at an outdoor concert on a day that was supposed to rain, is enough in itself to call this show a success. There were funny moments, heartwarming moments and just all around party moments throughout the entirety of the night and I couldn’t have asked for a better evening!