Review: 5 Seconds of Summer steals the spotlight

Even though they were the openers, 5SOS clearly owned the show at their concert


Photo Emma Todd

5 Seconds of Summer singing one of their songs from Youngblood.

Amelia Foster, A&E Editor, Multimedia Editor

I am unashamed to admit that 5 Seconds of Summer was the boy band of my middle school career. When you’re 12 and emotional about a crush, “She Looks So Perfect” just hits different. On a Friday night at Amalie Arena, I had prepared myself to revisit those preteen years at their concert, but I was instead blown away at how much they had matured in the best way possible.

Although they’re known for pop hits, it wouldn’t be pushing it to call their show rock. Multiple times throughout the concert, they’d have instrumental interludes that I couldn’t help but nod along to despite the fact that I’d never heard them before. They were just the openers for The Chainsmokers, but the whole time they were on all I could think was “how could anyone possibly top this?”

Most of the songs came from their recent album Youngblood, but they included their old hits like “She Looks So Perfect” and the ever-emotional “Amnesia.” One cool thing 5SOS did with their visuals was that each album had its own color motif, with green and blue for their first two albums, red for Youngblood and yellow for the singles from their upcoming album. By tying it all together, I really got to see how their sound has progressed from radio-friendly to something more special to them.

A common issue of mine with modern male artists is that they never seem to know how to put on a good show. They’ll wear ugly clothes, they’ll calmly strum their guitar, they’ll try (and fail) to interact with the crowd, they’ll say “good night Tampa” and leave and you’ll spend the rest of the night wishing you hadn’t wasted your money. 5 Seconds of Summer did absolutely none of that. Their clothes looked straight out of a magazine and they were charming the whole time. All four of them even had a moment where they’d be on stage and talking to the crowd alone, and I loved seeing how obviously close they are despite clearly being different people.

As much as I love their songs coming out of my earbuds, they’re a thousand times better live. “Easier” was such a change for them when it first came out that I didn’t really like it, but now that I’ve heard it live, it’s been on repeat. The transitions between songs were so smooth I hardly noticed it happen until I was singing different lyrics, like with the switch from “If Walls Could Talk” to “Talk Fast.”

It wasn’t all perfect growth though, and because they were just openers, their 45 minute set limited them a lot. Their cover of “What’s My Age Again” by Blink-182 opened with a video of the lead singer of Blink-182 telling 5SOS not to mess it up, but I think they failed. It was rushed, clumsy and a little too chaotic, and it barely fit in with the rest of their set now that they’ve evolved their sound. If the concert was two steps forward, that cover was one step back.

5 Seconds of Summer is composed of probably the most hyper boys I’ve ever seen. The entire set, they were all bouncing around and moving around stage, combined with their singing and playing. I’ve gone to concerts where the artists looked bored the whole time, but they looked like they were having even more fun than me. The drummer, Ashton Irwin, was so sweaty that he would’ve fit right in at Homecoming, but he still had the biggest grin the entire time.

I only paid 30 bucks for that concert, but I would have paid 100. 5 Seconds of Summer may not have completely abandoned their label of boy band, but they’ve embraced it and grown into it. This may not have been their tour, but that didn’t stop them from being the star.