Check out my write up and photos in Pittsburgh Music Magazine, here!
Let me start off by saying that last year, I never would have thought I’d be writing this right now. I mean, just reading the headline gives me chills.
September 13th was one of the best days of my life. Getting to see and cover 5 Seconds of Summer’s show was a dream come true for me. If you continue reading on, you’ll begin to see just how much this night really meant to me.
Australian alternative/pop/rock band, 5 Seconds of Summer, after 3 years of silence, finally released their newest album in June entitled, Youngblood. It was highly anticipated, especially after they released their singles “Want You Back” and “Youngblood” which are absolute bangers. Kind of fitting once you listen to the full album and realize that every single song is incredible. That’s just my opinion, but you can listen for yourself. With inspiration coming from a multitude of facets, they had massive success once the album was released to the public. Youngblood brought them their 3rd Billboard #1 album, making history. This milestone made them the first Australian act to land 3 albums at #1 on the Billboard charts.
With a new album comes a tour, almost always. They didn’t have a stop in Pittsburgh or anywhere nearby so I decided to treat myself for my birthday and buy tickets to the York Fair show. My boyfriend, having loved the album, was 100% into it too so we began our 3.5 hour drive after my class on Thursday.
On their cross country tour, they brought along alternative/indie/pop rockers, The Aces, who originate from Utah. I hadn’t heard a single thing about them prior to the show so I was interested to find out what they were all about. They began their set with a song that starts out sounding kind of like a 1975 song, “Volcanic Love“. That is a really fun song and I found myself tapping my foot while I stood in random positions to shoot. The Aces are an all female band, which is unique seeing as though you don’t see that all too often. You only really have Fifth Harmony and Little Mix that even remotely compare. Even so, The Aces have a much more unique and funky sound which makes them stand out.
The crowd was on their feet the whole time, a good bit were singing along and dancing like crazy while they played. Lead vocalist, Cristal Ramirez was very interactive with fans and made her way around stage which made for some really nice and different shots. They played some of their most popular songs in their 30 minute set such as “Stay”, “Strong Enough“, “Fake Nice”, and ending their set with “Stuck“. Overall, they put on a fun, upbeat, and rhythmic set. A great adrenaline booster, before the headlining act came on.
By this point, adrenaline was rushing through my entire body. I didn’t have any set times, so I ended up being in the pit super early. But I made friends so it was okay, haha. Before I knew it, the filler music faded and the lights dropped. My heart was racing, along with the hundreds of girls behind me. I realized who was standing before me when I saw Michael’s hair when he appeared at the mic. “Babylon” was the intro song and really got the crowd on their feet… if they weren’t already. I had a moment, when the lights turned on and they all appeared in their positions, where my jaw dropped and I felt the surrealism of the moment. I quickly had to get myself focused and start shooting. This did not come without a mini jam session as I worked, I can assure you.
They followed up with “Talk Fast” and I just need to mention how cool the lighting was. I realized, as I was in my post processing phase, that the lighting included all the colors within the cover art of the album and it was epic. I couldn’t appreciate it at the time because I automatically thought they would all need to be black and white since red light washes people out. “Moving Along” was next and was the final song in the first 3 songs I was allowed to shoot. It is also my number one favorite off of the new album because it is just a jam.
As soon as the last one was over, I went back to my seats, which were upgraded earlier and were so much better, and I broke down. I’ve dreamt of that day since I started shooting shows and it was better than I could have possibly imagined. It was at this point the full fangirl in me could be unleashed.
They continued their set with singles, “She’s Kinda Hot” and the song featured in Ghostbusters (2016), “Girls Talk Boys“. They played another oldie, “Waste The Night”, before playing a couple of the bangers from the newest album. These songs included “More”, “Better Man”, and “If Walls Could Talk”; all three of which fell super high on my rating list of Youngblood.
The next segment, as Calum Hood (bassist/vocals) pointed out, was the ballad section… aka the most emotional part of the evening. “Ghost of You” was up first. When I first heard this song, I knew it was going to be one of my favorites. It was so beautifully written and had haunting lyrics (no pun intended). Some of my favorite musical lyrics come from this song. “We’re too young / Too dumb / To know things like love” and “That my feet don’t dance / Like they did with you”. Ugh. I bawled my eyes out almost this entire part of the show, no lie. They continued with “Amnesia” and “The Only Reason“, with Michael Clifford (guitar/vocals) putting his own little twist to introduce “The Only Reason”.
The transition back into the rhythmic music, Luke Hemmings (lead vocals/guitar) played the first verse of “Lie To Me” on piano, which then transitioned to the full band, which I found to be epic.
They played a few new songs, “Why Won’t You Love Me” and “Valentine” next. Before “Valentine”, Ashton Irwin (drums/vocals) got up from his drum set, as they were introducing the next song, and sprinted across stage. And he disappears into the crowd. Next thing I know, he’s standing directly behind me holding up a sign that says ‘I’m from Australia’ (I filmed the entire thing, by the way). He then makes his way back up to the stage to continue his “I’m-your-biggest-fan, please-let-me-play-drums-for-your-next-song” comedic skit. I bawled my eyes out the second he left, mostly because he, single-handedly, was a source of my happiness for a long time. He has perfect skin, in case you were wondering (Ash, if you’re reading this, give a girl some tips).
Anyway, they continued the show with “Meet You There”, with Ash’s epic drum intro, “Jet Black Heart“, and “Want You Back”, before exiting the stage to come back out for the encore. Fans were screaming, some clearly not seasoned concertgoers since they began to trickle out.
They ended the show with “She Looks So Perfect” and “Youngblood”. With the last bit of adrenaline the audience had left, they screamed every word. That’s something I’ve noticed about 5SOS shows that I enjoy. They let fans sing every single word and give them the floor for a line or so; just to listen and let the pure energy of the room practically explode. They did that a lot at this show.
Having been 3 years since I last saw them, I was anxiously awaiting the next show. Attending the Meet You There Tour was an incredible experience. From the lighting, to the stage, to the music, to the fans and the overall show itself, it was beyond my wildest expectations. If you haven’t caught a show yet, I highly recommend catching one. It was by far the best day of my young life.
5SOS, thank you for everything you’ve done for me these past few years. Thank you for your absolute showmanship and amazing songwriting. For your dedication to your art and for never giving up. For always being there. I thought I’d felt the highest of highs, but you came and topped them all 😉
Don’t ever stop doing what you’re doing. I love you. #5sospuns
As per usual, some of my favorite photos are featured below and the rest are on my Flickr. This is the biggest and best show I’ve done to date so I highly suggest giving them a look.
Thank you for reading, I know this was a long one. I’m just so emotionally attached to this band.