5SOS 3: A New Era For The Australian Pop-Rock Band
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5SOS 3: A New Era For The Australian Pop-Rock Band

How four guys, glitter, & guitars have influenced this band's new look & sound

5SOS 3: A New Era For The Australian Pop-Rock Band
Kayla Forsberg

On Monday, April 16, dedicated fans, including myself, lined up for hours in the cold snowy weather of Chicago to see 5 Seconds of Summer at the super-inclusive venue House of Blues, located in the center of the city. The small tour they are doing prior to the release of their third well-waited album consists of small venues compared to what they have played before in the past.

After coming off a two-year break consisting of creative thinking and hard work, these boys have something up their sleeve for the new era.

And 5sos fans are all ready for this new look and sound...

5 Seconds of Summer is a pop-rock band consisting of four young men from Australia. They formed their band in 2011 and started posting YouTube videos of song covers. They became popular when they opened for One Direction two years in a row and have gained a huge fan base since the release of their first self-titled album in 2014. They often jokingly refer to themselves as "the biggest band that no one knows about".

Often, they are referred to as a boyband because of their massive female following. However, I would be quick to say that is not entirely true.

The band consisting of Luke Hemmings (21), Ashton Irwin (23), Calum Hood (22), and Michael Clifford (22), all sing and play their own instruments. So, they are more of a mix between boyband and rock band; unique nonetheless.

Previously, their music from the first and second albums is very inspired from their teenage lives and is filled with pop-rock angst and heartache. Their second album entitled, Sounds Good Feels Good, is more mature in terms of the subject matter and the struggles they've faced, however still has a very rock sound to it that they are known for. It is an amends to what they term as "the new broken scene". This is a term to describe a safe place for everyone of all kinds, a place to be comfortable with who you are no matter how broken you may be.

Yet, we are amongst a new era of 5sos.

After almost two years of creating their third upcoming album entitled Youngblood, set to be released June 22nd of this year, all four boys are back with a much different and mature sound from their previous days.

Their single called "Want You Back" has a more pop electric sound than their previous rock sound. It's filled with synth sounds and a groovy electric guitar feel that makes it super catchy and radio friendly. However, their newly released song called "Youngblood" has a more aggressive rock sound with a heavy drum beat. Again, it is far different from anything from their previous albums.

While an album review is for sure to be published as soon as it is released, for now a review of the intimate concert I went to on Monday night is the basis of this article.

Tickets sold out in seconds for this concert months prior. As a college student with two exams the week of the concert and finals coming up soon, I thought I'd contain my fangirl self and be a responsible person. Yet, again, the day before the concert I go looking up resale tickets just to see what is out there. And there it was, a ticket in my price range and I just couldn't resist.

Against my will, my fangirl self took over and I bought the ticket with a tiny voice in the back of my head saying don't do it.

So, almost too willingly I decided to skip class and avoid all my responsibilities to see this band.

I rushed downtown after my exam to get a spot in line since the venue is general admission only. There were already about one hundred people inside waiting since very early in the morning. I ended up waiting right outside the entrance in the unusually frigid weather at this time of year in the windy city. Luckily, I got there early enough that I would still be super close to the stage. I packed all my concert necessities, including a portable phone charger and extra snacks. I was more than ready to see my boys after almost two years of constant waiting.

I have never waited outside for a concert for hours at a time in my life. I think of it almost as a fangirl initiation. The great thing about being apart of the 5SOS fanbase is that everyone is super friendly. I quickly made friends who were from an entirely different state waiting in line next to me. Like me, they are college students that decided to skip class and road trip to see one of their favorites bands. We were all extremely happy when we were let inside, numb feet, frozen hands, and all.

The lights went out and it was finally time to see my favorite band after forever.

It felt like a dream when they came out on stage, all my memories rushing back from previous concerts of theirs I went to.

Immediately, I felt people pushing forward, trying to get as close as possible to their idols. I was almost swept off my feet! I was being pushed in all directions since I was in the dead middle of the floor area. Fortunately, all that pushing made me get even closer and only a few feet away from the stage.

While some people find that annoying, I thrive off of it. All the energy in the room and excitement will never get old.

5sos played a mixture of old songs and new unreleased songs, although most fans already knew the words because duh... there's a thing called YouTube. They stopped periodically to talk briefly to us fans between songs. They all looked genuinely happy to be playing shows again, and I found their to be a new vibe radiating off of them. Luke was decked out with glitter on his face and red slightly worn off nail polish on his hands, like a true rocker. Ashton had glitter as well on his face having recently said on social media,

"Glitter. We wear glitter a lot, it empowers the character's we portray onstage, it represents a softness, and is a powerful addition to confidence. It feels like an extension of expression".

I'm just saying Luke took a small yellow flower from a fan during one of the songs and put it in his hair, and if that doesn't make your heart melt, I don't know what will.

The point during the concert when they sang "Amnesia", a slower acoustic song from their first album, was when I felt a sort of togetherness, a feeling that although everyone around me were strangers, we're also all family. The crowd took over singing the song while the guys looked out in amazement and smiled with genuine affection and love towards their fans. It will always be a special moment when "Amnesia" is played at a 5sos show.

So, although the concert was different in many ways from what 5sos have done in the past...

It felt very real and the love spread around in that room will always be the same no matter what the sound, where they play, or who they play to.

After leaving that show, I felt a feeling of pure happiness that I only get when I see those boys. They themselves and their music bring me joy and I love getting to say I've been a fan for several years. I mean I even have a tattoo of one of their song lyrics... you can't get more dedicated than that.

Watching these beautiful, talented young men grow and mature with their music, going from teenagers to young twenty something year olds, these past few years has been a pleasure and a privilege.

5 Seconds of Summer will have the longevity of some of the classic rock bands as long as they keep striving to be the best version of themselves and continue to express that through their music.

As for now, 5sos... I'll just continue to be here *not so patiently* waiting for the new album and the continuation of this new era.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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