Text and photos by Abigail McNatt © 2018
After a 3 year break working on their newest album, Youngblood, 5 Seconds of Summer came back into the scene with a bang. In my personal opinion, every single song on the album is a banger. With this new album, they brought their Meet You There tour on the road. I attended the York Fair show, in York, PA on September 13th. I’ve been an avid fan of theirs for a while so getting to cover their show was a dream come true, to say the least.
On their cross-country tour, they brought along Utah natives, The Aces. You may have seen their names show up on various Spotify-made playlists. They are considered an Alternative/Indie/Pop all-female band. They are a great mix of all those genres. They are a very female empowering band, being that, as I said, they are all female, and they play various instruments. They started their set with a very 1975-esque tune, “Volcanic Love”. I found that I really enjoyed the sound of it, and it sounded even better live. They had a short set, but they made the most of it. Lead singer, Cristal Ramirez was great at utilizing the space on the stage and did a lot of interacting with fans. From my observation, the crowd loved them. I noticed a lot of people singing along to every word, which is always a cool thing to watch for the opening bands. They have good rhythm and are just very funky. They ended their set playing their number 1 most popular song on Spotify, Stuck. By now, the crowd was on their feet for the most part. Some of the rest of their set list included other funky songs such as, “Bad Love”, “Strong Enough”, and “Fake Nice”. If you’re into funky pop music, you will definitely enjoy them. They put on a great set and really got the crowd pumped and ready for the headlining act.
In case you’re unfamiliar, 5 Seconds of Summer is a pop/rock band from Australia, who first came into the scene in 2013 when they opened with One Direction on their Take Me Home Tour. At the time, their hit single was “Heartbreak Girl” and was only the beginning of the massive success they would achieve over the years to follow.
After a long half an hour of waiting for the lights to drop, the music stopped and so did the crowd’s hearts… and mine.
5SOS opened their set with “Babylon”, a very rhythmic and heart pumping tune off of Youngblood. The fangirl in me had to break my stare and get back to work. I couldn’t help myself from singing as I did, though. Last time I saw them play was in Burgettstown on their Rock Out With Your Socks Out tour in 2015, and they put on a great show back then. The Meet You There tour, however, was better than I could have ever imagined. You were taken to another world watching them play and taking in the scenery and lighting. It was by far, in my top 5 best shows I’ve ever seen.
They followed up with a couple more Youngblood hits before throwing in an older hit single, “She’s Kinda Hot”, which got the crowd even more pumped than they already were. They continued their streak of songs released before Youngblood, before playing “More”, “Better Man”, and “If Walls Could Talk” from the new album.
The next segment of the show is what Calum Hood (bassist) referred to as the ballad part. The songs that put most everyone into tears. “Ghost of You” is one of the most beautifully written ballads I’ve heard. Its gut wrenching lyrics to its acoustic-friendly overall sound, it was absolutely beautiful to hear live. It put me in tears, as I fully expected it to. They followed up with “Amnesia”, with mostly Calum and the crowd singing. Michael Clifford (guitarist), Luke Hemmings (lead vocalist), and Ashton Irwin (drummer), stayed in the back together and gave him the spotlight. Luke came up only to sing his parts. They finished the ballad segment with a half piano version of “Lie To Me”, which was really cool. Luke had the spotlight on piano for the first verse and it transitioned to full band the rest of the song.
All the band members, even Ashton at times, moved around and interacted with the crowd a lot. Right before they played, “Valentine”, Ashton came running into the crowd, directly behind where I was sitting and held up a sign that said “I’m from Australia”, before running up and claiming to be a fan and asking to play drums during the song. It was a comical little skit that made all the girls’ hearts skip a beat.
They finished up a fantastic night of great music with some of their most popular singles, “Want You Back”, “She Looks So Perfect”, and “Youngblood”, which made up the encore section of the show.
Overall, as I mentioned before, it was an incredible show. The lights, the intimate amount of concert-goers, the music, and the entire show. Bravo to 5 Seconds of Summer and their crew for coordinating an amazing show and tour and bringing it to PA. You can catch them on any of the remaining shows of their Meet You There Tour.