Concert Reviews

5 Seconds of Summer Attempts To Escape Boy Band Land Thursday Night at House of Blues

Can 5 Seconds of Summer grow up and maintain its teenage fan base?
Can 5 Seconds of Summer grow up and maintain its teenage fan base? Isabel Arcellana
Fans still have to wait two months to hear 5 Seconds of Summer's third album, but that didn't stop the boys from giving Thursday night's audience a sneak peek of what's to come.

“We have a third record coming, out and we just couldn’t wait," says Michael Clifford, the lead guitarist for 5 Seconds of Summer. "We couldn’t wait to play shows. And the album is not even out yet, and we’re playing songs off it."

Swarms of fans crowded House of Blues on Thursday night. If you're familiar with the boy band, then the makeup of the crowd wouldn't shock you. But 5 Seconds of Summer has been trying to escape the boy band category for years.

Its fan base — or at least the people in attendance for the Thursday night concert — is still very much composed of teenage girls. This is the group that saw the band on Youtube, then watched it open for One Direction stadium tours and now anxiously awaits what it will do next.

Band members tried prove that they were ready to take their place as the serious artists they have grown up to be. Yes, the teenage girls loved it. But the new music made it obvious that everyone else will, too.

With no openers, Luke Hemmings, 21; Ashton Irwin, 23; Calum Hood, 22; and Michael Clifford, 22, strode onstage with no introduction, no gimmicks, and no crazy lights. The boys — err, men — were ready to focus on what they came for — the music.

With a short drum solo to start everything off, the band opened with its most well-known song, “She Looks So Perfect,” and quickly charged the room with energy. It kept up that energy with its single featured in the new Ghostbusters film this year, “Girls Talk Boys.”

The boys played about four songs that will be on their next album — two of which have been released as singles this year. These singles so far have established the band’s change in identity, a step away from pop-rock and pop-punk and into a whole new sound.

5 Seconds of Summer proved itself in terms of musical evolution and did not disappoint when it came to live vocals and showing off the men's talent as instrumentalists. Perhaps one of the biggest appeals of the band is that each is both able to sing and kill it at his instrument. That said, it was a shame that Hood's microphone seemed set awfully low and that Irwin was almost hidden toward the back of the stage with his drums.

Either way, the crowd was alive with excitement. Everyone knew the words to every song that had been released to the public, even “Youngblood,” the single put out just a week ago. At one point, the crowd on the floor held up red paper hearts that said “Thank you for this moment.”

Irwin announced that there were 1,499 people in the audience, joking that one person didn’t show up to make it 1,500.

“Now we have to play this awkward show,” he said, laughing. “Sorry, I had to get that off my incredibly hairy chest.”

Again, we didn’t see much of Irwin, but when emerged from his drum-set kingdom, many screams greeted him. The show ended with him simply carrying off the photographer who was onstage taking pictures of the crowd. No encore, just the performers walking offstage after their last banger, “Want You Back." The audience was left a bit confused that the concert was finished and it was only 9:20 p.m. — almost as if the band wanted to leave the crowd hanging and waiting for its next step. Now we await the release of Youngblood on June 22.
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Isabel Arcellana has been writing for the Observer since spring 2018 and has been creating fake newspapers for her mom since she was 8. She graduated from SMU with a double major in journalism and fashion media. Her five guitars are named after High School Musical characters.