Thunderstorms Couldn’t Stop 5 Seconds Of Summer Fans From Packing The Greek "This isn't an L.A. crowd... this is a 5 Seconds of Summer crowd."
LOS ANGELES, CA- Even during the Fall season, you can’t beat the weather in Los Angeles. It’s November 5th, and it’s a sunny 71 degrees where I’m at right now. You can then imagine my surprise- and relative unpreparedness- when I arrived at The Greek Theatre for a show and the music was delayed for about an hour as a lightening storm was passing the area. Goddamn you, climate change <hands raised with clenched fists>!
In Los Angeles, inclement weather can seriously effect the turnout for social events like concerts. In a town where some people get seriously glammed to go out for coffee, the fear of getting your hair messed up due to rain is a legitimate concern. What does that say about the hordes of 5 Seconds of Summer fans who braved the schizophrenic weather conditions in Los Angeles on October 12, 2018 to make sure they got to see their Australian heartthrobs conclude their U.S. tour of their latest album Youngblood?
5 Seconds of Summer- Luke Hemmings (lead vocals/guitar), Michael Clifford (guitar/vocals), Calum Hood (bass/vocals), and Ashton Irwin (drums/vocals)- burst into the scene in with their infectious 2014 self titled album which skyrocketed to the top of the pop charts. Their sophomore album, Sounds Good Feel Good was just a commercially successful, and following touring in support of that album, the band took a few years to regroup and recalibrate.
Earlier this year, 5SOS- as they are affectionately abbreviated by their fans- In 2018- released their third studio album, Youngblood. It’s an album that steers a little further away from their punk/emo roots and leans more pop, but its undeniable danceability made it their third consecutive studio album to top the Billboard 200 pop charts.
Once the lightening ventured further away from the venue, and the pounding rain lessened its barrage to a gentle drizzle, the band took the stage to one of the loudest crowds I’ve ever been a part of. I’ve attended massive festivals. I’ve been in enclosed stadiums for bands like U2 and artists Prince. After my time in the photo pit, I usually take my earplugs out to enjoy the rest of the show in my seat. 5SOS fans were cheering so loudly, and wildly, that this was the first concert experience that I can recall that I had to put my earplugs back into my ears because the fans were so loud.
I bumped into Dom Liberati of Bel Haven at the show who actually toured with 5SOS as their opener early on in their career. When I marveled to him that these fans were something else, he casually answered, “This isn’t an L.A. crowd… this is a 5 Seconds of Summer crowd.” His observation couldn’t have been more astute.
To be perfectly frank, 5SOS didn’t actually have to perform any of their songs. When their fans weren’t screaming during the breaks between songs, they were shouting out lyrics- at least where I was sitting- to every word of every song.
It’s been a while since I’ve attended a large concert by an artist whose main demographic are teenaged girls. I should perhaps make a mental note that when attending these types of concerts, it’s more the mood of the event than the music itself which makes these kinds of concerts memorable for fans. I’m sure the music sounded great, but truthfully, I spent most of the show listening to the girls standing next to me sing.
While the weather may have been less than perfect, it did make for a nice mood during certain moments of the show. During the emotional ballad “Ghost Of You”, which Luke asked all the fans to turn the lights on their phones to hold in the air, the light reflecting off the falling rain made the performance of that song particularly memorable. Even Luke mentioned, “I know it’s raining, but on the good side, how emotional was that last song in the rain?”
Throughout the performance, 5SOS would take moments to thank the audience and even give a little backstory to the next song they were about to perform. Without getting too into the details, prior to “Lie To Me”, Luke mentioned that that song came a “very crucial point” for the band. They explained that they had written “Youngblood” and “Lie to Me” back-to-back in two days, and that those two songs basically “saved [them]”. He then asked their fans to scream the lyrics as loud they could, which they happily obliged. #ThankGodForEarplugs. lol.