[PHOTOS + REVIEW] 5 Seconds of Summer // Thebarton Theatre // 16/08/18

In a night where the screams of adoring fans drowned out the music of the band, the four members of 5 Seconds of Summer had the Adelaide crowd wrapped around their fingers from the get-go. To get the party vibes flowing early on, support act Muki lit up the stage with electricity. Her DJ set the mood before Muki herself ran out into a wash of red and pink lights and high-pitched squeals of delight from the crowd.

She had only received the call-up to the support slot the week the tour started, after pop punk band The Faim dropped out of the tour. But Muki had done her research, and she knew her crowd. Before her second song, she yelled out, “This song is about fuckboys!”, and the loudest collected scream of the night echoed through Thebarton Theatre. It was a wonder how someone so small could hold so much energy, and as the crowd warmed up to her banter and beats, they soon returned the enthusiasm with arms in the air and feet off the ground as she sang songs from her EP It Wont Hurt. Her ability to hit high notes while running around was a testament to her passion for what she does. If you can imagine a combination of Mallrat and Alison Wonderland, that is what Muki brought to the stage.

With a crowd that was keen to see a pop punk band, this electro-pop pocket rocket knew how to win them over. She laced up her shoes before launching into a cover of Wannabe by Spice Girls, and it went off. She brought out her friend Tigerilla, an Adelaide producer who she collaborated with for his track Money in My Jeans. Muki finished on a high and left the stage with more fans than she had when she walked on.

The stage went dark, then was lit with blue hues as the crew prepared for what was about to go down. 5 Seconds of Summer were about to enter the building.

An extended introduction of Babylon began, and drummer Ashton Irwin walked on stage to thunderous applause and screams. Then on came the rest of the band, and they went straight into the song. They continued with Talk Fast and (this reviewer’s personal favourite from the new record) Moving Along, not pausing to give the crowd time to recover from the heart palpitations they underwent when their favourite band walked out in front of them. Lead guitarist Michael Clifford stood on one of the speakers and lured in the crowd, and they responded appropriately – by singing at the top of their lungs. Lead singer Luke Hemmings welcomed everyone as all eyes were locked on him, before they played a couple of songs not on the album Youngblood, which they are promoting on this tour.

The energy stepped down a notch when 5SOS played Waste the Night. Irwin was not keen to see that happen though, and yelled out in his half-Australian half-American accent, “Did you come to see a show?!” and like hell we did. After playing More and Better Man, it soon became obvious that there would not be many older songs performed that night – to many older fans’ disappointment – but Youngblood the album was such a solid release that it was a fun night to have a dance to anyway. 

After playing Walls, the venue went quiet and dark. ‘Uh oh’, we all thought, ‘it’s the emotional songs part of the night’. Ghost of You told the tale of lost love, as did the following song Amnesia (an “old song”, according to the band, but not according to the OG fans). Hemmings and his bassist buddy Calum Hood were able to showcase their versatility at this point, with Hemmings on keys and Hood’s vocals shining through harmonies shared with Clifford.

The pace picked up again and the crowd got excited as Clifford read a sign which said ‘Can I dance with you?’. He responded with an “Of course you can”, and a second of nervous tension filled the air as no one knew whether he meant on stage with the band or just in general. A demand of “We don’t want to see anyone sitting down for the rest of the night” helped bring the energy back up. All it took to get screams out of the crowd was a simple Hemmings hip thrust or a perfect harmony by Hood and Clifford – this band knew what they were doing and they did it well.

A spotlight was shone on Irwin as he scored a drum solo, much to many fans’ delight. A fan project during Valentine which saw roses thrust into the air (and some on stage) before a remix of Meet You There was played – weird, considering it was the ‘Meet You There’ tour. The “final” two songs were Jet Black Heart and Want You Back, but it was obvious to nearly everyone in the room that they couldn’t leave before playing arguably their two biggest singles.

A rousing encore was called and the boys ran back on stage to play She Looks So Perfect and finished with Youngblood the single, and promised they would return as long as Adelaide would continue hosting them.

Review and photos – Dani Brown.