5 Seconds of Summer Tour Recap

Michelle Smith, Sports Editor

For years, Australian band 5 Seconds of Summer has been brandedthe biggest band that no one’s heard of” by drummer Ashton Irwin and the band’s management. 5 Seconds of Summer has been on the scene for over a decade with a huge international fan base and little recognition from the rest of the industry. 5 Seconds of Summer released their first album in 2014 after a few years of YouTube covers and tiny hometown gigs in Sydney, Australia. The band is made up of lead singer Luke Hemmings, bassist Callum Hood, guitarist Michael Clifford, and drummer Ashton Irwin. In 2022, they were finally able to go on the Take My Hand World Tour after COVID stopped the touring industry in its tracks in 2020. The Take My Hand Tour was originally called the No Shame Tour and was set to follow up the release of what is objectively 5SOS’s best album, CALM. The tour was rebranded to the Take My Hand Tour to promote their fifth and most recent album, 5SOS5, which was released on September 23, 2022. The series of concerts took place from April to December of 2022 and started in Europe before bringing the band through South and North America and then eventually back to Europe where they performed the 5 Seconds of Summer The Feeling of Falling Upwards One Night Only show at the Royal Albert Hall with a full string orchestra for the first performance of 5SOS5. The tour concluded with a series of shows in Australia ending with two shows at the Sydney Opera House, the band’s dream venue since they started in 2011. The tour was a huge success and as a fan of 5 Seconds of Summer who was fortunate enough to attend the show at PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey, my experience was unimaginable.

On July 10, 2022, my mom, my sister and I got in the car with a strict schedule for the day set by me in a three month period of pre-concert anxiety. We followed the schedule strictly, mainly just to settle my nerves. At one o’clock we hit the road, and we arrived at the venue around three, though we got in line around 3:20 after the uphill hike from the general admission parking lot to the front of the venue where lines were forming. Because we had general admission lawn seats, it was imperative that we got there early to secure good spots as close to the edge of the lawn as possible, that also meant standing in the harsh heat for hours to get into the outdoor venue. The gates were supposed to open at 5:30 and then we would hustle to the lawn to secure spots and buy tour merchandise before the opener took the stage at 7:30. Of course, the gates were delayed but we never strayed far from our schedule (for the most part.) While we were waiting on the GA line, an employee told us to get to a customer service desk as soon as we could for a ticket upgrade. We were first in line when the gates opened and we got to the service desk with one person in front of us. In a matter of seconds we upgraded our three standing room lawn tickets to seats ten rows from the stage for a total of $75, half of what we spent on lawn tickets. 

Now mere feet from the stage, we waited anxiously through the fantastic opener, Pale Waves, for 5 Seconds of Summer to take the stage. Not long after Pale Waves wrapped up their set, the skits from the 5 Seconds of Summer 10 Year Celebration YouTube special playing on the big screens came to a pause and the lights on the stage went down. 5SOS took the stage and put on the best concert I’ve ever seen. I’ve been to seven concerts in my life and never have I been in a crowd that ranged so far in age and background who were all so invested in what was happening on the stage. I couldn’t hear for an hour after the show due to the screaming and loud amps stationed 30 feet from where I was sitting (not really sitting of course, more like standing and dancing around all night). My shoulders burned for days from waving my arms and filming the stage. I could barely talk from screaming along to every word. The band played old hits, forgotten favorites and even an unreleased single from the upcoming album. Somehow, everyone, including myself, managed to know all the words despite it having only been played at a handful of shows before ours and not being streamable for another two months when the album was released. The completely sold out venue of 14,167 people felt like a family united through sound, connected through their appreciation for the band on stage giving us the show of our lives. 

The “biggest band that no one’s heard of” joke took on a new meaning to me that warm July night. It wasn’t about the lack of recognition for the band within the industry anymore, it was about the comparatively small (note the use of comparatively) amount of fans they had internationally compared to artists like Taylor Swift or Harry Styles who are always mentioned in the pop music discussion. 5 Seconds of Summer hits the pop, rock, alternative, pop punk, and pop rock genres and have been in the radio rotation while consistently charting for a decade yet they still have only a fourth of Taylor Swift’s monthly Spotify listeners and a third of Harry Styles’s, who they toured with from 2013 to 2015 when he was in One Direction. Being a fan of 5 Seconds of Summer, I never realized to what degree they were overlooked, but after that concert it is clear how important it is that the music community pay the attention to 5 Seconds of Summer that they are due so they can keep gracing our ears with their music and blessing our eyes with their stage presence.