5 Seconds of Summer 
Rock Out With Your Socks Out Tour
Vector Arena, Auckland – 18th June 2015
Reviewed by: Patrick Campbell
Photos by: Chris Traill

I’m not the biggest fan of 5SOS, but I’m in no way a hater. However, last night I left their show feeling even less of a fan. There were big screens, guitar solos, and banter, but for some reason I just didn’t enjoy it that much.

Let me set a scene for you. 10,000 people (majority of them 15-year-old girls) in Vector Arena playing the instrumental of Final Countdown. INSTRUMENTAL. That is how 5 Seconds of Summer started their show. A playlist of cheesy ’80s tunes that the audience loved. Of course, when they came out, the singing turned to screaming – and didn’t stop for an hour and a half.

Whilst 5SOS are good at what they do, they’re not great. They can play guitar, but they can’t play like Prince or Dave Grohl. They can write songs, but they need some help – and even then it’s very bubblegum punk rock. But that’s exactly what the audience came for and everyone sang along to well-known tracks, like Don’t Stop.

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The lights and screens gave the show a really professional look that seemed at odds with the rugged appearance of the band members, especially Michael. Overall, the show was a spectacle for everyone, right up to the back of the audience, with strobes flashing throughout choruses as the boys shared lyrics.

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Mainly playing their own music, the band dabbled in two covers, the first being Green Day’s American Idiot. It’s ambitious taking on this song, which is a cult classic, but the band did it really well. However, when Clifford sang the lyric “F*gg*t”, the crowd screamed in excitement. IT’S 2015 PEOPLE. COME ON!

When the songs stopped, things got awkward. Their stage banter was uncomfortable, to say the least. They seemed to have trouble remembering not to talk over each other, and one of them (Michael) even forgot what a Kiwi was. The banter appeared to be very much between the band and the band alone, unlike their very ambitious attempts to get the audience into a three-part sing-along. The fruits of this were so close to great, but just shy in the end. That really sums up the entire show though.

Closing the main set with their breakout hit She Looks So Perfect, the band had the entire audience going mad before they left the stage in darkness. Of course, there was an encore, which consisted of a very drum-heavy rendition of Good Girls, and their cover of What I Like About You.

The latter had the audience going mad, which is awesome, except that two of your biggest crowd reactions coming from covers –  that says something about the quality of your own music, doesn’t it?

Last night was good. It wasn’t great, it wasn’t bad, just good. But I usually look for more than just “good” in a concert, so I couldn’t help but leave feeling disappointed.

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