5SOS Starts Our Summer on a High
Remember when you used to watch 5 Seconds of Summer doing their covers on YouTube or as front act for One Direction? Last Saturday, those same boys took the stage in front of 20,000 fans at Mall of Asia Arena for their first ever sold out headline show in Manila as part of the band’s Sounds Live Feels Live world tour. The crowd of predominantly of teenage girls screamed at high level frequency, swooning over their favorite band, composed of lead singer Luke Hemmings, drummer Ashton Irwin, bass player Calum Hood, and Clifford on lead guitar.
For those more familiar with 5SOS -“five sauce” to their fans—is the Fall Out Boy, Blink-182, Sum41, Good Charlotte, Yellow Card, Simple Plan, and/or Green Day of the younger generation. Those part of the fandom will be proud to see how far they have come from covering songs in the garage in Australia to opening up for two tours of One Direction and having headline shows being put into place and being able to sell out concerts in just a few hours after being on sale.
The show absolutely rocked, and I wish the entire 5SOS Fam could experience this every year. They did all the things to make the show what it was by staying upbeat, having laughs with everybody, just putting their heart and soul into every song, every lyric, and making the experience for everybody amazing.
Even before the boys from the Land Down Under took the stage, the 5SOS Fam screamed their heads off with much excitement. So excited that when a song that isn’t even by 5SOS starts to play or someone from the stage crew goes up on stage to set up something, the whole place just goes insane.
It was mayhem the moment the lights dimmed and the intro music began.
As soon as the band hit the stage, there was no lack of energy. 5SOS kicked off their set with a snippet of “Carry On” and “Hey Everybody”. They hit the stage, all smiles in skinny black jeans with the electrifying energy you would expect of four 20-year-olds living the dream. Nothing could make me feel more nostalgic than being with young fans singing and screaming their favorite song in unison. At first sight, you might think of 5SOS as just another pop punk band, but these boys can definitely play, and this was evident in “Don’t Stop”, “Heartache on the Big Screen” and “Waste The Night”.
They always interact with the crowd to make sure the fans are having the time of their lives. Calum remarked “You guys are one of the best crowds we’ve ever played to,” while Michael described that that night “is the best night of our entire lives.” Luke continued by asking who bought their second album, Sounds Good Feels Good,and apologized, saying “sorry it took so long, but we’re here right now,” referring to their cancelled mall shows a few years ago.
Ashton, Luke, and Calum left the stage, leaving Michael alone and his guitar on a spotlight. The lead guitar played opened the first verse of Jet Black Heart and then his band mates came back up for the chorus.
On one of the best moments of the night, Michael shouted, “Manila!,” proceeded to make a farting noise into the microphone, and continued saying, “This is the part of the set where we’ll be singing a song about you and your beautiful country”. The foursome did an impromptu tune “Vanilla in Manila”’, repeatedly singing, “Vanilla in Manila! Manila in Vanilla! Vanilla in Manila all day!”.
The stage lighting was good but there were times that made it hard for anyone who was not in the patron or lower box to see any member of the band especially the first three songs, but the upper sections were able to see them up close thanks to two huge LEDs installations. There were also two platforms on both sides of the stage made for Calum and Michael, and another big platform in the middle for Luke.
Drummer Ashton moved away from the drums to talk with the crowd. His drum solo also gave him a chance to show off his real drumming talent. Luke and Michael continually interacted with the crowd, making the entire audience feel like they knew the band personally.
One of the great things about 5SOS is that they never pretend to be anything they’re not. They play to their strengths, have interactions with their fans, and impressed with their musicality. 5SOS kept the high energy high throughout their performance, commanding the 5SOS Fam to dance, jump, clap, and sing their little hearts out. Fans loved when the band played “Good Girls” live, and went nuts for their cover of The Romantics’ “What I Like About You”. There was not a single person sitting down throughout the show. They closed their set with their biggest hit, “She Looks So Perfect”, and definitely got the entire arena up and dancing.
Band’s biggest fan base in Asia is arguably in the Philippines, since the show sold out few hours shortly after public sale. Before the show I read some posts online coming from “Team Labas,” referring to fans positioned behind the huge barricade. Some of the fans came from the province and took the chance to see a glimpse of the band from outside the arena. It was totally amazing to see the fans finally seeing one of the biggest pop punk bands on the planet today. All those posts and vigilance on social media paid off. No one could ever top the moment to see your favorite band live, and 5 Seconds of Summer first ever show in Manila made a mark on the 5SOS Fam, whose devotion made the experience even more special.
More Photos at 5 Seconds of Summer Live in Manila Photo Gallery
Specials Thanks to MMI Live
Written by Cen Sulit
Photos by Glenn Michael Tan
5SOS Live in Manila Setlist
Heartache on the Big Screen
Waste the Night
Jet Black Heart
End Up Here
Vanilla in Manila
What I Like About You
(The Romantics cover)
She's Kinda Hot
She Looks So Perfect