5 Seconds of Summer started the first night of their co-headlining tour World War Joy with The Chainsmokers last week. The first show took place at the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The band had dozens of fans camping out overnight to see them at the venue, and I was one of them. I mean, it was the first time they have been to Cincinnati in over three years!
The group of us also got to talk to the drummer of the band, Ashton Irwin, the night before the show. He reminded us to stay safe and to have a good night, is that not the sweetest? And every person in the overnight line were only there for 5SOS (which surprised the locals in the area).
Spending 30+ hours on the street for a band may seem like something only crazy people do… And maybe I am a crazy person… But spending time with the people I have met through this band is one of the most special experiences of my life.
We kept ourselves occupied by playing board games and making random TikTok videos. The security were amazing and wonderfully accommodating which made the entire camping experience so much better. I personally helped run the line for the majority of the time I was camping, and that in itself was no easy task. I had many people tell me the line wasn’t going to work the way we envisioned. But I held out hope that everything the security had told us the day before was still applicable to the situation.
After everything was said and done, we were let into the venue a couple of minutes after doors opened. We were given wristbands and our tickets were scanned to walk down to the pit and get to our spots. The minute I finally got barricade for my favorite band, I felt like crying. I’ve waited seven years to be close to my band and I could feel an overwhelming wave of emotions wash over me.
We sat down at the barricade and I realized I was seeing them with my best friends, which made everything a million times better. We made some small talk with the security guard in front of Calum Hood‘s mic (shout out to Jordan from U.S. Bank Arena, you’re a real one) and finally soaked everything up before the band took to the stage.
Lennon Stella started off the show at exactly 7:00pm with her 25-minute set. She is a certified angel and an incredible amazing performer. If you have the chance, definitely get to the venue early to see Lennon perform.
Although it was the first night of the tour, and her setlist wasn’t well known by the crowd, she had many fans singing the words to her songs and cheering along as she performed. If you’re looking for a reason to listen to her before your World War Joy show, or just an excuse to listen to some new music in general, this is it… She sounds exactly like she does in the studio the minute she hits the stage.
Before I knew it, the lights went down at 7:50pm, signaling 5SOS were about to start their 50-minute set. I was one amongst 8,000 people in the venue… And alongside thousands of fans watching online through live streams of other fans. I was looking across a sea of people all smiling wide, singing along to every song 5SOS performed for us.
I even planned a fan project for the show, consisting of the first eighty people in line to wear clown noses during their opening song. I thought they might be a little thrown off by a sea of clowns, but they are always unphased by their fans coming together, even to participate in something as silly as wearing foam clown noses. After they finished the first song, it was evident they were excited for the rest of the night and excited to see how the rest of tour would play out.
Overall, 5SOS played a total of seventeen songs within their allotted fifty-minute time slot. They didn’t stop much to talk to the crowd like they would normally do throughout their own shows, but it was understandable given the time crunch they were performing with. Fan favorites like “Why Won’t You Love Me”, “Ghost of You”, “Waste the Night”, “Jet Black Heart” and their latest single, “Teeth”, were all performed at the U.S. Bank Arena Wednesday night.
They had the crowd in the palm of their hand their whole set, and constantly had us dancing or jumping along to their high energy songs. Everyone in the crowd, whether they were on the floor or in a seat, were up on their feet and singing along with 5 Seconds Of Summer for the wonderful set they’d prepared for us. During their last song, “Youngblood” the security guards were even nodding their heads and singing along.
Not every person in that arena may have heard of them before the show, but they definitely all left knowing who they are. And the fans of each artist who walked into that arena knowing every word to every song shed many tears, shared many hugs and wore huge smiles throughout their entire set.
In my honest and very biased opinion, 5SOS are the best live band of our generation.
The dedication these four men put into their stage presence and production is unmatched by any other artist out there. They continuously blow their fans away with everything they do. They truly love being onstage most nights of their lives, and give back to their fans whenever they can… You’d be hard pressed to find a group of more genuine guys.
5 Seconds Of Summer are going to be around for a really long time, so if you haven’t gone to a show or at least given them a listen… What are you waiting for? I promise you that you will not regret it. Listening to them was the best decision I’ve ever made.
Words & Featured Photo: Jules Bressler
(And if you’re wondering… Calum messed up the lyrics right to “Waste The Night” this show too.)