The four members of 5 Seconds of Summer take the stage at the TCU White River Amphitheater. Photo courtesy of IndyStar.
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Live music is back and better than ever. On July 15, 2022, all of downtown Indianapolis from the Indianapolis Zoo to the JW Marriott felt the power of pop rock. Australian band 5 Seconds of Summer brought the “Take My Hand World Tour” to the TCU White River Amphitheater for almost 6,000 fans. After over 10 years of making music, the band crafted a vibrant celebration of nostalgia and the joy of live shows for old and new fans alike.
After 2 years of pandemic-related postponing, the formerly titled “No Shame Tour” was born again as a new creation, complete with a new single or two and an album announcement. Venue upgrades, new tickets and a reinvented aesthetic all led the tour to new heights and a renewed sense of maturity after the moody, pop-heavy release of their fourth album “CALM” and punk-rock past repertoire.
Brenna Mehringer, a sophomore health sciences and Spanish major and longtime fan, believes that the band’s sustained success over the last decade is due to their ability to adapt to the demands of their industry while staying true to their roots.
“I think that they have done a good job of changing their music style with the way that music has been evolving,” Mehringer said. “They’ve kept their fan base and their message behind what they do similar, in order to keep everybody engaged as they’ve continued to develop over time.”
The world tour — comprising 66 shows — spanned four continents with the opening acts Coin, Pale Waves, Hinds, Little Luna and Post Animal. The latter opened the Indianapolis show; the psychedelic rock band, formed in the Midwest, joined the band for two nights to temporarily replace Pale Waves. Post Animal delivered a short set of their laid-back and alternative rock, allowing the audience a much needed moment to sway along before the energetic performance that would be brought forth by the main act.
After appearing onstage through a cloud of smoke, bursts of synth and a LED laser cone, 5 Seconds of Summer led the charged crowd through their high energy singles. Opening with 2020’s “No Shame” followed by “Easier” and “More,” the band had the crowd on their feet with complex guitar riffs and bold bass and drums. The set continued with fan-favorite deep cuts from past albums such as “Disconnected” and “Beside You.” The band then slowed the tempo with sentimental tracks like “Amnesia” and “Jet Black Heart”, bringing long-time fans to their feet to thrust phone flashlights into the air and sing with their neighbors in tandem. After disappearing from the stage after an incredible 25-song set, the band returned for an encore with their most successful song to date, “Youngblood.” The pop rock hit left the crowd buzzing, even four years after its release.
Brynn Baker, a sophomore biochemistry major who attended the concert, believes that the power of live music brings people together based upon shared passion and interests.
“[Live music] completely changes the dynamic [of experiencing art] because you’re with a huge group of people who also have that same interest in the musicians and the songs, and you have an emotional connection to it,” Baker said. “For the hour and a half that you’re [at a concert] you’re one big family, joining together to celebrate the music that has impacted you all in some way.”
With their fan community and the global music industry, the band has honed their creative live arrangements, instrumental versatility and inventive album cycles that merge signature aesthetics with new modalities of the intersection of pop music and rock music. Shedding their “boy band” label and comparisons to past contemporaries, the group has emphasized that their preparation for their fifth album release carries much sentimental weight and gratitude for the past while maintaining hope for the future.
Jessica Hutzel, a sophomore pre-pharmacy major who attended the band’s tour stop in Cincinnati, accredits the band’s success with their bond with their fans and each other.
“I think [5 Seconds of Summer] has had so much success because of their love and dedication for their music and their fans, but also because they work well together and have been friends for so long,” Hutzel said. “I love watching their music live because it gives an energy that you can’t get through listening [to it] through your phone. You’re also surrounded by people who love the band as much as you do so the vibes are immaculate.”
The group’s fifth album “5SOS5” will hit shelves and streaming on Sept. 23, accompanied by a live, one night only, orchestra-led album release performance at London’s Royal Albert Hall on Sept.22. Find 5 Seconds of Summer on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music or wherever music is sold.