Photo from notionmagazine.com
By Lauren Fetter
Australian pop-punk band 5 Seconds of Summer hit the stage at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater on Sept. 2 for the second of two sold-out shows during their “Rock Out With Your Socks Out” Tour, playing to 15,000 screaming fans.
Opening with one of their lesser-known songs, “End Up Here,” the four young men of 5SOS — pronounced “five sauce,” as they are known worldwide — showed their talent and musical prowess right from the beginning.
Guitarist and lead singer Luke Hemmings, though soft-spoken on stage in between songs, held his own as a serious musician. At 19, the youngest band member hit every note and interacted with the crowd while standing in the middle of the stage, using the short catwalk as often as possible.
Known for his ever-changing hair color, guitarist Michael Clifford kept the crowd energy high as he ran from either side of the stage, jumping around while still playing effortlessly.
Bassist Calum Hood, with his black and hot pink bass hanging low in front of him, was very crowd-focused, constantly going to the end of the stage closest to the amphitheater’s “Standing Room Only” section to include them in the show.
The most energetic member, however, was 21-year-old drummer and oldest band member, Ashton Irwin. Playing on a drum kit placed on a raised platform, Irwin did not miss a beat, jamming out to the boys’ many harder songs.
The band, which formed in Sydney in 2011, has spent the last two summers opening for One Direction on their world tours. Building up their fan base in the process, the boys have performed on both “Good Morning America” and the “Today Show,” won a number of awards and started their own record label, signing Los Angeles-based Hey Violet, their tour’s opening act, in the process.
The foursome’s 20-song setlist included everything from their first single in 2012, “Out of My Limit,” to songs from their 2014 self-titled album, as well as a cover of Green Day’s “American Idiot” and The Romantics’ “What I Like About You.” Preparing for the Oct. 23 worldwide release of their second album, “Sounds Good Feels Good,” the band rocked the beach with their latest single, “She’s Kinda Hot,” and played their new song, “Jet Black Heart” for the first time ever.
There is something special about 15,000 people singing the same song at the same time, especially considering that “Jet Black Heart” has not been released yet. Following the end of the song, as well as throughout the show, the boys thanked fans for their dedication and support. They also explained that Jones Beach Theater’s “on-the-water” location is one of the best venues they have ever played in.
From the second they stepped on stage, to the final bow, fans — mostly female, almost every one wearing flannel and combat boots to match the boys’ grunge look circa 1994 — did not stop screaming. At one point, during the popular ballad and known-tear-jerker “Amnesia,” the venue was filled with cell phone lights raised high in the air, lighting up the sky like stars.
With much more success to come for the group in the near future, it is evident that these Aussies are in for a wild ride of their own. 5 Seconds of Summer will be a household name in no time.