By Dani McKenzie | 13 September 2023
If you are avoiding The 5 Seconds of Summer Show spoilers, I would strongly suggest reading this after your show.
On August 12 and 13, 2023, the 5 Seconds of Summer Show made its way to Boston for the second and third nights of the North American leg of the tour. The 5 Seconds of Summer Show is, for all intents and purposes, a massive, joyful, confetti-filled celebration of 5SOS. In the almost 12 years the band has been together, they have developed a discography stacked with bop after bop after bop. Their songs range from pure pop-punk and teenage angst to existentialist, self-reflective ballads that hit you right where it hurts.
In creating the setlist for this show, the band reached back as far as a decade ago, including songs from their first album and borderline obscure EPs. They feature songs that have essentially become inside jokes between the band and their fans, particularly ones that they have clearly stated their distaste for, which their fans still adore. (It's about the nostalgia!)
The set is non-stop—there's really no other way to put it. To start, I'm sorry, but opening with "Bad Omens" is absolutely insane. (ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!? Have you seen the Royal Albert Hall performance?!? Do you know how many times I listened to that song the day it was released, let alone in all the time since?!?)
One of the most mind-blowing, jaw-dropping, 'I can't even cry because I simply haven't processed what is happening because I am in full shock' aspects of the set is the absolutely sensational transitions between songs. To name a few: "Carousel" into "Why Won't You Love Me", "Jet Black Heart" into "She Looks So Perfect", and notably "Vapor" into "Waste the Night." This Sounds Good, Feels Good girly was not doing well let me tell you! I don’t know how many times I just yelled “no” into the void.
And I have to give my girl 5SOS5 her moment because that album is a masterpiece, and no, I do not take criticism. Every song they put into the set off of 5SOS5 was incredible live. Knowing that this album was made by the band completely on their own terms, and it being the most sonically beautiful album the band has created, only for the live versions of the songs to be even more spectacular, makes the experience of hearing them this tour even more meaningful. From how amazing the songs sounded, to how much fun the band had performing them, I just hope this album becomes a staple in 5SOS's setlist for the future.
Boston got incredibly lucky with the dice songs. Night one was "Wrapped Around Your Finger," which might have been the first time it was performed on this tour (I may be mistaken), with a beautiful lead vocal by the one and only Michael Clifford. And night two was "English Love Affair," which was the first time it was performed…ever. Being a member of that audience for the moment we realized we would be hearing that song live for the first time was one of the craziest experiences of my life. It may have been the loudest part of the show. The band really chose some of the most fan-loved deep cuts, slapped them on a giant red dice, threw it into the crowd, and "left it up to chance." Feels like a weird fever dream if you ask me, but I'm not complaining.
When the band came back for the encore and took off their ridiculous bathrobes only to start performing "Outer Space," I don't think I have ever burst into tears so quickly in my life. "Outer Space/Carry On" is a song that has been so crucial to my life it is difficult to put the impact into words. It didn't help that Luke Hemmings then went on to say his goodbye speech, and all the rumors of this being their last tour for a while circled in my mind. They transitioned to “Youngblood,” which sent the crowd back into a final jump up and down-mode. And let me tell you, going into “Youngblood” live sobbing is an experience.
5SOS are and have been one of the best live bands out there for a long time. Every single tour they continue to prove this.They always put their all into their performances, engaging the audience and interacting with each other throughout the set.
But the energy seems a little different this tour. There is such a poignant feeling of happiness and pride deeply embedded in The Show. You can feel how much love was put into curating this tour. From the setlist, to the Best Friend Cam, to battling Ashton Irwin and losing every time so you can say you got "sauced" at the 5SOS show, to giggling through the silly skits placed throughout, to crying through the numerous thank you speeches by each of the band members (I'm looking at you Calum Hood)—as a fan, this show feels like a massive hug from your "Best Friends."
I feel so lucky to have been able to experience 5SOS live during this tour, at this point in my life. It is something so beautiful to be able to grow with the artists you love, but having the art from those artists' come to you at the exact right time and place in your life is something else altogether. 5SOS have been that for me for a very long time. I know the rumors are saying that The 5 Seconds of Summer Show is a 'goodbye for now' tour, and I can feel it too, but with a bittersweet smile I can proudly and gratefully say that 5SOS have given me some of the happiest memories of my life and I have no doubt that they will continue to do so. I'll be here. After all, "that's what you do when you love somebody."