“We’re sorry it took us five years to come to Hong Kong!” shouted Calum Hood, bassist of 5 Seconds of Summer. Indeed, after a five-year wait for the band to make a stop in the city, the fervent crowd was granted their wish. As part of their Sounds Live Feels Live tour, the Australian pop punk band stopped by at AsiaWorld-Expo on Thursday night, marking the first time the band toured Asia since the band’s formation in 2011.
The jubilance and excitement of the crowd was pertinent early on, which was only beefed up by powerful opening act KillerSoap, a local rock band. After much anticipation, the lights dimmed, and the screaming began.
Donning an all-black ensemble, complete with black skinny jeans, the boys clearly looked like they were enjoying themselves. As always, guitarist Michael Clifford’s hair colour was a focal point of discussion – that night he sported a bright shade of electric blue.
5SOS’s performance swept the legion of fanatical teenage girls, who comprised most of the crowd, off their feet. The smaller hall made the experience especially intimate and personal. Unlike most concerts these days, the boys were able to solely rely on their instruments, their voices (a heads up: all of them can sing!) and some stage lights to put on a show. Their command and presence were displayed the moment they stepped foot on the stage with energetic song Hey Everybody! The bass of the drums reverberated through the hall, guitars were strummed with ferocity, and the vocals were impassioned, although slightly strained and hoarse at times. Their versatility with instruments went well with the crowd, with Luke Hemmings and Clifford battling each other in a makeshift guitar showdown.
Big crowd-pleasers of the night included Don’t Stop, Amnesia and Good Girls, taken from their self-titled debut album. Songs were also taken from their most recent album, Sounds Good Feels Good. The concert teetered along the PG-13 line with occasional crude language, and when, to everyone’s amusement, fans threw lingerie on the stage.
Hemmings took center stage, overflowing with charisma. Drummer Ashton Irwin went all out, rocking out with the fans. Clifford’s immaculate guitar playing skills spoke all. Hood was more reserved through the concert; however, the synergy between the four members was a delight to watch.
The boys also made a clear effort to interact sincerely with the audience. Evidently, they did their research. Michael Clifford reminded us of the Chinglish phrase ‘chok’, meaning ‘cool’. Halfway through the concert, the boys even sang a song they wrote especially for the city, Hong Kong rhymes with King Kong.
Bowing out with their number one single She Looks So Perfect, the band left the crowd in a whirlwind. A dash of craziness, a dash of silliness and a whole lot of fun. The concert won’t win many converts, but they definitely echoed the spirit of their album – it sounded good, felt good!