The year is 2012. I am working at NOVA Entertainment in Sydney, and have a young girl by the name of Taylor sit with me to do work experience. I asked, as I always do, “who’s your favourite band?”… “I really like this new band The 1975, and my friend Michael’s band 5 Seconds of Summer” and proceeded to show me their YouTube covers. Not long after, they came into the studio, young, doughy eyed with a support slot on the One Direction tour soon to follow.

Fast forward to 2018. Two number one albums, 36 major awards wins, countless fans and tonight, a sold out gig in New York City, at the iconic Irving Plaza. The bands who’ve taken the stage before them? Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foo Fighters, The Ramones, Pearl Jam… you get the picture. The adorkable boys from Sydney, are now fully fledged rockstars.

Ashton takes to the stage first, and plonks down at his kit. The young girl I had a chat with earlier in the night, turned to me and said, “you might want to cover your ears.” The three others followed and are met with deafening screams, something they took in their stride.

Opening with ‘She Looks So Perfect’ and ending with ‘Want You Back’ off their forthcoming album, there wasn’t a lyric fans missed. Even the newly dropped ‘Youngblood’, which starts off slow and develops into a synth-pop smash by the chorus. (Fun fact, the band wrote it with the same guys who worked with Camila Cabello on ‘Havana.’)

With so many fan favourites, it must be a challenge to choose what songs stay on the setlist, and which ones get the boot. Personally, I thought the standouts were ‘Amnesia’, where the crowd sung the entire opening verse for Calum, and ‘She’s Kinda Hot’, the bass line in that needs to be heard live.

The order in which they performed their tracks was a great way to balance the old with the new and in-between. Check the setlist below and see what I mean…

  1. She Looks So Perfect
  2. Girls Talk Boys
  3. Disconnected
  4. Moving Along
  5. She’s Kinda Hot
  6. Valentine
  7. Amnesia
  8. Lie to Me
  9. Waste the Night
  10. Talk Fast
  11. Youngblood
  12. Jet Black Heart
  13. Want You Back

Despite the ups and downs of the fickle music industry, I hope 5 Seconds of Summer never lose site of their accomplishments and just how far they’ve come in seven years.

The band hit the road again in August for their ‘Meet You There’ tour, kicking off in Canada. Tickets are on sale now, with more shows soon to be announced.