This past Saturday, I attended 5 Seconds of Summer’s (aka: 5sos) Sounds Live Feels Live concert in Dallas. I was also fortunate enough to be able to attend their soundcheck prior to the concert. This was the first time I’ve experienced a 5sos soundcheck. It was worth every dime, and I will be buying that VIP Soundcheck pass to all future concerts I am able to attend.
After arriving, checking in, and waiting for a few hours, we were brought into the seating area for soundcheck. We received a brief explanation from a member of the 5sos security team on how things were going to go. Then the boys came out and opened soundcheck with a performance of Beside You, before answering 6-7 questions (give or take, I wasn’t really keeping track), and ending soundcheck with a performance of If You Don’t Know. We’ll just say that I am one very happy camper now that I’ve heard IYDK live. I wasn’t sure I’d ever get a chance see them perform it, and I had fingers and toes crossed they’d play it at soundcheck.
Of the people who were chosen to ask the boys a question, I was lucky enough to be one of those people. And I’m never that lucky. The universe was definitely looking out for me on Saturday. When the person who was pre-screening questions told me I was going to ask my question, I somehow managed to keep myself in one piece and not freak out. Well that’s a lie. The freaking out part anyway. But I did manage to stay in one piece so that was an accomplishment. I mean, how could you stay calm if you were about to ask the band that’s become an important part of your life a question about their music? When it was my turn, I managed to not drop the microphone and ask my question with out stumbling over my own words. Another accomplishment for the day. The boys are probably some of the most chill dudes around, but I’ll have you know it’s quite intimidating when all four of them are looking right at you. Any how, the question I asked them was:
What inspired you to add strings on this album and when in the writing process did that happen?
Michael jumped right in and said adding the strings to the specific tracks happened toward the end of the writing process when they were recording the album, and talked about how amazing it was they got to work with the London Symphony Orchestra. I can still picture his reaction to my reaction when he mentioned working with LSO. I won’t lie, I’ve gotten teary eyed every time I think about it. It was like he knew based on my reaction, I knew how incredible an opportunity it was to work with such incredible musicians. And having seen LSO live, it makes me so happy and proud that they had the opportunity to collaborate with them on SGFG.
Luke talked about how there are various computer programs that would allow them to create the strings arrangements for the tracks, but they wanted to have music that was live and not a computer simulated string arrangement. He also talked about how awesome it was to be in the studio when LSO was recording for their tracks. The songs on the album that have strings in them sound amazing as they are, but I can’t even imagine how incredible it was to watch and hear the musicians record live. I get chills thinking about it.
And Ashton talked about a band from the late 70s or 80s – I can’t for the life of me remember the name now – and how they incorporated other elements like strings into their music. He mentioned a specific album of theirs as well – which I also can’t remember the name of – and how it was a big influence on them incorporating strings into their own music. He also said that particular album was one of the best albums around musically, and I wish I could remember the name of the band and the album because I want go find their music. Ashton – if you ever see this … would you kindly refresh my memory on the name of the band and the name of the album you mentioned??
I know they talked in more detail than what I just said, and I’m pretty sure Calum said a few things as well, but that’s all I can remember right now. And they said my question was a great/good question (at least two of them said something at the same time) and Michael thanked me for asking it (not gonna lie – I highkey fangirled). After I sat down, I nearly cried because I couldn’t believe that had just happened. It’s been 48-hours and I still can’t believe it happened. It was so surreal to have them answer my question because it was almost like we were just sitting down and having a conversation about music and their writing process and where they draw inspiration from. And while they were talking to the crowd as a whole, they were looking at me and speaking to me while answering my question. It was honestly one of the most special moments and I can’t thank my lucky stars enough for the opportunity to have asked them my question and for them to respond the way they did. I wish I could spend an entire day with them talking about music. While I can totally picture the four of them saying it might not be, spending a day like that with them would be a life changing experience.
As for the concert itself, I don’t even have words. It was absolutely unbelievable. The amount of talent up on that stage is unreal. Unreal to the point where my brain cannot process it at all. Their chemistry as friends, brothers even, is off the charts and it translates to the band and to the stage. I enjoyed the time between songs when they’re interacting with the crowd and bantering with each other as much as I loved hearing them sing their songs.
The skill they have on their respective instruments is so good it’s hard to believe they’re 20-22 years in age. It’s like they’ve been at this much longer than they actually have been. Their voices are just as incredible as their skill and ability on guitar, bass, and drums. If you need an example, please go listen to, and watch a video of them performing Girls Talk Boys, their single from the new Ghostbusters soundtrack, and then listen to Sounds Good Feels Good. The versatility in their voices and how they can switch vocal styles and blend so well with each other and so seamlessly is mind blowing.
My my two favorite moments from the show Saturday night happened during their performances of Castaway and Jet Black Heart. My brain still hasn’t processed that I saw Michael and Luke battle it out on guitar at the end of Castaway. That is one of my favorite songs on SGFG and I love hearing it live. But their guitar battle at the end has always been my favorite part of their live performance of the song. They are both incredibly talented guitarists in their own right, but watching Michael shred the hell out of his solos… that was an experience I’ll never forget.
As for Jet Black Heart, after Michael began the intro to the song where he gets the crowd involved, 10,000+ people screamed and cheered for him for 5.5 minutes. 5.5 minutes. Watching Michael’s reaction and seeing the look on his face when the fans had no intention of quieting down so he could actually begin singing Jet Black Heart… That was my favorite moment from the show Saturday night. It brought tears to my eyes then, and it brings tears my eyes now. It was my favorite moment before I even saw the show live. Experiencing that moment in person was everything I thought it would be and more.
Thank you Michael, Luke, Ashton, and Calum for an unbelievable day and night on Saturday. And thank you for answering my question at soundcheck. That question has been on my mind since SGFG dropped last year, and the few minutes that you guys took to answer my question means so much to me. I still can’t believe I actually had the opportunity to ask you that question. I’m really never that lucky. That is a moment I will never forget.
Thank you for sharing your passion, your music, your songs, and your talent with us. Thank you for giving 110% every night you’re out on that stage. Thank you for making every concert a special night for fans. The four of you have given me so much through your music and I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to properly thank you for that.
Congratulations on your incredible, and successful, North American leg of the Sounds Live Feels Live World Tour!! You should be so proud of everything that you have accomplished this year. Saying I’m proud would be an massive understatement, because I am beyond proud. Safe travels to you all as you head back to Australia to close out the SLFL Tour. Enjoy last few shows and soak up every moment. Then take a well earned, and well deserved break to relax and spend time with family and friends.
I can’t wait to see what your next album has in store for us. If it’s anything like SGFG, it’s going to be absolutely brilliant. Thank you again, from the bottom of my heart, for everything you’ve done for me and for all your fans, and for making SLFL Dallas a day and night I’ll never forget.