REVIEW: 5 Seconds of Summer, Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle
5 Seconds of Summer brought their world tour to Newcastle last night, rocking the Arena with a mammoth set and magnetic stage show.
The Aussie band performed a brief ode to the city, titled Newcastle Not Oldcastle, and teased a return in 2017 during a hugely-popular show in front of a sizeable crowd of their adoring fans.
Fan favourites including Don’t Stop and Amnesia came thick and fast, with No 1 breakthrough single She Looks So Perfect saved until the end as part of a boisterous encore.
There was also plenty of material from their latest album, released since their last visit to the Arena in 2015, and received just as devotedly as their earliest hits.
Luke, Michael, Calum and Ashton alternated in engaging with the audience, and although you would suspect the rigours of an international arena tour are taking their toll, the guys kept the energy up throughout the show.
5 Seconds of Summer are one of a wave of boy bands who play their own instruments - arguably this generation’s answer to the recently-reunited Busted.
They’re billed as a pop-punk band, albeit a very clean-cut one, and there’s clearly a desire to be taken more seriously in that field, as signalled by inviting former Kerrang! Tour headliners Don Broco along as support.
Don Broco were infamously hit by a power cut last summer while headlining Middlesbrough’s Make a Scene Festival, and their run of bad luck in the north-east initially continued as Rob Damiani’s microphone appeared to cut out mid-song.
But the apparent issue was quickly resolved, and the band hyped up the crowd well for the headliners, albeit with slightly more family-friendly character than usual.
By the time of the changeover the venue was almost full - although the show didn’t quite sell out - with an audience made up mostly of teenage girls and, occasionally, their parents.
5 Seconds of Summer opened with Hey Everybody, and the set proceeded from there with a storm of hit singles and fan favourite album tracks, culminating in a 20-plus song performance on the night.
Their song about Newcastle - Newcastle Not Oldcastle - was presumably thought up in very quick time, but the personal touch was wildly appreciated in the Arena.
The band’s members occasionally took to the short ramp to screams from the VIP section at the front, although at other times were perhaps more static than might be expected from bands of their age and in their field.
Each of the guys took turns to chat to the crowd during their occasional breaks, spreading the love around beyond frontman Luke Hemmings - who sounded as if he might have a sore throat when he spoke.
The encore featured last year’s hit single She’s Kinda Hot, followed by their massive worldwide hit She Looks So Perfect, already two years old but as popular as ever.
5 Seconds of Summer aren’t likely to fade away any time soon, and stand a better chance than most of maturing in sound with their audience by virtue of their pop-punk leanings.
They’re certainly bound to be back regardless, hinting it another visit at soon as next year, and asking the Newcastle crowd to promise to return - as they are sure to do whenever such dates are announced.