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A typical fan response to boy band 5 Seconds of Summer in SF concert

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APRIL 17, 2014

“What has the state of rock and roll come to?” lamented a bartender Friday night at the Fillmore as the band 5 Seconds of Summer, or 5SOS, took the stage.

Although 5SOS did do a brief cover of Green Day’s “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” and although the band does draw on rock influences, the despairing bartender was misinformed as to the genre of music being blasted through the Fillmore that night. 5SOS, consisting of band members Luke Hemmings, Michael Clifford, Calum Hood and Ashton Irwin, is an Australian pop boy band that has been likened to its British counterpart, One Direction.

5SOS shot to fame opening for One Direction’s “Take Me Home” tour. Its most popular single, “She Looks So Perfect,” recently debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200. The meteoric rise of 5SOS has unsurprisingly been fueled by teenage girls, the economic drivers determining the fate of guitar-laden, pop-ballad crooning young men everywhere.

To provide an evaluation of the band’s performance that night is nearly impossible given the decibel at which the largely teenage female audience was screaming. Despite the fact that the band’s musical ability was indiscernible due to the overwhelming crowd noise, the band’s stage presence was that of a confident, high-energy group of performers.

Jackson Guthy, the opening act, revealed toward the end of his set that he was lacking a significant other. “How many ladies in here are young and single?” he asked slyly. If the sound of screaming banshees is an affirmative answer, then Guthy, who danced and sang his way through a few uninspiring pop tunes, has a large pool of potential partners to choose from.

Naturally, the enthusiasm for the main act was only multiplied by a hundredfold. At one point, Hood took his hands off the guitar and wiped his brow. “I’ve never sweat so much in my life,” he said. “I’m so sweaty right now.” Normally, such a mundane comment would result in the avoidance of the speaker of such a statement, but for the crowd at the Fillmore, nothing could have been more pleasing. High-energy covers of Frozen’s “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” and Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” failed to induce the same level of shrieking as idle boy band chatter.

It’s quite possible that 5SOS could have nonchalantly discussed real estate prices in San Francisco, and the crowd’s squeals would have pitched still higher. Regardless of how the band actually sounded that night, it was certainly a crowd-pleaser. There wasn’t much that 5SOS really needed to do. Given the band members’ confidence and their knowledge of how to work a crowd, all they had to do was say “hello.” But really.

Contact Lynn Yu at [email protected].

APRIL 17, 2014

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