Music has an interesting way of bringing people together. Unlike any other medium, it truly allows for a deep connection without understanding. We can all connect to the person beside us at a concert. Us and the person next to us have both been affected enough by the music to shell out the fee for a ticket, yet we don’t truly get what made them connect to the music. We can relate, as we have also connected, but we cannot grasp the whole depth of what the lyrics being belted out mean to them personally. Despite that, these emotions create a unity unlike any other. There aren’t many other places in the world where you can unashamedly scream at the top of your voice with the stranger beside you between smiles.
It is not often that I experience reflective thoughts like these at concerts (and I am an avid concert-goer), yet seeing 5 Seconds of Summer — often referred to as 5SOS — brought alive these realizations within me as I stood in Section 4 of PNC Music Pavilion on Sept. 20. 5 Seconds of Summer is an Australian based pop-rock group. Their latest album, “Youngblood,” shifts into something much more experimental and personal than the two prior. Its raw lyricism about relationships and the hardships of life produces very individualized abilities in terms of resonation. Considering it is their newest release, most of the songs they sang had a home on “Youngblood.” Hearing the emotionally expressive songs from this album live generated a feeling within PNC Music Pavilion that I have had yet to experience there before. 5SOS’ authentic lyrics connected with every single person there in a different way.
The feelings invoked by the music was tangible within the arena. While this may have been partly due to the fact that the lawn section was closed off and everyone’s seats were upgraded, it merely made the event all the more unique and genuine. The close proximity to the surrounding people as well as the stage itself produced a unity unlike one would normally experience on the lawn. 5SOS took that unity and ran with it. The concert, initially supposed to be on Sept. 16, was rescheduled as a result of Hurricane Florence. 5SOS took an opportunity to support those affected by the storms. A percentage of all of their t-shirt sales the night of the Charlotte show was donated towards reformation and those in need post-Florence. This act of kindness not only allowed the band to give back, but provided a way in which the audience could take part in as well.
The band not only brought the audience together to give back but also through shared confusion and disbelief in a few instances. A moment that stands out as something I will surely never forget is the band’s performance of “The Only Reason,” a ballad-like, slow song that seemingly reflects the process of a failing relationship. The song is very somber in nature, yet for the first verse, their performance was layered with an effect that created an alien-like sound and caused the audience to laugh and collectively show confusion. Their humorous twist at the beginning made light of a song typically associated with sadness.
The concert was an amazing experience. In lieu of 5SOS’ newest, most real album and Hurricane Florence, the atmosphere was something that I’m unsure I will never be able to experience at another show. The unity generated through those powerful, connecting lyrics and the process of simultaneously providing for those in need was unlike any feeling produced at all the concerts I have been to in my life. It was a connection at the craziest of levels. Music has an interesting way of bringing people together, and 5 Seconds of Summer did an incredible job of tapping into that.
Photos by Pooja Pasupula.