5 Seconds of Summer: Sounds Live Feels Live
Written and Photos by MV Isip for Manila Concert Scene
How do you even begin to talk about the craziest date of the Sounds Live Feels Live Tour?
I’m confident with my superlative there since the Manila leg—March 12, 2016 at the Mall of Asia Arena—was the final stop and only sold out date in Asia, despite being the largest venue. It sold out in four hours, way back in November, and the demand for a Day 2 persisted until they opened (and again sold out) new sections. If the hype was real then, what more when 5 Seconds of Summer finally reach Philippine shores?
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that NAIA security had to deal with hordes of screaming singing fans, or that #WelcomeToManila5SOS was the top Twitter trend worldwide when Luke Hemmings, Michael Clifford, Ashton Irwin, and (our long lost Filipino homie... jk) Calum Hood arrived on March 11. #NoChillPhilippines was resurrected, and it could not have been more accurate.
On show day itself, a bunch of VIP ticket holders who lucked out on soundcheck passes were treated to a Q&A session, as well as performances of “Outer Space” and “Catch Fire,” the latter of which they have never officially played live.
A few hours later, after a crowd-friendly set by DJ Katsy Lee that rightly set the mood for the night’s sing-along party, the boys of 5SOS took the stage and kicked off with an excerpt of “Carry On,” immediately followed by “Hey Everybody!,” “Money,” and “Disconnected.”
They rolled out the old hits with “Don’t Stop” and “Heartache on the Big Screen,” and continued with “Waste The Night” and “Castaway,” which concluded in an amazing, extended solo war breakdown. If anyone in the crowd still brushed them off as a boy band with lackluster musicianship, that likely shut them up.
“Jet Black Heart,” the current single, started with just Michael, and as it transitioned to full band, fans raised their personalized “I am _____” signs in line with the Sounds Live Feels Live Worldwide project.
The similarly somber “Amnesia” was also accompanied by a fan action initiated by the Philippine street team. Specific sections were to shine yellow/red/blue phone screens, while those in VIP held up signs reading “We thought you’d never come.”
After five years and four canceled shows, they finally made it, and the Filo 5SOSfam made it count. That moment solidified this concert not as a bunch of artists on an elevated stage playing to spectators, but as a giant family reunion. It’s hard not to smile.
The mellow vibe carried on with “Beside You” and “Vapor.” And as if those back-to-back songs weren’t enough to rile up the entire arena, the members took turns addressing the crowd, from thanking (“Ever since Day 1, we heard from the Philippines” - Calum), apologizing (“Sorry it took so long” - Luke), inciting (“Is Muke/Cake/Cashton alive?”), to challenging (“I can mostly hear people singing along in the top rows. You guys on the floor, I just haven’t heard anything at all” - Ashton).
Challenge accepted, and I never thought I’d mosh so hard to lyrics that go “I’m a 6 and she’s a 10 / She’s so fit I’m insecure,” but the “End Up Here” and “Voodoo Doll” combo was too damn fun to resist. Next up was “Good Girls” which was especially memorable because “She can speak Tagalog / I think she’s fluent.”
Then we all bore witness to the world premiere of Clifford's Symphony No. 16 in D Major, a.k.a. Vanilla in Manila, the most complex, totally-not-repetitive 5SOS ‘song’ in existence. Much appreciated. They wrapped up with “Permanent Vacation,” featuring another welcome instrumental that transitioned to their cover of The Romantics’s “What I Like About You” before leaving the stage.
In between “We want more!” chants from above and a sing-alongs of “Wherever You Are” from below, the boys returned for their encore with lead singles “She’s Kinda Hot” and “She Looks So Perfect.”
After the obligatory group pic came the now infamous group hug turned tackle turned major fail, and on that crazy note, they concluded the craziest date of the Sounds Live Feels Live tour [so far].
More photos from the show below. Special thanks to Music Managament International