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Why 5 Seconds of Summer Is My Most Looked Forward to Concert Post COVID


Hey Everybody! I’m Samantha - your average overworked college student, art hobbyist, and big music fan who is occasionally known to memorize album track lists in order.

One of my most defining personality traits is that I am very passionate about the music I listen to. I’m pretty sure I annoy all of my friends with how much I talk about my favorite artists and songs, but somehow I didn’t truly realize how important music was to me until COVID hit last year. And to be honest, I have one band to thank for that discovery. I’ve been a 5 Seconds of Summer fan since I was fourteen, but something about listening to their music over quarantine reminded me why I love music so much.

When I stayed up until midnight to listen to their latest album, CALM, when it dropped last year, I wasn’t expecting the whirlwind of self-discovery that would result. It started off so casually. I listened to it when it dropped on March 27th last year and loved it, but I was too caught up with early pandemic college stress to truly appreciate it. Then, 2 months had passed, college classes ended for the summer, and I was bored out of my mind. It was almost like that really cheesy quote from The Fault In Our Stars by John Green: “I fell in love with you the way you fall asleep, slowly, and then all at once.” (14 year old me would be really happy to hear that I’m still listening to 5SOS on the daily and quoting John Green. Nearly 21 year old me doesn’t know how to feel about it.) What was once casually listening to an artist’s latest album spiraled into a deep dive of their entire discography. 

For the next 3 months (yes, 3 months), I exclusively listened to 5 Seconds of Summer’s entire discography on repeat. If you’re wondering how to be in your favorite artist’s top 0.001% of Spotify listeners when Spotify Wrapped comes out, I know from experience that listening to them every day for 3 months works - just in case you were wondering. The only time I took a break from their music was when Taylor Swift released folklore (another album that I passionately love btw). Now, you’re probably wondering what about 5SOS’s music inspired me to listen to nothing else for 3 months straight. I’ve broken it down into 5 reasons: 

THEIR INTENTIONALITY WITH INSTRUMENTS, LYRICS, ETC.:

When I listen to 5SOS, I don’t just listen to the lyrics. I listen to the instruments, the production elements, the vocals, the lyrics, all of it. They are one of very few artists I listen to that I feel like their instruments are just as important and intentional as their lyrics or vocals. That’s not to say that I don’t think other artists are intentional with their instruments. I am just really passionate about the instrumentals in 5SOS’s songs. For example, if you can listen to “Red Desert” (the first track off their latest album) and not be completely entranced by the bass and drums, then I just don’t know if I can trust you. You’d have to be lying to me. I’m kidding- sorta (I’m really passionate about my love for this song, particularly the bass and drums). If the guitars in “More” (track 9 off their third album, Youngblood) don’t get you hyped up, then I don’t know if we can be friends. I could go on forever about the different instruments that I like in particular songs, but I’ll leave it at that. I just strongly believe that you should give their music a listen to and truly appreciate what they’ve done with their instruments and production.

THEIR VERSATILITY:

Moving along to their versatility, none of their albums are the same sound. One of my pet peeves is when albums have songs that all sound the same or an artist’s new album sounds just like their old ones. While some artists can successfully make a career out of sticking with one sound (and that doesn’t make them any less talented), I highly value artists who have the ability to work across multiple genres or sounds. Not only is this versatility present across their 4 albums, but it is also present in their last album alone. Just within the first 6 tracks, all of the songs sound vastly different yet completely cohesive. 

THEIR PASSION AND THE DEDICATION THEY PUT INTO THEIR PERFORMANCES: 

I feel like there is a very clear distinction between artists who are truly passionate about making good music and those who just do it as a cash grab or to have fun. It’s so much easier to enjoy an artist’s work when you can feel their passion in it. Unfortunately, I’ve never had the chance to see them play live, but I have listened to their live albums, and I can hear this passion when they perform their songs. If you want to see what I mean, you can stream their Meet You There Tour live album on Spotify or look up their live performances on YouTube. You’ll easily be able to see how much effort, passion, and dedication they put into each and every one of their performances.

NOSTALGIA:

Nostalgia plays a key part in why people like many of the things they like. This is particularly relevant for my music taste. Many of my favorite songs are the ones that remind me of something in my past. Early Taylor Swift hits different because “Love Story,” “Our Song,” and “You Belong With Me” were constantly playing on the radio when I was like 8. I’ve really been enjoying Billy Joel’s music lately because it reminds me of the songs my dad used to play when I was young. With 5 Seconds of Summer’s music, I easily attach their early releases to my middle school and early high school days. Middle school and high school weren’t a great time for me (as I’m sure they weren’t for most people), but I remember going home after a long day of school and putting on their debut album. Then, everything was okay. To this day, their music still means a lot to me because it’s been there for me through so many ups and downs. 

LASTLY:

Calum Hood, Ashton Irwin, Luke Hemmings, and Michael Clifford. That’s it. Those are the reasons.

So, when COVID finally ends and concerts are a thing again, I will have no shame in being somewhere in the crowd of their show, screaming the lyrics to every song they perform because there is no other band that I’d rather support than the 4 aussies who made the past 7 years some of my best years. 

And that’s all for now. I’m over and out!






3 Things Concert Venues Can Do To Prepare For A Resurgence In 2021



2020 has been a rough year for everyone. Concert Venues have been hit particularly hard this year. Unlike restaurants, you can’t DoorDash a concert. With the release of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines and Sunday night’s stimulus deal, which includes a $15 Billion, “Save Our Stages” package, hope is finally on the way!

Over the last year, many of us have done our part to self-quarantine in hopes of stopping the spread of COVID-19. Humans are social creatures and quarantine exhaustion is real. As soon as access to the vaccine is opened-up to the general population, concertgoers will flock to it. As humans, we crave social interaction and nothing is more social than sharing live music together.

Warm spring weather, plus a vaccine, will lead to a new roaring 20’s. Concerts will become a huge part of that party in 2021 (and beyond). Here are three things concert venues need to do in preparation for the coming tidal wave of concertgoers this Summer:

Require proof of a vaccine for entry - Following the successful lobbying efforts around the “Save Our Stages” stimulus package, the National Independent Venue Association must now turn their attention to ensuring independent venues and concertgoers implement vaccine checks similar to Live Nation’s announcement, last November. In this plan, Live Nation will require ticket purchasers verify their vaccine status or provide documentation of passing a COVID test, 48-hours in advance of an event. 

Require masks and make hygiene a priority - Vaccine and testing checks are a great step towards ensuring everyone’s safety, but they aren’t entirely fool-proof. People will circumvent the system, which is why masks should still be required for entry to, and during an event. Make hand sanitizer accessible at every bar, merch table and in bathrooms. 

Marketing, marketing, marketing - After a year of being cooped-up, people will be chomping at the bit to get back to live events. There is no better time than now to do a digital check-up to ensure your website has all of the proper details, event pages are up-to-date, ticket links work and COVID protection/prevention measures are clearly stated. Every venue is going to book as many artists as possible and social media feeds will be inundated with sponsored posts. So, this is also the time to differentiate your approach to reaching fans. Social media advertising engagement rates are a paltry 3% on a good day but Messaging is on the rise. Free services such as Tixxy, send fans personalized concert alerts via text, based on the music they listen to. SMS marketing brings with it, 98% open-rates (compared to 20% with email and 3% for Social Media). This is a great way to get the word out to concertgoers at no cost to you without resorting to TikTok dances. 

We’re not out of the woods yet and it’s premature to celebrate, but 2021 is poised to be a re-birth and banner year for the live music industry and fans alike. Everyone needs to do their part to ensure we can get back to partying. I’m a firm believer, 2021 will be the year live music makes its triumphant return.