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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

‘If Walls Could Talk,’ they would scream ‘5 Seconds of Summer just performed at FirstBank Amphitheater’

The 5 Seconds of Summer show was packed with humor, lovable unseriousness and a perfect mixture of nostalgia and new music.
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Barrie Barto
Luke Hemmings rocks out at FirstBank Amphitheater, as photographed on Sept. 1, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Barrie Barto)

5 Seconds of Summer is the only band I know that can incorporate a hotdog dinner, an inflatable die and a hospital skit all in one concert. The Australian pop-rock band debuted in 2011 and since then have continued to build a cult following. The band is composed of four original members: Luke Hemmings, Michael Clifford, Calum Hood and Ashton Irwin. The 5SOS tour stop at FirstBank Amphitheater was a cacophony of blasting speakers, booming vocals and a deafening crowd. It was the type of concert that left you wondering, “Did 5SOS perform to the crowd or did the crowd perform for 5SOS?”

While 5SOS screams 2010s, their opener was grounded in the 2000s. Meet Me @ The Altar is a pop punk band formed in 2015 with the vibes of an early 2000s group. The band consists of three members: Edith Victoria, Téa Campbell and Ada Juarez. Their sound is unique with original songs like “T.M.I” and “Say It (To My Face).” The group also added their own twist to renditions of  “Since You Been Gone,” “Complicated” and “Burnin’ Up.” With their garage band appeal, Meet Me @ The Altar gave the audience a high-energy performance that left the venue buzzing, making them the perfect opener for 5SOS. 

While most concerts display an introduction video, 5SOS took this to a nonsensical level with Luke Hemmings sharing crowd safety measures while wearing a dress and wig at a hotdog dinner with the rest of the group. As the show continued, the screen unveiled another video of all four guys in hospital scrubs hovering over the camera as if it were a patient. The video consisted of jabs towards 2010s fashion like flannels around the waist and tight black skinny jeans. The patient, the crowd, was diagnosed with being a 5SOS fan and the scene ended with the intro for “Amnesia.” 

5SOS performed another goofy skit with the band at a casino, but instead of them rolling the dice, the crowd got to pass around a gigantic inflatable die. The red die had classic 5SOS songs on each side like “Heartbreak Girl” and “Voodoo Doll” and whichever song the die landed on, was the song they would perform next. Ultimately the winning song was “Heartache on the Big Screen.”

While Hemmings, Clifford and Hood continuously danced, walked and interacted with the crowd, Irwin stayed firmly at the back middle of the stage. He used the moment to show his gratitude.

 “I know we come back here every year or so, but it’s a special occasion when we come to a music city…we’re giving our best here in Nashville,” Irwin said. 

As if being blessed with the band’s talent, charisma and craziness wasn’t enough, the crowd got to hear some of their most famous songs, like “Jet Black Heart,” “She Looks So Perfect” and “Youngblood.” Personally, hearing “Teeth” live was a “chef’s kiss” moment, with a type of rock aura that you felt in your chest. 

And not only does Nashville adore 5SOS, but the feeling was mutual.

“I’m incredibly thankful that this many people have come here to see us. We have a couple more songs and then we are gone. You’ve got a couple more songs to give this show everything you’ve got,” Clifford said. 

I think my ears are still ringing from all the chanting, screaming and crying coming from all directions. It was the perfect night of insane, comical and loveable moments filled with a true passion for music. 

“Do we have any 5SOS fans here tonight? Second question: Do we have any real 5SOS fans here tonight?” Clifford said. 

Yes we do, and 7,000 of them are right here in Nashville! 

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About the Contributors
Chloe Pryor
Chloe Pryor, Staff Writer and Photographer
Chloe Pryor (‘26) is from Fort Smith, Ark., and is double majoring in psychology and communications studies. When not writing for The Hustler, you can fund her reading, drawing or running late for class. You can reach her at [email protected].
Barrie Barto
Barrie Barto, Editor-in-Chief
Barrie Barto ('25) is majoring in medicine, health & society with neuroscience and communication of science & technology minors in the College of Arts and Science. She previously served as Photography Director. When she's not strolling around campus with her camera, you can find Barrie cheering on the St. Louis Blues or tracking down the best gluten-free food in Nashville. She can be reached at [email protected].
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