Over the weekend, fans eagerly lined up at the House of Blues to see the Australian band, 5 Seconds of Summer (or 5SOS for short) Some fans even waited as early as one in the morning outside of the venue where they got to see the band members pass by. For most, one in the morning is a bit too extreme, though.
I showed up at the venue about an hour early and the lines were wrapped around the House of Blues. Since the entrance was on the third floor, the below floors all had fans lined up. I’ve got to give House of Blues credit, though, once doors opened they got the fans in at a steady pace. Even though we stood outside for over an hour, we didn’t stay at one spot for too long. The one thing that I noticed they did differently from the other concert was go through security screenings directly before you got to the door as opposed to other times where security guards came down the line checking with their metal detector wands and looking into bags. This probably set the line back a while, but it was fine. Like I’ve always said, the workers of the House of Blues are always nice and friendly which makes the whole experience better.
Once we’d gotten in, I went straight to the merch line where there wasn’t any line. I was surprised. Since there was only one merch stand I expected to wait a while, but I guess fans who wanted to buy had already done so while we were waiting in line to get in, so that was a plus. There was about ten minutes before the show started after that, so I went to the side and waited with the security guards until it was my turn to go up to photograph the first three songs. As soon as the security seen me, they made sure I had access to where I needed to be, which just makes everyone’s life easier. Honestly, the people there are super friendly.
Once the show started, I got into my photographing mode and the crowd’s hype made the whole experience better. Everything was going well until about the last half of the second song when I realized something was wrong. The security was bringing fans through the barricade where photographers were only allowed. At first I assumed the fans had tried rushing up on stage and security was just escorting them away, but then more and more fans were being rushed off. Then they had to pull a fan from the general admission pit and rush her off to the back. I’m still not sure what happened to the fans. Either they’d gotten dehydrated or the pit was too crowded that people were being stepped on. Maybe both. Later that night when I hit up Twitter to see if anyone had any explanation, there were some unconfirmed rumors of a fist fight breaking out in the pit. While I’m not too sure about a fist fight (and honestly I don’t see how you have enough room to try fighting someone) I know for sure the fans were getting injured and taken away left and right. After my three songs were up, I’d went off to the side and counted around nine fans being taken in the back room for first aid.
The band addressed the safety of fans about two times. The first by lead singer, Luke Hemmings, who told the fans to take a few steps back to avoid shoving and injuries. The second time by guitarist, Michael Clifford, who insisted on fans backing up. After that, there wasn’t as many fans who were taken out. I’m no doctor, but it seemed like some of them were mainly dehydrated even though the venue supplied unlimited water. Most of these fans had been out in line all day, stuff like that takes a toll on the body.
Other than those concerns, the night went smooth. They had a guest, Awsten Knight, from the Houston formed band, Waterparks, perform on stage with them for a song. They played a few songs from their upcoming album, Youngblood, out June 22nd, as well as the old classics from their first two albums. Although they’ve been away for some time from touring, it seems like they picked up right where they left off. The fan atmosphere was incredible.
The band hasn’t came to Houston since their last tour, Sounds Live Feels Live, in September 2016 where they came to the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. The change of venue size definitely effected the fans. Saturday night’s show was sold out almost instantly. If fans didn’t get the chance to see them at House of Blues, they have another chance to see them this coming September at the Smart Financial Center.