5SOS’ hiatus hasn’t hurt their career in the slightest

Two years ago, 5 Seconds of Summer sold out Madison Square Garden to an army of screaming girls who knew every word to every song on their setlist. 

With two chart-topping albums, a cult-like ensamble of die-hard fans and millions of Instagram followers, it seemed like the band was pretty much on top of the world.

And then, just like that, Luke, Calum, Ashton and Michael disappeared.

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Now, nearly two years later, 5SOS returns with a brand new single, tour and album on the way. But with an absence that long, it’s hard to believe that a band would have a successful return to the music scene.

Truthfully, I didn’t know what to expect when I pulled up the their show at Irving Plaza in NYC on Thursday night. Countless bands of all genres have wiped off the face of the earth only to come back to an audience of barely any faces.

However, for these four Australian rockers, that couldn’t be further from the truth. But, the question is, why?

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“For me personally, this band has done so much for me,” Sam, 21, says when I’d asked her if she’d still been following the boys on their hiatus. “They helped me through the passing of my best friend and they helped me through that rough time in my life. So, for me, giving up on them when they went on hiatus just didn’t cross my mind.”

Her friend Paige, 22, agrees, and explains that waiting for the band to return actually helped her in a way. “It was kind of the same for me. When my grandpa passed away, they were there for me and they brought me closer to Sam. When I’ve had really hard times in my life, knowing that they’re coming back got me through everything,” she says.

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This answer remained pretty consistent through each of the girls I’d talk to, and most of them confess that 5SOS introduced them to some of their best friends and that waiting for their grand return gave them all something to bond over.

“Online we have (made friends),” Ashley, 16 says. “(We) bond with other friends over how much we love them.”

Vanessa, 15 also chimes in that they were there for her friend’s Sweet 16.

It also seems that the digital age has not only propelled the band to success, but maintained it through their time off. Fan accounts introduced their following to people they would’ve never met before.

Being active on these accounts has kept their love for the band alive since they can still bond with their friends over Instagram photos posted by the group and funny tweets.

“I used to have a 5SOS twitter fan account. When they went on hiatus, I kind of changed my name to artists who were more active. But I have Luke’s follow and I always retweet everything,” Sam tells me.

The band’s change in sound hasn’t seemed to effect these fans either. A majority agree that they’ll like anything 5SOS releases just because “it’s them.”

“Whatever they do, I’ll always support,” Paige tells me. “They could start doing folk music and I wouldn’t care because it’s them! Anything they do, I’ll follow as long as I can.”

Ashley feels similarly, stating that “change is a good thing.”

“I think it’s needed! I’m excited to see where they go,” Ashley says. “You don’t want to be stuck in the same place, I’m excited to see what they do.”

For what it’s worth, it doesn’t seem like the band is going anywhere anytime soon, no matter how much they take time off. They also seem to admire their fans just as much as they admire them.

They even brought a girl onstage at the show to take her first 21st birthday shot with them after Ashton spotted her sign from the crowd.

Calum even completed her request of handwriting her tattoo, and signs a piece of paper that she could later have inked to her body. With moments like these that a fan could only ever dream of having, it’s no wonder why their audience loves them as much as they do.

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Photos by Keri Dolan

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