The Australian four-piece have had a successful few years, having previously supported One Direction on two worldwide tours, gaining them a loyal fan base. Since then, the band have gone on to release two albums and play to larger audiences each year.
It’s no surprise then that as the lights come up and the band run on for opening song ‘Carry On,’ the screaming from the thousands of adolescent girls gets unimaginably louder. Comments such as, “Oh my god, I get to hear my favourite songs live” can only just be heard over the crying and emotional displays from nearby girls.
Whilst previous singles ‘Don’t Stop’ and ‘Jet Black Heart’ get the crowd jumping and waving their arms around, it’s the less famous tracks from their albums that seem to be firm favourites. The crowd sing along word for word to ‘Money’ and ‘Voodoo Doll’ and it’s almost as if they have learnt the lyrics just for tonight. Of course, that’s not the case – it’s because these girls are super fans and the lyrics come naturally after having their albums on repeat.
Having been together for five years, the band have perfected their live show, giving a slick and well rehearsed performance that seems to please every young fan in the crowd. At times this means a slightly boring performance, with unsurprising pauses for the audience to sing and predictable interaction with the crowd. This doesn’t seem to bother the thousands of fans tonight though, as they scream louder and louder each time a member of the band asks the crowd a question, or even when they simply utter the word ‘Manchester.’
A highlight of the night is the bands impromptu cover of Oasis’ ‘Wonderwall.’ This section of the show is usually used to write and perform a song relating to the city they’re performing in, but drummer Ashton points out, “Why make up a song when the best come from here?” Having had no rehearsal, the band muddle their way through the chords and lyrics surprisingly well and to thunderous applaud.
Although the show is clearly aimed at young girls, with jokes about who would like to kiss bassist Calum thrown around, it’s hard not to enjoy yourself when teenage girls who are having the time of their lives surround you. Their huge grins are heart-warming and they’re clearly dancing like there’s no tomorrow. Surprisingly with such a young audience, rarely is a mobile phone seen – smiling faces as opposed to phone screens light up the arena.
Finishing with their debut single ‘She Looks So Perfect,’ the band keep the energy high and Ashton’s mini camera attached to his drum kit shows just how much energy he’s putting into the final song (you could also tell from the amount of sweat dripping from his forehead.) As the band leave the stage and go backstage for a well-earned sit down (and well-needed shower), the fans look exhausted after a night of non-stop singing and dancing. One thing’s for sure – you won’t be rubbing the smiles off their faces anytime soon.