R5 are an American band who are aptly named; the members are made up of Ross, Riker, Rocky and Rydel and their friend Ratliff (honest, I’m not even joking).
Before the gig was even due to begin the O2 Ritz, R5 uploaded a tweet congratulating some of the fans who had been waiting in line to get in since 4am. There’s something to be said about having fans who are willing to wait outside in the pissing rain for hours just to get a good view.
As the band leapt on-stage and began to cover the intro from ‘I Need You Tonight’, the O2 Ritz filled with girlish screams, and excited faces. At first, I assumed that this was a nice little pop band for pre-teens. How wrong I ended up being.
The riff from ‘I need you tonight’ rolled effortlessly into their next track, and showcased some upbeat, mesmerising tunes. As the show went on the group proved they were much more layered than initially thought; they had elements of electronic synths and strong catchy, feel-good disco vibes.
The band ooze pop-rock in every way, from their ironic not-so-ironic sunglasses, the pink bob wig, synchronised guitar jump kicks and finally the icing on the cake, or more accurately, the glitter… everywhere.
Now let me reiterate that some fans had been queueing since 4am. Their dedication never wavered as the night went on, and I have never been so impressed with an audience knowing every. Single. Word. It was so lovely to see a band have such a strong alliance with their fans. It was magical when their singing along coupled with lead Ross Lynch, who has a breath-taking voice and is genuinely great fun to watch. His clean cut vocals were assured throughout.
The band like to take something well known and turning it on their head, with intros from the Stranger Things theme tune, and Fleetwood mac’s ‘Break the Chain’ before cleverly mixing it into their own songs. The sampling was exhilarating and was effortless.
Then, out of nowhere, Ross pulled out his tap dancing shoes and had a tap dance vs drum solo stand-off. So bizarre, but somehow worked!
The funky fresh five-some finished the show by saying that they genuinely love what they do, as you never get to see so many genuine smiles in one place before smoothly transitioning into the track ‘Smile’.
I had my reservations, but I left with songs stuck in my head and ready to go buy their album… they’re definitely my new guilty pleasure.