LIVE REVIEW: R5, Jack & Jack – Eatons Hill
This concert event was an interesting one. I know, what an opening line but I don’t know how else to honestly start this review because they were my exact thoughts when I left the gig. Billed as a school holiday event the crowd was majority under 16 year olds and I automatically felt old and out of place.
Taking to the stage first was Adelaide pop trio At Sunset who debuted a new catalogue of music which sounded repetitive, cheap and gimmicky. If you are going to go down that route at least try to have catchy hooks to get stuck in your audiences head cause they sadly didn’t have any of those and it became quite forgettable. They disregarded all their old material from 2012-2014 days and referred to their last release in 2015 as their debut single which a lot of longtime fans found disheartening.
Next up was Ryland, the younger and more tech savvy brother of headliner R5. As a DJ he provided a set of dance favourites getting the crowd moving and in anticipation for the arrival of the first headliner. His original material was very promising with an impressive production that many DJ’s can’t even get right.
Now, I do not get the hype about Jack & Jack. Prior to this tour I had never heard of them and I wish it remained that way. What’s their appeal I hear you ask? Well one is super-hot and the other is dorky but chavy looking so I guess he’s labeled hot too. I now hear you ask why I complimented their looks and not their music (I never do that) well, that’s the only positive thing I had to say. Their music was messy pop-rap (If you could even call it that) and relied on call and response techniques while executing no real talent. Their stage presence was cringe-worthy and had me slightly wishing I was watching The Janoskians instead (Again, very hard for me to say). Closing the set with ‘Wild Life” they gave one catchy and low key enjoyable pop track before thankfully leaving the stage after a very long hour.
In 2013 I witnessed R5 playing a small venue in Sydney and while they delivered a fun show it was obvious they were still taking orders from Disney. Three years later and they are finally their own band and true to themselves. Lead vocalist Ross Lynch commands the stage effortlessly and has everyone in the room drooling from the parents, to the kids, to the media and guests. With a setlist dominated by new material off their second studio album “F.E.E.L G.O.O.D” it was a risky move ignoring their debut album except “Loud”, “Cali Girls” and Forget About You” but in the end it perfectly allowed the band to showcase who they are. They had the crowd grooving and singing along to these at times cheesy pop tunes but you can’t help but have your eyes transfixed on Ross the entire show. With a set time starting at 10 this was too late for an all ages and saw a large majority leaving early which was a shame because R5 really schooled all the acts on this line up on how to put on a pop show.