“Everybody look at the moon right now!” teen heartthrob Ross Lynch excitedly told the crowd, pointing at the sky, “That shines just for us, all of us, tonight.”
Pop rock quintet R5 brought their much-anticipated summer tour, the Sometime Last Night Tour, to Mesa on Saturday night. Mesa Amphitheatre was buzzing with tweens, teens, smaller kids, and parents of all ages, most who you could tell it was their first concert. The venue bustled with life as concert-goers ran to find their friends, raid the merch table, or get a good spot at the barricade for the acts of the night.
The two opening acts of the night, Ryland (Ryland Lynch, the brother of four-fifths of R5’s members) and Jacob Whitesides (a singer-songwriter) performed sets that definitely sparked the audience’s interest and made them forget about how hot it was outside. Ryland performed a short DJ set for the crowd, and was joined onstage by his siblings spraying him with water guns and silly string, which only made the crowd go even more nuts. Whitesides performed a set of crowd favorites, including a cover of Ed Sheeran’s single, “Don’t.”
Once Whitesides left the stage, the crowd was just the perfect amount of giddy. Signs with lights on them emerged from those sitting on the lawn, reading things like “We Love U Ross” and “R5 Rocks.” Fog began to fill the stage and the audience took it as their cue to stand up and have the time of their lives.
“We Are Family” blasted over the PA speakers of the venue, which had all of the parents and their kids singing along. Once the track ended, the band burst onto the stage, leading into one of their latest tracks, “All Night.” Ross, who serves as the primary vocalist for the group, stood on speakers to get closer to those in the front row and bounced around the stage, whipping his hair back and forth while managing to maintain a solid pitch. He added rhythm guitar to his list of duties halfway through the second song, “Heart Made Up On You,” pointing to fans in the front row and possessing qualities that a rockstar would. Lead guitarist Rocky Lynch provided slick solos throughout the night, taking the duty of singing leads during some songs as well.
Fan favorites of the night definitely included the single “Cali Girls” off of their first studio album, Louder. Bassist and ‘Dancing With The Stars’ alum Riker Lynch shimmied and jumped up and down, not missing a beat. “Mesa girls” was sung in place of “Cali girls,” and in response, the crowd cheered the loudest they had that night. “Dark Side” and the disco-esque “F.E.E.L. G.O.O.D.” gained positive reactions from parents, with some bobbing their heads along to the beat and even singing along by the end of the tracks.
Ross performed a stripped down cover of Lady Gaga’s “You & I,” which was just accompanied by him playing the piano, showcasing his voice and leaving everyone satisfied. During another older track, “I Want U Bad,” he danced with his two brothers during the opening lines of the song, with cheers erupting from the girls front row center.
R5’s stage presence and showmanship was solid on Saturday night, with everyone leaving the venue with a smile on their face. There was not a single low point of the show, and each member complimented the others onstage perfectly. I’m curious to see how they grow in the future and if their style of music will grow and mature as they venture into their 20’s, because Sometime Last Night is definitely a few steps up from Louder.
Download Sometime Last Night on iTunes here.