Meeting My Favourite Band in Their Hometown

Kallie Vinson Sydney Internship Program, Australia


July 8, 2019
Currently Studying at: Sydney Internship Program, Australia
Homeschool: University of Kentucky

When I woke up on the 27th of June, every single part of me did not want to be a person that had to go out into society that day. My immune system catches literally every single cold, so for the past few days, I had been battling that, I also hadn’t been able to sleep. That combination made every bone in my body want to call in sick for work, but I knew I had to work through it. A couple of hours into my workday, my boss told me that I needed to take a “pitch walk” which is basically when interns, volunteers, or staff members of The Big Issue walk around the Town Hall and Wynyard area. This allows the vendors of the magazine to feel supported, and it also helps them if they are running low on magazines because we take some out there for them to buy, that way they don’t have to stop working to take a trip to the office. This process usually takes 2 and a half hours, and it is an amazing way to pass the time if you feel the day is going by slowly.

On this day, our pitch walk took a little longer than usual, and I usually don’t check my phone while on them since I am still working. However, as we were about to board the train to go back to the office, I decided to go to the restroom. While I was there, I checked my phone to find a notification from 5 Seconds of Summer’s Twitter account. The tweet was announcing a hometown show in Sydney on July 3rd. To give you a little insight to my reaction, I was in shock. I knew that while I was in Sydney there was going to be a possibility that 5SOS would come home. Unfortunately, as my time in Sydney got shorter and shorter, so did my faith in them. As I boarded the train back to Redfern, my hands were shaking with excitement. I knew I hadn’t really splurged on anything in Sydney yet, and this would be the perfect reason to. The ticket website loaded and there it was, in big red letters, “Allocation Exhausted”. Basically, a really fancy way to say SOLD OUT. I thought, “This has to be wrong. There has to be a way.” For the next hour and a half, I reloaded and reloaded the page, hoping to God that something other than, “Allocation Exhausted” would come up. It didn’t. I was absolutely devo*. I found a girl that was willing to sell me her ticket, but before I bought it I received a notification that more tickets had been added. I quickly secured my own ticket and the waiting game began.

Wednesday swiftly arrived, and I was so anxious but so excited. I was going to have to take a bus, and I didn’t understand the Sydney bus systems yet. I considered selling my ticket because of this, but I realized that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I boarded the bus and began my journey to the venue in Marrickville. I knew because of the small size of the venue my chances of meeting the band was better than usual. However, I also accepted that if I didn’t meet them, the experience of seeing them in their hometown was enough for me. After standing in line for 30 minutes, it was time to go inside. I found a really amazing spot at the end of the second row. I was so close. The last time I had been this close was when I attended soundcheck before one of their shows in 2016. There were multiple local artists that opened as the show was put on to raise money for BYSA (Blacktown Youth Services Association). During the second artist’s set, something told me I should look to my right, call it intuition or “spidey-senses”. I realized standing no farther than 3 feet away from me was Luke Hemmings, the lead singer. I remember thinking to myself, “Maybe it’s not him?” because fans were walking past him without a second glance. He looked up, we made eye contact, and I mouthed, “Oh my God, that’s Luke Hemmings.” I turned around because I didn’t want to ruin his time with his friends and family by freaking out. When I looked again after a few minutes, he was walking back towards the backstage area.

A couple of minutes later, he came back out and stood in the same spot. This time he was alone, and I realized this was my chance. I walked up to him, and it genuinely felt like I was talking to someone I had known for ages. If that would’ve been my only interaction with any of the members of 5SOS, I would’ve been just fine. Just to preface this next part, my favorite member of the band is Calum Hood, the bassist. He has been since I discovered the band in 2014, and my love has never swayed. About 5 minutes after speaking with Luke, I turned around yet again to see if Luke was still back there, he was, and so was Calum. I didn’t want to infringe on his family time, but I never knew when I would get this chance again. A girl walked up to him before me, then as soon as the words, “Hey Calum!” left my mouth, another girl came up to him, and I realized that a line had formed behind me, incredibly quickly. He looked at me and the other girls put his hand on my shoulder and nicely said, “Hey guys, I kind of just want to enjoy this band’s set, if you don’t mind.” I felt super bad about the situation so I just said, “Oh yeah, that’s alright! I’m so sorry!” and walked away. I was a little disappointed but understanding of the situation.
Throughout the rest of the night, I ended up meeting every one of the members’ parents, as well as standing next to Michael and Ashton (the members I didn’t formally meet) while they watched one of the artist’s sets. When the show officially began, I was stoked. The only complaint I have about it was that it wasn’t nearly long enough, but it was so incredibly good.

I wanted to make sure that I wrote a blog post about this because I feel like this is legitimately a dream come true. Back in 2014, when I was listening to, “She Looks So Perfect” on repeat in Theatre class, I couldn’t even order my food on my own. Fast forward 5 years later, and I’m in Sydney doing an internship, seeing and meeting my favorite band, and figuring out public transportation all on my own. Next week is my final week in Sydney, I’ll be doing a post about everything I’ve learned while I’ve been here but to give you a little taste, last night I learned that life is extremely unpredictable. You never know when you’ll end up across the world at a concert, standing next to your favorite band members, and that is one of the beauties of it.

*devo means devastated, be sure to read my blog post next week on Aussie slang to find out more!