I've been avoiding this whole 5 Seconds of Summer situation, because my brain didn't know what it was, and anyway, all this Neil Diamond isn't going to listen to itself! (Actually, Neil probably does listen to himself. I WOULD, IF I WERE HIM. But that's neither here nor there.)
Still, I've been vaguely aware that the rest of the Jezebel staff has ants in their pants over some new band of "pop punk" goofballs, and that we've declared their single "She Looks So Perfect" the "song of the summer." So when I came across this New York Times review of 5SOS's current tour (with NO HAT TIP to Jezebel, by the way), I figured I should see what all the fuss is about.
Jon Caramanica focuses on the fact that, despite their young-ish fan base, 5SOS is a bit "naughtier" than other boy bands. They don't shy away from one of the (almost) universal truths of teenage-hood: everyone's loins are burning, and everybody is thinking about poking said loins.
At this show, they delivered these songs to the usual screaming, swooning girls: notably, both tweens and teens. When a roadie was clearing the stage of items thrown by the crowd, it looked as if he were gathering both intimates and stuffed animals.
...For these young women — hundreds of whom held up cutout hearts with handwritten love notes on them during "Beside You" — 5 Seconds of Summer had some teases. Late in the night, the band arrived at the part of the show, Mr. Clifford said, "where I would normally tell you you would look sexy in a 5 Seconds of Summer T-shirt." At one point, one of the boys called the crowd "kind of like Tinder but the big version."
IT'S KIND OF LIKE TINDER BUT THE BIG VERSION.
It's kind of like Tinder. But the big version.
Honestly, I appreciate their candor. The fact that some boys want to have sex with some girls is a much more honest message than, say, Justin Bieber's, which is all about how he CREEPILY LOVES YOU even though you're 12 and he's 20. I don't want my kids internalizing the idea that any boys who show interest in them are in a state of deep, pure forever-love. Because no. They're not. And you're not. And that's fine. If you're old enough to understand your actions and an appropriately-aged boy shows interest in having sex with you, and you want to have sex with him, that is a way better situation than being duped into some weird, manipulative heartbreak-in-the-making, in which a child's idea of "love" is leveraged for sex.
Now I'll be over here, never listening to this band again. #old