Lennon Stella, 5 Seconds of Summer, and the Chainsmokers at Viejas Arena

Lennon Stella, 5 Seconds of Summer and the Chainsmokers put on a stellar performance at Viejas Arena on November 24th, 2019.

Lennon Stella

The opener for the show was Lennon Stella. I had absolutely no idea who she was before the show, so I decided to Google her. I learned that she and her sister Maisy were Maddie and Daphne Conrad in the show Nashville, and that is how they got their start. Lennon recently signed to RECORDS and Columbia Records. She then released her first solo EP last year, called Love Me, and also has done collaborations with  Jonas Blue, Liam Payne, and the Chainsmokers.

Lennon Stella had the crowd in awe when she came out. There was a single spotlight on her as she sang her first song. She performed a total of eight songs, including “Breakaway,” “Feelings,” “Bad,” “Kissing Other People,” “Like Everybody Else,” “Fortress,” “BITCH (takes one to know one)” and “La Di Da.” She moved from one side of the stage to the other, constantly engaging with the fans in the crowd. Her voice is breathtaking, and hearing her perform live was incredibly amazing. My favorite song of hers that she performed was “Kissing Other People.” If you have never listened to her music, please take this as a sign to do so!

5 Seconds of Summer

If you would have told me when I was 13 that at the age of 20, I would be photographing 5 Seconds of Summer, I, most likely, would have laughed in your face. But here I am, 20 years old, and doing something I never thought I would do. I was a die-hard fan of 5SOS in high school, and after seeing and shooting this show, it revived my love for them.

I sadly was not one of the lucky people who got to see 5SOS and One Direction perform on the same tour, and let me tell you why. At that point in my life, I was emo. I thought that I was too cool to go see One Direction perform. I missed out on the best tour of my life, and yes, I regret it every single day of my life. 

They performed a total of 15 songs, including “She Looks So Perfect,” “Easier,” “More,” “Valentine,” “If Walls Could Talk,” “Talk Fast,” “Moving Along,” “Ghost of You,” “Amnesia,” “Waste the Night,” “Why Won’t You Love Me,” “Jet Black Heart,” “Teeth,” “Want You Back,” and “Youngblood.”

Getting to hear “She Looks So Perfect” while being a mere few feet away from the band was just absolutely amazing. I am always the photographer in the photo pit that is singing along to every single word from behind my camera.

Once I left the photo pit, I got to watch the rest of their set from the crowd. Every single person in Viejas Arena was standing, dancing, and singing along. There were two moments of the show that were my favorite. The first being when Calum introduced every single member of the band. He went around introducing Ashton, then Luke, and then said, “and last but not least, I’m Calum.” He totally skipped over Michael, and it had the crowd laughing. Later in the show, Ashton decided to tell the crowd about, in what order, his favorite members of the band were for the night. This is apparently a thing that he has done at all the shows on this tour. He listed them in the following order: Calum, Luke, and then Michael. Again, Michael was put last, which made everyone in the crowd laugh. Ashton gave his spiel on why Michael was last, and it was because he felt like he had been giving Michael too much attention lately. Again, that made the crowd laugh.

This was my first time getting to see 5SOS, after being a fan since 2013. I had super high expectations for their show because I always hear amazing things about them. This show surpassed my expectations. Their music, somehow, sounds even more beautiful and raw live. The vocals, the instruments, the stage presence, everything. It was an amazing show, and if you were not there, you missed out.

The Chainsmokers

The headliner for the night was the Chainsmokers. Shooting this show was very different than what I am used to. It was a challenge, but it was a really fun challenge. For the Chainsmokers, all the photographers shot this portion of the show from the soundboard. To be quite honest, I have not used my long lens since I first purchased my camera almost seven years ago. This kind of set up really pushed me out of my comfort zone when it came to shooting the show, but I am very happy with the outcome.

The Chainsmokers sang a total of 30 songs, including “Takeaway” (which was performed with Lennon Stella), “Roses,” “Under the Bridge” (a Red Hot Chili Peppers cover), “Paris,” “Push My Luck,” “Cream,” “Call You Mine,” “Don’t Let Me Down,” “Shout” (a The Isley Brothers cover), “Mo Bamba” (a Sheck Wes cover), “Siren Get Ready for This” (a 2 Unlimited cover), “Everybody Hates Me.”

There was a break for an insane drum solo, then the songs continued with “Sick Boy,” “P.S. I Hope You’re Happy,” “Hope,” “Beach House,” “Split Say My Name” (a SAY MY NAME. cover), “Something Just Like This,” “The Grimm” (a John Christian cover), “Hard” (a Swen Weber & Jewelz cover), “Somebody,” “This Feeling,” “Kernkraft 400” (a Zombie Nation cover), “Olè” (a dabow cover), “Save Yourself,” “Who Do You Love” (which was performed with 5 Seconds of Summer), and “Closer.”

The stage set up for this show was so cool. There was the main stage, then a walkway connected that went all the way to the back of the stadium. It really allowed the band to connect with fans in every single part of the arena. The crowd was going absolutely wild for the Chainsmokers, dancing and moving along to every single song. This really was a concert you did not want to miss. 

Written by: McCaeley O’Rourke
Photos by: McCaeley O’Rourke

Brianna’s Fauxchella

The sun is getting warmer; the flowers are starting to bloom; the fringe is coming out of storage! A combination of all three of these elements can only mean one thing… festival season is now upon us.  This weekend will be Weekend 1 at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Now I’m a struggling college student trying to stay on top of my Netflix bills, so with that being said, no. I have never been to Coachella, but I hope one day I can dance in the desert to the sounds of EDM and classic rock. Since I can only dream about this music festival I was offered to do a collaboration with TickPick since they are my resource for purchasing tickets fee-free.  Together we came up with a personal “fauxchella” that will fill my eardrums for this weekend. Here is my pick if I were to come up with a festival lineup:

Pearl Jam 

Now I am a big, BIG fan of Pearl Jam. They have been playing and performing together for ever 25 years. They have been on multiple world tours, selling out venues all over the globe. Now I haven’t seen them perform live, but it is definitely on my bucket list. I’ve read about their concerts, and I’ve seen tons of snippets online. Performing live is in their blood, and they know how to do it. Frontman, Eddie Vedder, instantly connects with the audience by singing straight into their eyes, giving away tons of tambourines, and sharing his setlist with the crowd. He is also known for sharing multiple bottles of wine with whoever is closest with an empty glass. Pearl Jam continues to rock, and they would be that perfect classic rock to headline for my line up. Sidenote: It is one of my dreams to get a tambourine from Eddie… so Eddie, if you’re reading this I am your biggest fan. Come over to my house for dinner after the show – whenever you’re in San Diego next.

 

Fleetwood Mac

I’m keeping that classic rock vibe going and to co-headline my lineup next would be Fleetwood Mac. I feel like they have some real happy grooves that will get the crowd going. Many songs from their 1977 album Rumours would be absolutely perfect. Also Stevie Nicks’ wardrobe from the late seventies will fit in just right from the flowy wraps and flower patterns.

Drake

Before you even say it, yes I know. Two classic rock bands and then Drake?! Yes! His rap songs will round out perfectly. The grooves to his songs will give a nice combination of different musical genres. Some of my personal favorite songs are Energy and one of his more recent tunes Right Hand. I feel like his lyrics are relatable, and the crowd would have fun watching him.

Ellie Goulding

I would be so excited to finally see Ellie Goulding perform live since she is like a festival queen! Some of my favorite songs from her are Army, I Need Your Love, and Love Me Like You Do. She is also able to collaborate will various DJs like Calvin Harris. She would be awesome at my festival because the whole crowd could jump up and down in anticipation of the beat getting dropped.

The Chainsmokers

Lastly I would have The Chainsmokers to add some more electric tunes to my festival. I like them a lot because their music is upbeat and deep. I can totally imagine myself checking out the art side of the festival with some Roses in the background.

 

I think that my personal fauxchella would be fun to go to – lots of options for any music lover out there. I want to give a big thanks to TickPick for reaching out to me and giving me something to think about! My personalized graphic is amazing! If my festival ever were to actually happen you could pick up your concert tickets on their website or if you are more into sports you could get the hookup on their NFL tickets page!

Have fun at all the music festivals coming up! Stay hydrated and wear sunscreen!