Photographs by Andreas Babiolakis.
My brother, Andreas, and I arrived at the Sound Academy significantly early for the Fifth Harmony show and were not surprised by the extremely long line that snaked around the venue. Despite the bitter cold wind that was blowing straight at us, over Lake Ontario, the crowd was in good spirits while they patiently waited for the doors to open. Well, let me tell you, once the doors opened, the screams began and the young crowd eagerly flooded the venue.
The majority of the attendees consisted of young girls, with a parent or two lingering not too far behind. There were many young fans sporting homemade Fifth Harmony t-shirts, while others lined up to get their very own Reflection Tour t-shirt from the merch stand.
To say that the energy in the Sound Academy was at an all time high, is an understatement.
To open up the show and get the crowd ready for Fifth Harmony was YouTube sensation, Jacob Whitesides. He later tweeted that when he got on stage his “in ears” were turned off and he couldn’t hear anything. He claims to have been upset by this, but from the perspective of someone in the crowd, he handled it like a seasoned professional.
The clean-cut teen entertained the crowd with his pure voice and guitar playing skills. He wooed us with his hit, “Ohio”, where he sings about not needing Hollywood, New York or Vegas. The crowd was also treated to Whitesides’ renditions and tributes to Ed Sheeran’s “Lego House” and Beyonce’s “Drunk in Love” (my personal favourite).
After Whitesides’ tranquil set, the crowd had time to pump up and get ready for Fifth Harmony. The chants for the band to grace the stage were booming and anytime someone from the tour’s crew would get on the stage to make adjustments, the crowd would go wild in anticipation.
Just before Fifth Harmony came on stage, an announcement was made to the crowd, instructing everyone to take ten steps back because the fans at the front were getting squished. Talk about enthusiasm!
The lights began to dim, and it was time. Right on cue, the girls hit the stage with a dynamic electricity that was so refreshing to see. It was quite fitting that they opened with their hit song “Reflection”, which really got the crowd into the mood.
The backdrop of the stage was simple, but amazing: there were several lights that illuminated the entire venue and changed colours, flashed and shone. “Miss Movin’ On” was a huge crowd favourite, as this was Fifth Harmony’s debut single, along with “Suga Mama” and “Worth It”.
My favourite performance of the night was “Sledgehammer”, which sent chills down my spine, hearing it performed live.
The crowd went wild as the girls went through their songs, literally singing along with every single lyric. Fifth Harmony paid tribute to Mariah Carey, covering “We Belong Together”, “Shake It Off” and “Always Be My Baby” in a medley that was followed by their hit “Like Mariah”.
Fifth Harmony did such an incredible job sharing the stage with each other. I feel like some bands (girl groups/boy bands) can get caught not being able to share the stage with one another. However, Fifth Harmony truly harmonize with each other, both vocally and physically. Their energy on stage shows that these girls are dedicated to putting on an incredible show for their fans and that they truly love what they do. From their infectious choreography, to their constantly shifting positions (sharing the center), the girls moved around the stage and engaged with their fans throughout the entire show.
Overall, I had a fantastic time at the Fifth Harmony show! It was a very cool moment for me, as an X-Factor fan, because I got to see the group who I was cheering for from their TV stage conception and debut to a stage before my very eyes.
If you have the chance, don’t miss out on seeing the girls live.