R5: Young and the restless
Riker Lynch is preparing to play for a sold-out crowd in Peru. Before South America, he and his R5 bandmates—his brothers Rocky and Ross, sister Rydel and drummer Ellington Ratliff—toured Europe. Before that, they covered the U.S. Next year, the group plays countries including Japan, Australia and New Zealand. “We played the Greek Theater over the summer, which was a big moment for us,” says Riker, who called in to Las Vegas Magazine before his Peru concert. And, before the world bids adieu to 2015, R5 comes to Las Vegas for three nights at The Venetian.
“I have a very good feeling that this will be the party of the year,” Riker said. “These three shows with R5—it’s gonna be madness, but it’s gonna be so epic that everyone is going to remember it.”
Fans can look forward to R5 pulling songs from the most recent album, Sometime Last Night. The band’s sophomore effort entered the Billboard 200 chart at No. 6, and the album snagged the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Pop Album chart. The continuous touring this year and next year in support of the album finds R5 heading in a new direction, moving from commercial pop to a more rock ’n’ roll sound with catchy pop hooks. R5 has striven to break out from the mold of factory-created sounds and head in the direction of more live instrumentation and musicality.
Since R5’s 2013 debut release of the full-length album Louder, accompanied by the tireless touring schedule, the band has garnered millions of Facebook followers and topped iTunes download charts, positioning themselves as the next big thing in music. With that success, R5 has evolved, penning their own songs on Sometime Last Night—and proving that the group’s talent, in both songwriting and crafting of melodies, has far exceeded expectations of a pop band.
“We go through phases in life together,” Riker said. The evidence is in each song—tales of the 20-somethings’ experiences and growing pains, with a refreshing honesty and realness.
Even the melodies and harmonies pull in more rock ’n’ roll—musical influences like Jimi Hendrix, INXS, Queen, The Rolling Stones ... not your average pop band’s first picks. But it says something about R5’s yearning to bring back rock ’n’ roll’s greatest gifts—storytelling, catchy hooks and groovy melodies. “We want to be a part of the rock ’n’ roll comeback,” Riker said. “There’s catchy, great songs out there, but there’s no feeling—sometimes that’s missing from songs today. And that’s what I love so much about R5, is that I really feel like that’s what we bring to the table, melodies and lyrics that you feel. It’s all there, you feel it.”
While the extensive touring is a dizzying whirlwind of different cities and different countries, Riker said the band looks forward to getting into the studio to craft album No. 3. More sure-footed and excited about the future, Riker sees no slowdown for R5. “It’s about longevity. We want to be doing this for 50 years to come.”
The Venetian, 8 p.m. Dec. 29 & Jan. 1, starting at $55.50 plus tax and fee, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 31, starting at $75.50 plus tax and fee. 702.414.9000