Family Force 5

For Nashville-based band FF5, each live show is a chance to throw the party of a lifetime: a supremely wild and sweaty free-for-all that’s nothing short of transcendent. With their boundary-blurring but instantly infectious breed of pop music, lead vocalist Jacob Olds, bassist Joshua Olds, and drummer Teddy Boldt carefully dream up each stage production to deliver a live experience like no other.

“At every show we strive to do something that no one’s ever seen before,” says Teddy. “We want everyone to be able to totally lose themselves, with all the lights and the colors, the dance moves and the high kicks.”

With their stage show changing dramatically for each tour, FF5’s ecstatically over-the-top performances may include any combination of the following: 20-foot-tall light towers flashing every color of the DayGlo rainbow, onstage trampolines, life-size drum machines, band members crowd-surfing inside a giant plastic bubble, and the most inspired synchronized dancing since Sheila E. in Krush Groove.

“We tend to go with a bit of an ’80s vibe, so that everything’s about putting on a great show,” says Joshua. “For the last tour we borrowed Michael Jackson’s toaster move, where you shoot somebody right up out of the stage. He and Prince are still resounding in our lives in a major way.” (Now at work on a new full-length, FF5 are also channeling that ’80s influence into their recorded material. “If Prince is driving the car and Tears for Fears are in the passenger’s seat, then we’re the kids riding in the back, taking notes on everything,” says Teddy of the band’s upcoming album.)

Whether they’re pulling fans up onstage or jumping right into the crowd, FF5 thrive on building a close connection with each audience, no matter the occasional mishap. “There’s times when we’ve gotten so hyped that little accidents have happened, like when I’ve spun my bass around and it’s slipped off and hit the walls, or like the show in New York when Jacob was dancing so much he fell off the stage,” says Joshua. “You really never know what’s going to go down each time, and we’ve definitely walked away with some bumps and bruises.”

Within that joyful chaos, FF5 ultimately fulfill a greater mission: creating an undeniable sense of abandon in fans hungry for pure fun and spontaneity. “A lot of times, people take themselves and the things going on in their lives too seriously,” says Jacob. “We want to give them a little break from real life, to help them let go and really enjoy themselves, so that all of us can experience this crazy dance party together.”