The 1975 burst on the scene a few years back with an exciting and eclectic debut album, self titled “The 1975”. It was somewhat 80s inspired. The 1975 front man Matt Healy said he was tired of bad pop music, and their desire to create a great, 80’s inspired pop/rock record will probably be evident in their second album, if their new tour is anything to go by.
The 1975, whose support and promotion from Harry Styles and Taylor Swift lead to them turning from a band no one heard of to somewhat of a phenomenon with a sellout tour and a number one album. They kicked off their tour in Liverpool at the o2 Academy on 9/11/2015, and it lies somewhere between supporting their debut, and hyping their upcoming 2nd album. The setlist composed mostly of songs from their self-titled debut, but they’ve crafted themselves a new image, and it’s hard to miss when you see them live. The 1975 have chose not to shun the commerciality and widespread fan base by going darker and more niche, with something a bit more pop friendly. Where their last round of concerts was a lot of black and white, this lot is in screaming colour , bright and vibrant. It’s just as satisfying visually as it audibly.
The set list, I won’t spoil, since the moments of silence disturbed only by distant guitars or drum rolls where your heart is beating faster as your mind wonders whats next are part of the fun, but it consists of most of the first album…plus, maybe…one or two (or three) songs from their second album. It starts with a bang, mellows a bit when it’s needed, and ends with with a trinity of scream inducing numbers.
They attract a funny old audience; everyone from the teens who discovered them through One Direction and Taylor Swift, and the typical Edgy rock loving hipsters who knew them before they where cool, but all seem to enjoy it much the same. It’s great to see such a popular band that can be appreciated, unashamedly, by a vast, eclectic audience. So often do we relegate things to be our guilty pleasures rather than recognise elements of brilliance and talent that transcends genre and audience .We shouldn’t feel guilty for the places we find happiness, and it’s great that no one at the 1975’s new concert does, even if they feel like they should. Their new found popularity and commerciality does not hinder their authenticity, vibrancy or the taste of a little something different they bring to the table, and even their older, more hipster fans remember that. They screamed once Denise Welch, Loose Women Star and Matt Healy’s mother, arrived with her other son on the upper balcony to watch the show, and then they kick started from nowhere a venue wide sing along of their hit song Robbers before the band had even come on stage. They screamed loudest of all in a brief interlude; “We want Sex, We want sex” referring, of course, to the song. It took a little teasing, a little bit of foreplay, but the 1975 sung Sex eventually, and when they did the place erupted. It was worth the wait.
This is a band who invoke devotion from an audience that is wide and varied, but they are devoted back. There’s not a song that does not have at least one moment that suits being screamed by thousands of people all at once. There are some negatives; the more mellow, soft songs, most likely to give goosebumps rather than the urge to dance are replaced this time round by yet more fast paced numbers, they don’t spend as much time interacting with their audience as I expected, and the stage is so small that it really limits Matty’s energetic performance. The fact they do perform some new songs is exciting, but also means there’s a bit of a lull in the show, on account of the fact no one can sing or dance along, since they don’t know what’s coming next. This was their first gig in a while, though, and I’m sure these are all minor negatives that will be ironed out soon enough, especially for the second leg next year once the new album has actually been released…but even if they weren’t, they don’t detract much at all from what is a wild, energetic show that is a must see for any fan of The 1975.