The 1975 - 15/11/15

2nd March 2016

The 1975, 15th of November, 02 Academy, Newcastle

 

How do you know you’re about to go on a concert of a fairly well-known band? Well, if you have to walk around the venue for more than five minutes to find the end of the queue even though you are reasonably early for the whole event – that’s how you know! Nonetheless, I was still pretty hyped to finally see The 1975 live and in action.

As a result of all this, the concert started an hour late – but that did not spoil the almost fanatically enthusiastic mood of my fellow concert-goers at all. The supporting act – RAT BOY – known for the smashing tune “Fake ID” kicked off the night and delivered a solid show. Their live-performance fuelled the excitement of the crowd in all the right ways and the anticipation for the main act was clearly palpable by the time they finished their set.

To say that the crowd went crazy when The 1975 finally took the stage and the first notes of “Love me” started to fill the O2 Academy would be an understatement. Lead singer Matt Healy conquered the stage with ease and an almost terrifying yet sloppy energy which was immediately absorbed and adored by the audience. He is a mesmerizing figure indeed, and he was more so on this stage – unironically sporting dungarees, a white t-shirt and his signature curly hair style whilst jumping around, half dancing, half stumbling and singing at the top of his lungs, almost as if his life depended on this specific performance. And just like he requested in his song, the crowd loved him.

“Heart Out”, a song from the band’s debut album, followed the opening song and won everyone over – not only with its catchy tune but also with one of the most beautiful sax-solo-performances I have ever heard. After “Settle Down” and “So far (it’s all right)” finished, one of their more rock-like songs, “The City”, not only showed us that Healy had some unique dance-moves up his sleeve, but it also contributed to the feeling that the whole stage design and the accompanying lighting-show were one amazing piece of art. As much as the crowd seemed to feed off Healy’s dynamic, he fed off of his spectators too, clearly enjoying it to play in a comparably small venue. At one point of the evening, he even mentioned that the band would never contemplate performing in big arenas – and when I had a look around the place and saw the connection between the artists and their fans, I knew where he was coming from.

Along with their “oldies”, such as “Chocolate”, “Medicine” and “Sex”, the band played a few more songs from their upcoming album (ILIWYSFYASBYSUOI)[1] – for example “The Sound” or the beautifully written “She’s American”. The fact that The 1975 constantly seem to experiment with their sound, rhythms and the instruments which they use in their songs certainly adds to the band’s unique character and made everyone that night look forward to their new record. It became obvious that the new album is definitely going in a different direction to the last one – the musical style sounds a lot less atmospheric and is more upbeat and heavily influenced by 80’s-popmusic. In my opinion, this does not have to be something bad since it simply confirms the band’s evolution and thankfully not their stagnation. It shows the courage to try out something new and it also acknowledges the fact that change is everyone’s constant companion in life and is therefore obviously tangible in something as personal as music.

The whole concert will certainly be in my mind for a little while longer: It was the perfect performance of very capable musicians but it also demonstrated what it means to be a musician with your heart and soul, with your entire-being. Somehow, it was clear to me that these four men just HAVE to make music, because without the opportunity to express themselves through their art, they would simply be lost in this world.

 

[1] “I like it when you sleep, For you are so beautiful, Yet so unaware of it” – In case you are wondering, yes the album-title is really THAT long.

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