When The 1975 announced their current tour back in the dying days of May they were in a wholly different position to where they are now. The buzz was palpable but with the basis of only three EPs they were merely an interesting proposition; however within the space of a few months The 1975 have grown to become a fully-formed and fully-delivering concept, their songs evolving into anthems whose melancholic-yet-affirming charm have captured the minds and souls of masses of youth. Despite the band hailing from Manchester, with Concorde 2’s lowly capacity this show somehow felt like a homecoming, those whispers in May now a shout of pride and joy. This was a present to those early-devotees (and one lucky bastard who managed to get press tickets.)
Support came from MMX and Night Engine who both performed with admirable effort. However it appeared many were excited almost to the state of paralysis of what was to come next that despite their greatest endeavours, a true crowd response could not be conjured. There were no difficulties in guessing who people were here to see.
As The 1975 strode on to stage the sound of the audience had the resonance of an arena full of people; a clear indication of the level of excitability. The 1975 lived up to this excitement and performed with the resonance of an arena band.
What became most apparent as they played through their set was just how multi-faceted their sound really is; the audience being constantly rewarded with Prince-like pop morsels whilst also being challenged by droning guitar screams and powerfully organic electronic beats. Whilst some elements may be overlooked on record, live The 1975 are not only able to recreate but enhance all of the contrasting textures they wish to explore, which can only be attributed to their musicianship.
Some naysayers have branded The 1975 as a rather disingenuous and superficial act, however this is most definitely not the case. Matt Healy extends his gratitude throughout, his appreciation of the crowd’s fervent reaction making the show all the more enjoyable. This peaks during Chocolate, with security attempting to pull down two girls who have clambered on to a table stuck to the wall. Matt mutters “fuck it”, leaves the mic stand and proceeds to dance with these two fans. This genuine, heartfelt connection that the band have with their audience makes any inferences of them being disingenuous wholly inaccurate.
It is rather fantastic to see the progress this band has made in such little time. Back in May I remember seeing The 1975 look small, lost and confused in front of 60,000 people supporting Muse at Emirates Stadium. In June I saw Matt Healy appear on stage, cigarette hanging out of his mouth, attempting to fulfil the cliché of a rock-n-roll image at Glastonbury. Now, The 1975 are confident, they are truly in tune with their audience and they are not trying to be anything other than themselves. They are The 1975. And that’s exactly what I want them to be.
The 1975 play O2 Academy Bournemouth on Friday 14th February; tickets are available here