The 1975 >> It’s Tuesday night in Hollywood. The theatre is packed to an uncomfortable level of what feels like negative personal space, causing me to run upstairs to watch the mob from above instead of being pummeled in it. The main lights are off, the spotlight is on. The wannabe 90’s grunge crowd of post-Bieber adolescent girls is rushing the stage. The main band hasn't even come out yet.
Then it happens. First walks out Adam Hann, who takes a last sip out of his red cup before putting the guitar strap over his shoulder, followed by George Daniel on drums and Ross McDaniel on bass. Lastly is Matt Healy, the English vocalist who stumbles on stage pounding a half-drunken bottle of red wine. Despite his impenitent level of inebriation, he grabs the mic and belts out his first couple of songs as if vocal muscle memory has surpassed his stupor. He nails every song, though can’t seem to speak beyond slurred sentences between sets.
‘We want Sex!’ yelled the underage crowd as often as possible, especially when Healy walked off stage a couple times to what I presume was a vomit break. Whatever happened back there I will never know, though I must say it never affected his performance or the beauty of his Jon Snow-like locks of hair. I’m both impressed, and slightly concerned for his well-being. Maybe it was the young audience bringing out the maternal instincts in me, but I truly hope he takes care of himself before the band explodes even more. Considering Healy’s parents are known British actors, my guess is things can go either way.
Seeing as The 1975 was virtually unknown a year ago, to selling out back-to-back shows in one of LA’s bigger concert halls [with Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift and Ellie Goulding among the audience], I can’t blame the group for handling the fame the way they are. Having seen them at Coachella earlier this year, I must say the level of innocence has dropped significantly over the months. But, hey, they’re young, they’re hot, and they know how to put on a good show. I’ll leave this part off with the fact that I’m proud of them, though I hope someone is looking out for their well-being.
I was impressed that every song sounded on par with the album. This is truly a good live band, and not just a studio-created piece of pop crap. I loved that Healy played a pink guitar during ‘Girls’ and then got passionately involved with his song about well, him, titled ‘Me’. I got a good taste of ‘Chocolate’ and ended with ‘Sex’ [hmm, I’m starting to see a connection here]. Despite mistaking the mic for his wine bottle on at least one occasion, the band as a whole never missed a beat.
Confirming on stage that they will be moving to LA—or Los Angeleeese as I learned is the pronunciation in a Manchester accent—ahead of their second album release, I’m happy that the band still has plenty of energy to be producing albums often enough to keep the momentum alive. I definitely am looking forward to what’s next. Perhaps a duet, anyone? I’d be happy to make recommendations.
I’ll end with a quote from the one-and-only Matthew Healy:
‘How many of you have seen us play before?’ <woo!> ‘How many of you haven’t seen us play before?’ <WOOOO!>. ‘Welcome to the revolution! Just kidding, it’s me drinking.’