Four boys who formed an indie band in Manchester, England fifteen years ago never imagined they would one day sell out Madison Square Garden. The 1975 has truly achieved rockstar status. Around 20,000 people filled the stadium to see the band on the last leg of their world tour.
The band has managed to maintain their intimate venue stage presence despite their ever-growing fan base. After a 10 minute build up of the haunting intro to their album, a song that shares a name with the band, Matty Healy, George Daniel, Adam Hann and Ross MacDonald entered the stage dressed in their typical suits and ties.
One of The 1975’s trademarks is their light displays synchronized to the beat of their songs. They opened with “Love Me,” one of the most popular songs from their latest album, “I Like It When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It,” which featured the signature pink color scheme of the rebranded record. The light show and accompanying pillars of light flashed from pink, to blue, to white, to a cityscape and back again throughout the duration of the show, silhouetting Healy and the rest of the band.
Since their second album focuses heavily on the instrumental aspect, the light displays were often a key part of the performance, as Healy and the other band members played keyboard, saxophone and guitar to the delight of the audience.
Many times throughout the show Healy got a kick out of letting the crowd sing some of the most popular lines from his songs, appreciating the size of the Garden.
As he took a cigarette break on stage between songs, he gave a nod to the band’s humble beginnings saying, “This was not supposed to happen. This is mental.”
The 1975’s unique ability to flawlessly transition from slow, instrumental, jazzy interludes to fast-paced dance anthems was prevalent during their June 1 show. Perhaps the most exciting performance of the night was “The Ballad of Me and My Brain,” where Healy gave the audience some of his unconventional dancing amidst flashes of hot pink light. The stadium went wild.
After singing the final lyrics of the song: “Forget my brain, remember my name,” Healy made an announcement. “I tore these f****** trousers. I love these trousers, bullocks.”
As he always did in smaller venues, Healy took a break mid-concert to enjoy a glass of wine and another cigarette, which he held in one hand as he sat down at the foot of the stage to address the audience. A single spotlight shined on him as the LED displays stopped.
“Hello, everybody. I don’t know how to talk to this many people, I mean cheers,” said Healy raising the glass of wine. “I don’t want to be annoyingly humble but we never thought anything like this would ever be possible… We’re not a huge radio band that’s all over every f****** magazine, we are a fans’ band and that’s you guys…Now shush everyone listen to me. I do this thing with my life; I act as if…every time I see something interesting or beautiful I feel the need to document and share that experience with other people. I can’t put my f****** phone down so please, I don’t want to see any phones. The memory, right, if we do one song right now, if we’re all just people in a room the memory of the next three minutes will be far better than a video on your iphone. I’m not being patronizing, let me see your faces.”
He proceeded to sing “Me,” a song from their debut album. Not a single person in Madison Square Garden had their phones out, at Matty Healy’s request and 20,000 people enjoyed an intimate performance, clapping along to his guitar-playing.
One of the most show-stopping songs of the night was “Loving Someone.” Rainbow colored lights projected onto the stage and the audience, as the front row of fans waved rainbow flags. In the standing room of the stadium, a circle of people formed, all swaying in time with the music as Healy sang his half-rapped song of social observation.
During such songs as “Girls,” “She’s American,” “Sex” and one of the biggest hits from this past record, “The Sound,” the crowd was singing along so loudly that Healy’s voice almost couldn’t be heard. Throughout the show, fans in the front threw roses onstage. But that’s the price that has to be paid when you amass a following large enough to sell-out venues Madison Square Garden.
The 1975 and their opening act, Pale Waves, performed at MSG again June 2 before traveling on to Europe to finish up their world tour. Their third album, “Music for Cars,” is set to be released in 2018.
Julia Mancini is the associate life editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at Julia.firstname.lastname@example.org.