To celebrate the end of the UK leg of The 1975’s MFC tour, we look back at one of the most captivating performances The 1975 have ever produced.
The first time I saw The 1975 was back in 2013 at Shepherds Bush Empire for the release of their self-titled debut album. There was something about being stood front row at the barrier, watching Matty finish an entire bottle of red wine during the set, and me screaming the lyrics to Chocolate at the top of my lungs, that allowed me to fall in love with them. Six years on, two albums later with another on the way, my love and respect for The 1975 and the artists they have become could not be more profound.
Their latest “Music For Cars” tour, featuring their newest critically acclaimed album A Brief Enquiry Into Online Relationships is somewhat of a masterpiece. Supported by up and coming solo artist No Rome and Mancunian indie pop band Pale Waves, this exceeded my expectations. I was a fan of No Rome prior to the show and can now appreciate how angelic his voice is live. His catchy pop songs with an RnB twist have become some of my favourites, and after hearing some of his new material during the show, I believe he is one to watch for 2019. As for Pale Waves, I wasn’t overly familiar with them prior to Saturday. However, after their performance introduced me to the emotional rawness of their pop ballads and unique vocals, I have now downloaded all their songs to my current favourites playlist and can confirm that I will be listening to them on repeat.
As for The 1975, there is no denying the attention to detail that has gone into this album and this tour. From the stunning visuals to the thought-provoking lyrics uncovering the truth of coping with life in the modern era, down to the pure emotion and energy all four of them radiate throughout – you can’t help but sit back and recognise that The 1975 are setting a new standard for music artists in the 21st century. Standing in the full capacity O2 crowd, surrounded by people who too had been touched by their music in some way, was a euphoric experience for me. Seeing how far this band has come over the years makes me incredibly emotional and witnessing this spectacle confirmed that. Regardless that I may have had (quite a bit of) gin, for almost half of the set I was reduced to tears of pure emotion. I wasn’t only crying because of what the song lyrics mean to me, but also because of how proud I am of them and the sheer beauty of the whole performance and its aesthetics. I moshed around jumping and screaming during Sex, literally sobbed the lyrics of Robbers, saw the stadium fill with light and love during Medicine and laughed and danced for Give Yourself A Try. After this whirlwind of emotions, I have been left with an unforgettable experience of a band that I love.
This whole show made me realise what I love about music and what it can make me feel. The 1975 have given me something extremely special, manifested in this show, and I cannot thank them enough.
There was a monumental amount of hype surrounding this upcoming tour, a hype so fierce that I found myself actively trying to avoid it rather than indulge. The thing with stan Twitter is that it can be extremely daunting and off-putting if you’re not a part of it. I was suddenly in that position; my timeline filled with nothing but praise for The 1975, their new music, their phenomenal music videos, and their electrifying upcoming tour.
As Holly mentioned above, this tour saw The 1975 supported by No Rome and Pale Waves. Unlike Holly, however, I was a fairly big fan of both of these acts (even sneaking off to catch Pale Waves at Leeds festival alone last year).
No Rome faced a semi-warm crowd, but as a relatively small artist picked up by The 1975, I wasn’t surprised to see that many people didn’t know his songs. When I checked Spotify, his song Narcissist ft. The 1975 has nearly 25m listens, whereas his next most popular song, Seventeen, has just over 2m. Still, he refrained from performing Narcissist, instead being called out to the stage through The 1975’s set to perform it with them, much to the crowd’s delight.
Pale Waves came on to waves of applause. Having developed and matured over 2018, I dare say that 2019 may be the year in which Pale Waves reserving themselves as the openers for the Dirty Hit label. There’s a Honey, Television Romance, and Noises were clear fan favourites as the crowd warmed their vocal cords and piped up to sing along. They performed their songs with minimum crowd interaction and tottered back offstage, which was a little disappointing as I think they are bigger, and better, then that. They’re not a small, unknown band anymore; people want their performances to be more intimate. Still, they walked off stage, the lights went black, and for a few minutes, the O2 was vibrating with the hum of thousands of voices whispering.
Then the real spectacle began. If you have social media, no doubt you’ve seen or heard how good The 1975’s stage presence and visuals are. They add a whole new layer to what a concert can be; if a band can ignite all five senses, then they’ve achieved something wonderful. For the first time in a while, I found myself hearing wonderful music, seeing stunning visuals, feeling goosebumps run up my arm as the crowd got involved. Whilst I’ve had my ups and downs with The 1975 since first hearing them, this show was undeniably fantastic.
Thanks to Holly for helping me write this review and being part of an all-around great gig gang. You can check out her blog EttyDiaries to check out more about her life and general musings. It’s a great read!
You can also find her on instagram at @ettydiaries