On November 3, I was lucky enough to see my favourite band, The 1975, at the Air Canada Centre. They are currently doing a support tour for their sophomore album I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it. While I was excited for the show, I didn’t realize how much I would absolutely love it.
It’s obvious that The 1975 are truly in love with music and play for the sheer joy of it. Members Matty Healy, Adam Hann, Ross MacDonald, and George Daniel all performed with such passion. The crowd was “dressed in black from head to toe” (a lyric from one of the band’s most popular singles) with flashes of pink as a nod to the aesthetic of the current album. The audience was full of energy, responding enthusiastically when Healy asked us to sing Happy Birthday to his 80 year old grandfather. As a thank you, the band gave a surprise performance of “Robbers” much to the delight of everyone present. From commenting on the US election to drinking a glass of red wine in between songs, The 1975 frontman Matty Healy was a bit of a loose cannon. He danced around the stage like a cross between an 80’s pop star and a drunk giraffe adding to the energy level of the crowd.
The visuals of the show were stunning and simple; the modern vibe of the stage did not distract from the setlist. The 1975 take cues from R&B, synth-pop, and alternative rock, so it is difficult to place their sound into a genre. A number of songs are infused with 80s inspired saxophone solos, while others are instrumental and have a dreamy, orchestral feel to them. That night, the Air Canada Centre was filled with a symphony of sounds that could give Brian Wilson a run for his money. However, it’s the lyrics that I love the most. The poetic lyrics are emo in the truest sense of the word—full of pure, heartbreakingly raw emotion. From commentary on celebrity culture to drug addictions, the clever lyrical content of the songs is incredibly diverse.
I associate periods of my life with the music I listened to at the time, and hearing these songs performed live filled me with such nostalgia. I discovered The 1975 halfway through my first year of university and their two albums have become the soundtrack to my university experience. In my mind, “Girls” will always be synonymous with subway rides downtown, and “Change of Heart” will remind me of wandering the streets of Bath in England.
There was no single best part of the show. From screaming the lyrics to “Chocolate” with my best friend, to dancing with reckless abandon to “The Sound”, every moment was a treasure that somehow made me fall in love with The 1975 even more.