The 1975 – Logan Campbell Centre 20/01/15

It’s hard to understand the level of success The 1975 have garnered in the past 18 months. A year ago the four-piece band from Manchester were one of the lesser known bands on the bill at The Big Day Out in Auckland, NZ. Fast forward to January 2015, and they’ve just played their first sold out show at Auckland’s Logan Campbell Centre. With hordes of fans all over the world, a best-selling album, massive radio play and sold out tours, the band have earned their spot in the big leagues, and rightfully so. In 2014, The 1975 broke the record for the most shows played in a year by any band since 2010. With 195 shows in 365 days, they’ve managed to travel far enough and often enough to get them two-thirds of the way to the moon, according to Songkick.
When it comes to labelling them as a specific genre, The 1975 are hard to box. Made up of lead singer Matty Healy, guitarist Adam Hann, bassist Ross Macdonald and drummer George Daniel, the band have solidified a place in the music industry with their moody lyrics and syntho-pop sound. Performing on an almost entirely dark stage, complimented by heavy fog and bright lights, they shy away from the superficiality that can come with a band of their stature. Despite having to substitute their iconic rectangle backdrop with several flashing strobe lights, the simplicity proved effective, creating a somber mood throughout the venue. The 1975 have consistently shown that their aesthetic and stage production are just as important as the music they perform. Focusing on creating a passionate connection with their fans, they know exactly what their niche is.
Front man Matty Healy embodies just the right mixture of cockiness and doe-eyed naivety. He is completely immersed in the music, evident through his dancing and head banging across the stage. Dressed in an effeminate and unbuttoned patterned blouse, Healy’s stage presence is reminiscent to the great lead singers of the 70’s and 80’s. Accompanied by a bottle of red wine and a cigarette, Healy acted as a conductor of sorts, captivating the audience with his charm as he asked them to move back and make space for each other, to “not live retrospectively” through their phones and to hold hands with the person beside them.
Opening with upbeat tune The City, their first UK single released in 2012, the boys had the crowd dancing for almost the entire 19 song set. Among the jumping and screaming though, there were also sweet and slow moments. A highlight of the show came when Healy sat alone on the darkened stage with a keyboard, singing Is There Somebody Who Can Watch You?, a song penned for his younger brother. Joined by ‘unofficial fifth member’ saxophonist John Waugh and asking the crowd to remain quiet, the atmosphere was electric. Its difficult to pick the best parts of the show, but another highlight came with what is perhaps their most ‘poppy’ track Girls. Made up of mostly young teenage girls, the crowd were singing and dancing along to every word.
The 1975 are exquisite. It really is that simple. From the stage setting to the music to the band dynamic, this is a group of men who have found their calling and execute it perfectly. If you haven’t seen them live yet, I highly suggest you do. Travel anywhere, pay anything. They’re well worth it.

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