Live Review: The 1975 / Bonnie Kemplay – 3Arena, Dublin 29.01.2023

Phot Credit Jordan Curtis Hughes

Words Letty Sharpe / Photos Jordan Curtis Hughes.

On the 29th of January, the pop rock band The 1975 brought the, ‘At
Their Very Best’, tour to the 3Arena with support from Scottish
singer/songwriter Bonnie Kemplay.

I knew I would be in for a show as when I started queuing up at 3, I
learned that people had been lining up since 4 a.m. The band last came
to Irish shores on the 3rd of March in 2020, just before the Pandemic
during their, ‘Music For Cars’, tour. Tonight’s show was a sell out and the crowd eagerly awaited the main
event with many dressed in black ties, white dress shirts and leather bomber jackets.

Getting into the venue, the stage was set for Bonnie with a huge curtain cutting off a lot of the stage, hiding a very elaborate set.
Bonnie came on right on the dot of 7:30 and the projectors dropped so everyone could see her. She revealed to the crowd how it had always been a dream of hers to come and play in Dublin. The crowd swayed with her and cheered as loud as they could with the end of each song. A
couple of technical difficulties didn’t hold her back as she soldiered on with her songs. One of my favourites of the night by her was, ‘Checkers’, which is an alternative acoustic song which sounded even
better live. Bonnie then introduced her friends who were touring as musicians with her with Toby Ollis-Brownstone on drums, Lucy Jones on keys, Jamie Stewart on guitar and backing vocals and Ollie Green on
bass. ‘Blushing’, was great as well with the audience entranced with her, Bonnie is definitely one to keep your eye on, with only one EP out, she is an act on the rise.
Bonnie Kemplar Setlist:
Was It Obvious?

When Bonnie and her band left the stage, a huge blue curtain dropped which read ‘The 1975 presents’ and everyone in the arena could not wait until 8:30. Excitement levels were at an all-time high with people getting their phones out, ready to film the curtain dropping. Elvis Presleys, ‘Love Me Tender’, sounded throughout the PA and when it ended, the curtain dropped, revealing the set of a house which is modelled off singer Matty Healy’s actual home. On the screens it read, ‘The 1975 proudly presents’, and each member came through a back door and gave a small wave whilst being introduced on the screens. Guitarist Adam Hann went over to an, ‘asleep’, Matty Healy and shook him awake. The screams became ear piercing as bassist Ross Macdonald went around the set and turned on all the lights, revealing the detail of the huge set while Matty played chords for, ‘The 1975’, the ‘Being Funny In A Foreign Language’,
version as each of their albums opened with a song titled, ‘The 1975’. This was my favourite version of the song and when it ended, they busted into the upbeat, ‘Looking For Somebody To Love’. The whole
arena was singing along and dancing as Matty stumbled around the stage, sometimes holding a bottle of wine or a hip flask. The second single off the album, ‘Happiness’, followed this and it was then you
noticed the guitar techs were all dressed in white lab coats. Matty was talking to the crowd when he messed up and a whole crew with clap boards arrived on. He explained how this all feels very meta with him saying, ‘stop’, and everyone behind him froze. He then said ‘go’, and everyone started moving again.
The band played 80% of their new album only leaving out, ‘Wintering’, and ‘Human Too’. They didn’t play it in one block which was great and interspliced it with some of their older songs. After, ‘All I Need To
Hear’, they played, ‘Sincerity is Scary’, off their 2018 album, ‘A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships’, and, ‘fallingforyou’, off their debut 2013 self-titled album. Matty then disappeared for a minute before
reappearing on the roof of the house and he looked at the crowd before going into, ‘I Like America & America Likes Me’. The autotune heavy song hits hard with its lyrics about gun violence.
The band finished the first half of their show with, ‘When We Are Together’. When the song ended the other band members left leaving Matty looking at the various TV’s that litter the stage with images of
controversial figures Prince Andrew and Andrew Tate showing up. Matty then proceeded to unbutton his shirt much to the audience’s pleasure, got up, pretended to make out with someone before kneeling
down to a plate of raw meat and taking a few bites out of it and then doing press-ups in front of the TV. He started to crawl towards the TV and pushed the screen in and crawled through to the other side. The
screams got even more deafening as the audience reeled at what they just witnessed.
With the stage draped in black once again, someone climbed up on a telephone pole and proceeded to flip a switch which turned the lights on again. After a quick wardrobe change, the band came back on the stage this time dressed in all black. This kicked off the section of the show
called, ‘At Their Very Best’. Matty addressed the crowd as the whole band rocked out while playing, ‘If Your Too Shy (Let Me Know)’, off their 2020 album, ‘Notes On A Conditional Form’. The funky auto-
tuned song, ‘TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME’, followed with the whole crowd finger counting along with Matty as he sung the chorus. He questioned how many times and after asking someone ultimately settled
on, “It can’t be more than 4 times”. When the song ended, Matty asked the crowd how many people are 24. He laughed and sai, ‘A small minority’, before going into the 2013 radio hit, ‘Chocolate’. There
wasn’t a single mouth closed as everyone sung passionately along with the front man.
The band proceeded with more hits continuing on with, ‘It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You)’, and Matty went on to say we live in a democracy, so the audience had to vote for the next song. The choices
were, ‘Menswear’, off their debut album ‘Paris’, and ‘A Change of Heart’, both being off their second album, ‘I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It’. The vote was
measured by the decibels made by the crowd. ‘Menswear’, won and before the band played the song, guitarist Adam was remembering the chords which Matty noticed and said, ‘Oh give us a second, Adam has to remember how to play the song’, which the crowd laughed at. They
played the song, and the crowd were singing and dancing along with it. Matty then informed the crowd that the show would run a little bit over the 10:30 reported time and said, ‘If you’ve got a babysitter or need to catch a train, don’t risk your life for me’, which the crowd laughed at.
The concert continued with popular fan favourites, ‘Robbers’, and ‘Somebody Else’, with the crowd helping with vocal duties. Matty got very lively for, ‘Love It If He Made It’, and started pacing the stage,
going to the very edge of it and throwing the microphone stands from one side of the stage to the other. After that, Matty tapped the microphone to make sure it still worked. He then instructed that he
needed everyone to jump for, ‘The Sound’, and when the song kicked off, the whole arena started jumping, sitting and all! Two songs left, ‘Sex’, which had lots of flashing lights and, ‘Give Yourself A Try’. The band gave the crowd their all with Matty saying the name of the tour before credits began to roll on the screens and he was the last to leave the stage.
The 1975 and Matty Healy are polarizing for sure. You get your money’s worth. It’s a show within a show with the first half like a movie with Matty going to sit down on the sofa and chair, watching the TV and
smoking and drinking. If you are thinking of going to see them, go; you’ll have a great time. Even if you don’t know any of the songs, you’ll be singing along with the 2nd chorus.

The 1975 Set List:

The 1975 (Being Funny In A Foreign Language version)
Looking For Somebody (To Love)
Part Of The Band
Oh Caroline
I’m In Love With You
Smile (Charlie Chaplin cover)
All I Need To Hear
Sincerity Is Scary
I Like America & America Likes Me
About You
When We Are Together
(At Their Very Best)
If Your Too Shy (Let Me Know)
It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You)
Somebody Else
Be My Mistake
I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes)
Love It If We Made It
The Sound
Give Yourself A Try

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