On this tour, The 1975 are doing something rather special- instead of playing arenas to thousands of people like they so easily could, they’re choosing to do several dates at some smaller venues. London’s Brixton Academy saw the band take to its stage no less than four times last week, while the band are now taking on four dates at the Manchester Apollo, with further shows to come in Glasgow and Birmingham.On the stage are four screen towers, along with three LED squares that hang above the stage, representing the band’s simple but iconic logo. White noise fills all of the screen before The 1975 take to the stage- frontman Matt Healy emerging in an extremely over-sized hoodie, allowing the excess on the arms to hang there as he poses, arms outstretched like a scarecrow, illuminated by pink light in the moment before the music begins. First song Love Me is met with a riotous reception, especially when Healy starts giving cheeky little waves to people in the crowd. UGH! is accompanied by a city scape background, which aided by the screen towers, looks 3D- something usually only accomplished in arenas, so very interesting to see in a venue of this size.Heart Out is a breezy electro-pop moment, while So Far (It’s Alright) feels like it’s slightly lagging, dropping the momentum for these couple of minutes. This is hardly noticeable though, taking into consideration the pink and green lighting theme, that is taken from the album colours, is casting a very 80s feel over the proceedings. Menswear begins with an incredibly stylistic look; both keyboard players are in exactly the same position at both sides of the stage with their movements almost mirrored, and Matt’s rhythmic dance moves almost as if he can’t help but move with the music, just heighten the flowing, easy atmosphere of the show. The whole vibe of the set compared to the last album cycle is completely juxtaposed- the same square imagery gives the same idea, paired with bright, vivid colours as opposed to the previous black and white.
“Look at us all here together, it’s cosmically impossible! We’re in the Apollo and I can see your faces!” announces Matt to his audience, before asking them to pocket their phones for just the one song, Me. The stage is awash with black and white lighting- creating quite the spectacle as the band themselves look black and white, paired with some flickering lighting that makes it feel like a dated horror film of some kind, all while sound-tracked by the contrasting, laid back melodies of Loving Someone.Post-encore, the band are joined on stage by some backing singers, the whole thing lit by strong white lighting so that every shape on stage looks like a shadow. Chocolate, as always, spurs the biggest participation of the night, followed by Healy falling to his knees yelling “more applause for me!” which is met with, surprise surprise, tumultuous applause. The Sound is such a feel-good track that this, along with final song Sex and its pop-punk guitar riffs, make for an ending on a high.
There’s something about Matt Healy as a frontman that is so captivating, that is so unconcerned with what other people think, that makes The 1975 exactly what they are. What that is, is a band who are unlike any other- who for the most part don’t welcome comparisons to their peers, and who do things their way only, but who are becoming such an unstoppable force because of all of these things. Doing things explicitly their way, means that they have so many people who love them- which is demonstrated by the amount of dates they are currently pulling off at each venue around the country. But love them or hate them, their conviction is undeniable and this makes it impossible for them to fail.