The 1975 at the Comerica Theatre
The 1975 at the Comerica Theatre 11/22
by Cat Supawit
The 1975 has taken the world by storm. They have topped the charts and risen in popularity with the release of their self-titled debut album in 2013. They’ve toured all over their home country and internationally. They’re currently on their biggest tour yet, headlining all over the UK and North America. On Nov. 22nd, they played for the first time ever in Phoenix, AZ. Let’s just say the band lived up to its reputation. But before we get to The 1975, let’s talk about their opening acts.
Young Rising Sons were the first to open. Playing their hit single “High” and other upbeat songs, Young Rising Sons got the crowd moving and pumped. They’re a very new band, having only released a couple EPs this year. It was apparent that they were used to much smaller crowds and were hesitant when trying to engage the audience, but their music sounded great in concert. Young Rising Sons are definitely a band to watch out for. Their full-length debut LP is expected in early 2015, and I’m sure they’ll make an even bigger splash than they have already.
The next band to open for The 1975 was Cruisr. This brand new indie-pop band hails from Philadelphia and released their first EP, All Over, in September 2014. They have a fun and warm sound, and their single “All Over” is incredibly catchy and makes you want to dance. Though this is only their first tour, Cruisr is already great in concert. Introduced by a deep bass and a sci-fi-like techno beat, Cruisr walked onto the stage like they owned it. They were lively and engaging, and none of their jokes or quips sounded staged. Most importantly, their sound was top notch—they’ve definitely made a fan out of me!
And now, for the main event: The 1975! Unlike other concerts I’ve been to, the headlining band didn’t burst onto stage. It was a much more surreal experience:
All but a few bright white lights were off, and only the sound of the smoke machines pumping more smoke into the air could be heard from the stage. The crowd began to get restless, the predominant noise the low din of hundreds of people talking. As the smoke slowly filled the venue, a single low note began to play, starting so quietly you barely even noticed it and growing until it drowned out even the crowd. The few bright lights began to dim, and smaller ones that made slices of light through the smoke turned on. Silhouetted figures walked on stage looking like a hazy memory. The combination of smoke and light made it seem like you were floating in the clouds with The 1975 playing right there in the sky with you. Suddenly, the single low note, which was almost unbearably loud at this point, went silent, and their symbolic rectangle burst into white light, and The 1975 started with a bang and played their popular song, “The City.”
The 1975 was absolutely amazing in concert. They sounded great, and the lead singer, Matthew Healy, commanded that stage. He was dancing and spinning and jumping all over the place. His signature unbuttoned button-up shirt was flying behind him and exposing his tattooed chest. He sang with his heart and engaged the rest of the band and the audience. The fact that he was completely hammered made it even more entertaining. He would take sips from a bottle in between songs and hold it up to the crowd, who readily cheered him on. He pulled it off very well, and the performance did not lack at all because of it. When he spoke to the audience, he spoke with vigor and as if to a good old friend. At one point he even grabbed someone’s phone and took a selfie in the pit. Healy mentioned that it was The 1975’s first time in Phoenix and their biggest show to date. Many in the crowd had never heard the band live before and Healy welcomed them all to “the revolution…and drinking” with a chug from the bottle and a puff from a cigarette, joking right after that “it’s not a very substantial revolution.” You could feel the energy and excitement in the air mixed in with all of that smoke.
Halfway through, The 1975 decided to mix things up in their setlist and had Healy play the blues on a piano and was accompanied by a saxophone solo. The crowd definitely calmed down for this performance, but it was well received with cheering and screaming reaching even louder heights when he finished. They continued to play music from their album, including their top hits “Chocolate,” “Girls,” and “Sex”. At one song, Healy had everyone put away their phones and asked them to just “be in the moment.” It was a great experience—everyone was dancing and cheering even more than before and everyone had their hands in the air.
The 1975 started the concert with anticipation and built up the energy and excitement and certainly ended with a bang. The smoke had cleared by the end, the band could be clearly seen, and the light show they had going definitely supported the crazed atmosphere. From the lights to the band, everything about their concert was amazing. The 1975 is one of the most entertaining and best sounding indie bands to have come out in recent years. They started out strong and are continuing to make waves.
Their current UK and North American tour is their last tour before starting on their second album and possibly moving to the US.
You can find them here: