THE 1975 brought their four consecutive Manchester gigs to a monumental close last night, accompanied by an intense explosion of colour and visuals throughout. Quays News entertainment reporter Hollie Rees was there for us…
Starting off the evening was techno-indie gem The Japanese House, made up of Amber Bain and her bandmates. After being endorsed by and working with both frontman, Matt Healy and drummer, George Daniel, Bain delivered a slightly similar, yet refreshing sound comparable to The 1975.
Her set created a soothing atmosphere as gig-goers swayed their arms along to tracks full of layered harmonies, such as ‘Still‘ and ‘Clean‘, taken from her 2015 releases. Imagine yourself watching the rain drizzle through the window and taking in every lyric of The Japanese House through earphones. It’s the kind of music that shouldn’t work in a room full of smartphones used to record every move, but it just did. Bain is definitely one to watch in 2016.
After an interval, it was onto the main attraction of the night. The already dark stage preceded to darken and the crowd, with many dressed in band tshirts, began to scream as the screens on stage quickly flickered to a blue fuzzy effect, like a broken television screen. Everyone was eagerly awaiting the arrival of the four-piece and when they finally made their way onto the stage in front of us, the huge crowd exploded. The 1975 were here.
The stage lit up with pink lights to reveal a 3D effect made up of screens, platforms and blocks, which were to be a big part of the remainder of the show, as the group burst straight into ‘Love Me‘, the second track from their latest album ‘I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it’.
A photo posted by Richard Waterhouse (@richwaterhouse7) on
No introduction needed, it was clear from the start that the group are loving the attention surrounding them at the moment, with their new album flying straight to number one on the Official Albums Chart. Dressed in smart trousers and shirts, all four members looked the part, as well as sounding it through the faultless playing of their respective instruments.
Joined by two support musicians on stage, an impressive pink and purple city landscape made up the background for the next song as the sounds of guitars, keyboard, drums and saxophone accompanied Healy’s vocals. The stage then switched to a soft teal blue just in time for ‘Figure My Heart Out‘.
Strutting around the stage in heeled ankle boots, Healy withstood until just after the third song before jeering “We’re The 1975 from Manchester”, which was met with uncontrollable cheers. As he danced and clicked his way around the stage, the lights dropped to black and white and the rest of the band surged into ‘So Far (It’s Alright)‘, taken from their 2013 debut and self-titled album.
The set continued with tracks from the new album, such as ‘A Change Of Heart‘, with every song accompanied by a different coloured effect on stage. Pinks, greens, blues and reds lit up the room in a whirlwind of visuals as the crowd danced, sang and clapped along.
“We’re not gonna be in Manchester again for a while so we’d better make it count,” yelled Healy before going on to add, “this has been f*****g mint!” The energetic frontman took swigs from a wine glass which he’d propped up on the keyboard next to him, before making his way onto the platform next to drummer, Daniel and singing while in a crouched position.
The 1975 in Manchester last night were sooooo gooood
Later in the set, Healy requested everyone put away their smartphones and enjoy the moment. “One song, just us and you, no phones. We’ve got this moment now so let’s do it.” Pretty much everyone in the crowd obeyed and a stunning rendition of ‘Me‘, which Healy claimed was about himself, followed. The lyrics touched on suicide and love, a hint towards personal struggles which he deals with through music. This part of the show was obviously very personal to him.
The initial mood was soon brought back, along with the smartphones, as a glittery silver background formed and ‘Fallingforyou‘ was performed. One courageous fan flung a bra onto the stage during the song, which Healy pocketed and didn’t seem phased by at all.
The visual effects used to accompany ‘Robbers‘ were incredibly impressive. As the band played the catchy, yet emotional track, a pink and blue reverse camera effect appeared, mirroring the band’s movements and that of some of the crowd. The combination of sound and visuals was captivating.
Healy continued to strut around the stage, shaking his hips and offering his microphone to the crowd. ‘Paris‘, which he introduced as one of his favourite tracks from the new album was followed by classic ‘Girls‘, to which everyone knew the lyrics. A drum solo confirmed the sheer talent of the group as the beats were felt in everyone’s chests.
The four-piece made their way off stage slightly earlier than their published curfew, which was met by chants of “We want ‘Sex‘!” – referring to the title of a song from their debut album. The band soon returned, with backing singers and the support musicians again. ‘If I Believe You‘ was the next song and the use of all the extra vocals and instruments gave the song a slight gospel and jazz sound, complete with an impressive saxophone solo. It was a powerful return and was met with rightly deserved applause.
The four members ended the set with three of their upbeat songs: ‘Chocolate‘, ‘The Sound‘ and, to the audience’s satisfaction, ‘Sex‘. Throughout, Healy encouraged support and applause from fans then gushed as they gave him what he wanted. Mirroring the earlier bra fiasco, another fan lobbed a phone onto the stage, to which he pocketed again and grinned “I am from Manchester, you know?” Before the end of the show, he used the phone to take a selfie and made sure it was returned to its rightful owner.
The long homecoming set was an impressive portrayal of The 1975’s recent growing success and the mix of fans present just showed how many people they’ve inspired with their music. The amazing visual effects added to the overall experience, that being one that every single person present definitely won’t forget in a hurry.
Christ on a bike I love The 1975.
Thank you for a great night. #Manchester