w/ Pale Waves, Colouring
Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
San Francisco, CA
April 28, 2017
When I step onsite at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, I notice something that immediately grasps my attention: the line. The line outside of a show for The 1975 wraps around the massive plaza out front of the venue twice. This is two hours before the show. Onlookers become discouraged when they see how long of a wait the show will be. A number of fans I talked to prior to the show tell me that they've been outside and waiting in line since 5 AM.
What kind of show am I about to see? What is it like seeing The 1975?
They're a band that is wildly unique by today's standards: they're not quite indie, nor pop, nor rock. They're a collaboration of the three genres, with a sound that's far more reminiscent of 1980s brit-pop. Their show is an experience, and I don't state this with an ounce of sarcasm. Most live shows, particularly ones of this scale, have a playlist of popular songs blaring over the PA system while the band sets up. At a 1975 show, a single, monotone synth reverberates throughout the venue. It creates a rather eerie effect. Three rectangular lighting rigs hover above the stage, pointed diagonally towards the crowd, but at enough of an angle to backlight the band members when they eventually walk onstage.
Show time rolls around, and that monotone synth suddenly starts to pitch downward, while the screams from teenage girls in the crowd rise in frequency and volume. LED screens underneath a drum riser and behind the band illuminate in dazzling technicolor, as the band make their way out on stage, one member at a time. By the time vocalist Matt Healy has taken his place at the microphone poised at the center of the stage, the 80s-tinged guitar chords of "Love Me" ring out from guitarist Adam Hann's Stratocaster.
The show consisted heavily of material from the band's sophomore effort, i like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it. I can't even begin to explain how thoroughly impressed I was with their show. I'm grateful that I took a chance to apply and check out what they've been bestowing upon the pop music world. Their show is grandiose without being too in-your-face; it's reminiscent of the way things used to be within the indie-pop genre of yesteryear. Their fanbase is one of the most dedicated I've encountered, and it's clear as they hang onto every lyric coming out of Healy's mouth, and every note that Hann, bassist Ross MacDonald, and drummer George Daniel express to the audience.
Their two-hour headlining event managed to throw in tracks from their self-titled debut album, a track called "fallingforyou" from their EP IV, and a new track called "Me". The latter is said to be off of the band's upcoming third studio album, Music For Cars. After finally watching one of their shows, it's incredibly certain to me that within the next two years, The 1975 will be headlining arenas. I can only imagine what kind of extravaganza awaits us.
The 1975 Set List:
A Change of Heart
I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It
Please Be Naked
If I Believe You
This has been another Shameless Promotion.