The 1975 Concert Review

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The 1975 Concert Review


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I took an Über home that night. Wandering around the vacant Downtown Aquarium, giggling over how silly the lead singer’s hair looked, my friend and I were waiting for a strange man to whisk us away and take us back home. As we got in the back seat of the car, I rested my head against the cool window, condensing from the cold winds outside. My friend’s voice quickly became background noise as she chatted with the, actually very kind, Über driver. My eyes slowly shut only to dream about the events that occurred hours ago, the happiness never leaving the warmth of my chest.

On November 27, my favorite band, The 1975, happened to grace my presence. 8 O’clock Sunday morning, I dragged a sleeping bag and my best friend down to the Revention Music Center, showing up bright and early to be one of the first people in line.

Almost 12 long hours in line, a half charged phone battery and new acquaintances made, the things I heard about the Saturday show didn’t ease my already heightened anxiety due to such expectations for this band. I missed three of their past shows in my town and there was no way I was going to suffer another missed show.

According to the many in line who had gone to the show the night before, the crowd had been rowdy, shoving elbows into faces and shoes to shins. The lead singer, Matthew Healy, who hardly spoke between songs, had to stop the concert to alert the crowd to move back and give each other space. I’ve been to crowded concerts before, and that was something I could handle. But it always seemed to be the more crowded a concert is, the worse of an experience the show happened to be. Seeing that I was at the front of the line, I would surely stand in front of the barricade, but that didn’t stop people from shoving their way to the front or pushing closer, clearly not knowing the definition of personal space.

During the Sunday show, the complete opposite occurred. As soon as we were let in, we all flooded into the venue, possibly filling up every inch. I had the best view in the house, front and center, where I could watch Healy rock it on all night long. Holding my best friend’s hand tightly in mine, I felt a tight squeeze as the crowd pushed forward as soon as the lights dimmed and the smoke machine blew out a light haze of pink into the air.

The opening act, 070 Shake, was the cutest rapper I’ve ever laid eyes on. She sang like Young M.A. but she danced like FKA Twigs. Despite the displease from the people around me, I danced along with her, showing my support for the solo artist. There was even one part during her set where she stopped the concert suddenly to talk about the negativity and hate that’s been rising up in 2016. As she spoke, she raised her hand towards a Pride flag that someone in the audience was holding up, speaking to the flag and to the crowd.

“We will get past this,” 070 Shake said. “Focus on this moment, right now. Focus on the reason you came here and remember to protect the people around you. We will get through this if we stick together. Remember how you felt after tonight and hold on to that feeling.”

After her set, it was a long 20 minutes before The 1975 would finally step foot on the stage. The iconic columns were set on stage, which would project beautiful, bright lighting throughout the concert. Waves of pink, blue, and green would flash across the background of the stage, all depending on the songs they would play. The stage managers rolled a drum set on stage, a few keyboards, microphones, and a couple sets of guitars. The audience was buzzing behind me, taking selfies with their friends, asking each other what songs they think would be played that night. Everyone kept their eyes locked on the stage, counting down to the minutes we had left until what we were all waiting for finally came.

Ten minutes. The crowd started shoving a little closer to the barricade, pushing me slightly against the bars.

Five minutes. The guards were passing around plastic cups of water, everyone parching their thirst before an hour long show.

Three minutes. The stage lights were getting darker, the light pink haze fading into the black background.

Two minutes. My hand clutched my best friend’s tightly, her knuckles turning paler than my skin.

One minute.

The room was pitch black, the only sound heard being the chanting crowd and my very own laughter. I never thought I would finally have a chance to see this band but here I was, my smile radiating as I intensely watched the stage.

The stage screen in the background instantly lit up in a shade of pink with hazes of blue. The crowd got louder as UGH! started to play in the background, the very first single from their recent album.

Black shoes stepped on to the stage, paired with a group of plaid jackets, leather coats and one man who fashioned a turtle neck. The 1975 rolled out and Healy bobbed his head to the music as he made his way to the microphone at the center of the stage.

The one hour show was the compilation of colorful lighting, the smell of cigarette smoke and lots of dancing from the lead singer himself.

Song after song, the screen behind the band would change according to the mood of the song. “Loving Someone,” a song which has been dedicated to the LGBT+ youth, lit up in the colors of the Pride flag, with the stage lights also incorporating the colors as well. That night, I never felt as happy than the moment they played that song. Seeing the lights change into such bright colors provoked an emotion of freedom and love. I held on to my best friend’s hand and chanted the lyrics as loud as I could, a sense of pride never leaving my mind.

Their instrumental songs, which played in between sets, had an animation of ocean waves, chilling my spine with a strong feeling of serene. During “Love Me,” another one of their singles from their newest album, neon pink and blue flashed on the screen, almost blinding me from the constant pulsing.

During one part of the show, Healy even stopped singing to ask the crowd to throw him a cigarette. Many threw pink roses on stage, a popular tradition to those who attend his shows, but finally someone threw a pack of cigarettes on stage. With a big smile, Healy took the pack and lit one up, smoking throughout one of their songs.

The last song they played before the encore was “Sex,” my absolute favorite from the set. The guitars strummed loud and Healy sang away, even prompting a guitar solo right in front of me as the song came to a close. I wanted this night to never end.

As I left the venue that night, I was surprised I didn’t cry. After every concert I’ve been to, I had an emotional connection. But this concert struck something different in me. For the first time in a long while, I knew that everything was going to be okay. Kylie Jenner famously said that 2016 was the year of realizing things. Leaving this concert, I was proud of the person I was. The 1975 gave me the confidence of knowing that 2017 was finally going to be my year to make everything right.