“We wanted to do this properly,” The 1975 frontman Matty Healy said in regards to their small club tour. The band—who took off in 2013 with their debut self-titled LP—have been doing larger venues and festivals since hopping the pond. After taking the first half of 2015 to record their second album, I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It, they decided to do a small venue tour to connect with the fans. That idea of downsizing for the “connect” was really felt during their Los Angeles show at Club Nokia.
The British rockers have an eclectic sound that is a mix of R&B, rock and pop. It’s an interesting mix that some bands may not rise to the challenge of performing live, but The 1975 manages to expand upon it. Having traded their firmly monochromatic motif for a pink one, The 1975 have reinvented themselves while also staying familiar enough that they don't alienate their audience. Compared to previous performances, which always had a bit of darkness to them, there is now a much more vibrant air around the band. Whatever had been weighing them down now seems gone; leaving a buoyancy that left the crowd excited. They always had been, to be quite honest, but now it feels as if the band shares in that excitement.
Playing songs from their EPs and self-titled, along with five new tracks, The 1975 showed definite growth over their live performance. When not equipped with his guitar, Healy danced along, wine glass in one hand and cigarette in the other in a quintessential rockstar manner even if rockstar isn't necessarily the goal. Saxophonist John Waugh adds a layer of complexity to the music that weaves wonderfully in and out of the instrumentation provided by George Daniel (drums), Adam Hann (guitar) and Ross MacDonald. The standout moment came with the performance of new track “The Sound,” in which Healy informed the crowd that they needed to dance to keep him from looking like a wanker. The song had the whole room dancing, and if any of the rest of the songs on I Like It When You Sleep... have the same liveliness, the upcoming shows in 2016 will be just another step into the new, very colorful era of The 1975.
Text and photos by Victoria Patneaude
*Disclaimer: The words expressed in photo blog reviews do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Music Connection Magazine.