The 1975 brought spectacular pop, out of this world production and an important message to Liverpool, Getintothis’ Cai Thomas witnessed something special.
Soon to be released fourth album, Notes On A Conditional Form, the band have become a global phenomenon – and it’s fair to assume, frontman Matt Healy and his band mates, will have lost little sleep over any misplaced accolades.
They come to Liverpool off the back of a UK tour and are perhaps now more popular than ever; having come a long way since the early singles of; Chocolate and Girls.
With support coming from Filipino-British indie songwriter, Beabadoobee – who starts our evening.
Hard-hitting romping pop-punk, dosed in radio-friendly melodies, emitted by a tone redolent of Hayley Williams.
An innocent yet charming performance, with a sound so full of noise – the driving rhythm section of the bass and drums rumbles through the walls and floor of venue.
Lo-fi space rock inspired grooves, ease the audience into the night, and following the release of her EP, Space Cadet, which features perhaps her most well known tune, She Plays Bass, – she shows off a confidence and coolness, expected of someone years ahead.
The interluding conversation is light and vague; the audience settles in, either getting their rounds of drinks in or sorting their cliched gig-night selfie.
Despite being placed in the bedroom-indie pop category, we believe there is more to Beabadoobee, and we are excited to see what the rest of the year has in store.
It’s now time for Civil Disobedience.
The room drops into darkness before being flooded with light as the crowd erupt into a chorus of cheer.
The 1975 // Liverpool: If You're Too Shy (Let Me Know) Saxophone solo pic.twitter.com/AP4CdMMfSX
— 🕯ⓐⓛⓛⓨⓢⓞⓝ 🕯 (@music_4_crying) February 26, 2020
We’re greeted with our first taste of the night – the crowd popping and bouncing in time to the beat of music – a choreographed sequence of chaos as the band glide into beginning of the set list.
A masterpiece of a pop-spectacle, as Healy dances and flays himself about the stage, with help, courtesy of his own personal run-way; which runs along the front of the stage.
Capturing everything we desire in a front man, he holds the audience in the palm of his hand, his microphone acting as a magic wand, casting a spell over everyone in the room.
— j ™️ (@jay_a_hewitt) February 26, 2020
Beside the flashing visual, ‘Rock n’ roll is dead’ (as much as Alex Turner would argue different), we can collective agree that tonight, he is a rock n’ roll-star.
The amazing performance can be best epitomised during, Just Lost My Head. As the band utilise the stage, Healy is elevated behind the drummer and absorbed into the wall of special effects.
It’s reminiscent of a space marine being sucked into a xenomorph’s lair – all HR Geiger visuals; dark and all consuming.
He brings the room to heel as he asks for everybody’s attention, discouraging any heckling or shouting as a video begins to play over the screens.
A big focus for this tour, alongside the promotion for the album, is to the shine the light on the issue of climate change.
Something which is held personally by the band.
Bracketed under the title, Reverb Eco Village, a collaboration project which aims to be more socially, culturally and environmentally friendly.
First time seeing @the1975 and wondering why it took so long – incredible communal atmosphere, next level energy, intergalactic production, @GretaThunberg climate change message mixed with pure pop perfection – an out of this world spectacular. pic.twitter.com/ccu6OBJYbK
— Peter Guy (@Getintothis) February 26, 2020
A clip showing visuals of the world (playfully using Shutter Stock and Getty imagery) and the effects that man has had on it, unfolds before our eyes, as it is narrated by activist and Time Magazine‘s Person of the Year, Greta Thunberg.
It’s a powerful and affecting moment – one of the world’s biggest bands using their platform to encourage youngsters – for most of those in attendance are teenagers – to rebel against the older generation and those who have ‘failed humanity‘.
Sometimes, the message doesn’t always work – Healy is so overcome at times there’s an element of over exuberance as he ends another track with the words: “Liverpool, we may have Brexit, but we’ll also always have garage music.”
What follows is our highlight of the night, as the entire venue join in unison to singalong to the pop anthem, I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes).
Supported by two dancers, who leave and re-enter the stage in intervals; the true musicianship of this band can be really appreciated.
They somehow are not limited by musical choices, often using unusual chords and arrangement styles, yet still retaining that ear-catching pop.
The overriding message tonight was simple yet direct: all rebellion begins at a grassroots level – humanity and our planet is in crisis – it's time to rebel, time for civil disobedience – for the 1975 to implore youngsters to fight was a powerful and poignant statement to make. pic.twitter.com/jHzAts1awB
— Peter Guy (@Getintothis) February 26, 2020
They move into the end of their set with the monumental Sound and fan favourite, Chocolate.
There is almost a cult like feel in the room, as waves of youngsters belt every word back at the band – we take a look around and catch tears in the eyes of many in attendance. This is a life-changing moment for many.
Leaving the stage to shouts of jubilation, it’s an awe-inspiring performance.
Pictures by Getintothis’ Lucy McLachlan and Peter Guy.