Riverbend kicked off the summer concert season with a bang with The 1975. Playing to a sold out show, The 1975 managed to keep every second entertaining and intimate.
Having been a fan of The 1975 since my emo high school days, I find it concerning that it has taken me years to finally experience the band in its live glory. Concerning because seeing The 1975 is truly the best way to listen to their music. Made up of Matty Healy, Adam Hann, Ross MacDonald, and George Daniel, The 1975 produce an enthralling live show.
From the moment the band’s logo lit up in neon pink and it’s members walked on stage, to the very final moments of the night, the energy from The 1975 was evident in the audience’s response. Starting the set with Give Yourself a Try was a perfect way to get the audience jumping and dancing. The energy remained consistent throughout the night, as singer Matty Healy displayed his own dancing ability and humor. Backed by two dancers, Matty joined in on the choreography, but really showed his charisma when freestyling. It was almost like we were peeking into his room while he danced to his favorite songs. Dressed in a white tee, bootcut jeans, and cowboy boots, Healy showed a more coy, self aware side during She’s American -- stating the only thing more emo than Ohio is himself.
The evening’s setlist consisted of fan favorites from the band’s four albums. Before playing A Change of Heart, Healy noted that some songs feel like they came out “forever ago” although it has really only been a few years. He followed up by stating the energy each crowd gives makes him feel as if the songs are just as fresh. This was a sentiment I was receiving all night as well. There was something about watching Healy interact with the audience that made me feel comfortable with everyone letting loose as they sang along to the songs, regardless of how many years I have been doing the same.
With the fun also came moments of sincere intimacy. During the songs Me and fallingforyou, Healy showed the more intimate side of The 1975’s music. However, the intimacy was not restrained to the down tempo songs of the set. During I Like America & America Likes Me, Healy appeared to be fully immersed with the lyrics of the song, delivering full emotion throughout. I almost felt like I was intruding on a personal moment of Matty’s. It seems, however, this is exactly what The 1975 wants the audience to feel. With lyrical content based on heavy topics, it’s almost natural to feel as if you were not meant to hear the sincere honesty of those topics from someone on a stage.
It is that same reason why The 1975 is able to capture the audience the way they do. When else can you scream “I always wanna die sometimes” in a room full of people? The intimate environment produced by The 1975 gives the audience the comfort to do exactly that -- despite the size of a sold out show.