MANHATTAN, NY—Formed in Wilmslow, England, just a few miles south of Manchester, The 1975 have been around since 2004. However, their first self-titled full-length debuted in 2013, although they had released EPs since 2012. They are fronted by Matthew Healy, a vocalist who looks like a cross between Robert Smith of The Cure and David Bowie, though his attitude seemed closer to Captain Jack Sparrow. He seemed ecstatic to have his group play at Terminal 5, and downed an entire bottle of alcohol during the hour and a half they performed. Toward the finale, while playing “Settle Down,” “So Far (It’s Alright)” and “Robbers,” he jumped up and down and staggered around the stage, holding the bottle in his hand.
Two opening acts had the privilege of performing before the group: Sir Sly and Bad Suns. Sir Sly raised the excitement level, and Bad Suns really kicked it up a notch. Each band played for almost exactly 30 minutes, and then there was a half-hour break in the music to set up for the next performers. While there was a lot of waiting, The 1975 did not disappoint.
As The 1975 only have one album out, they performed literally all of their songs. This was great for the audience because everyone knew the words and were having a blast. The concert started with the band coming into focus through the excessive fog. It was just them on the stage, in front of the white light rectangle that covers their eponymous debut. The group seemed to play in black and white, as the fog and white lights filled everything in varying degrees of gray. They played one hit after another, starting with “The City.” The audience—comprised mainly of teenage girls aged from seventh grade (with their parents) to college kids with their boyfriends—jumped up and down. Except for the few fathers in the audience, there was hardly anyone over the age of 25 or above five and a half feet tall.
Every once in a while, Healy would explain the origin of a song, or thank the fans in a slurred, incomprehensible Northern English accent. He would dance around, take a sip of his drink, and then continue with the next song, even though no one in the audience had any idea of what he just said. The fans just went along with anything, and danced only by jumping up and down in the little space they had. Unfortunately, the concert ended at around 11:30, and some poor middle school-aged girls could be seen sitting down on the balconies, close to falling asleep.
The 1975 played a three-song encore, starting with “Chocolate,” “Girls” and ending with the fan favorite, “Sex.” The crowd went wild and mustered up the energy to yell the lyrics alongside the band. “She’s got a boyfriend anyway!” screamed everyone, and then the show was over. At four and a half hours after the doors opened, the teenage girls went home.