5/10/14 – Royale

I rarely feel out of place at a concert. I’ve seen shows of all types and always manage to see someone else in the crowd like me. But the other night at the Royale, The 1975 brought a crowd made almost exclusively of young teenage girls, some of them with their fathers, and a few with their boyfriends. In between their awkward grinding and constant filming of the set on their phones, the audience went crazy for the band, singing along to every song and lusting after every member of the group.

The Manchester-based band, who is on a victory lap in the States after their debut album went #1 in their home country, ran through a full set of all their material, finishing up with their two biggest hits, “Chocolate” and “Sex,” songs about “fucking each other and getting high.” The singer, Matt Healy, donning a flowery women’s shirt, defined angst. While nonchalantly crooning, he took swigs of red wine and held a rose thrown from the audience, taking on the image of a lonely romantic.

While there was almost no interaction with the crowd (every time Healy said anything, it was either incomprehensible or drowned out by distorted guitars), the black and white lights, and a simple rectangular backdrop made the show visually quite striking. The band also seemed to understand their audience (young girls) and its affinity for aloof, angsty British men. They definitely played up the morose and moody image throughout the show with lackadaisical waves at the crowd, lots of lonely looks, and plenty of hiding behind messy hair.

It was pretty clear from the first moment I walked in that this show was not going to be for me. I’ve enjoyed the group’s music but have never been a diehard fan like most in the audience were. Therefore, I am definitely biased. But the show did nothing to make me a bigger fan. Many shows inspire me to revisit an album or even make me respect the artist more than before. Sadly, this show only reminded me of what I already knew.

Singing Into A Wine Bottle: The 1975
Pros
  • They know their fan base
  • Nice, powerful visuals
Cons
  • Far too loud
  • Overuse of feedback, distortion
  • Little interaction
5.8Overall Score

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