On Thursday (and every day for weeks leading up to Thursday) I found myself scavenging through the deep depths of the Internet to find a ticket to The 1975 concert that would be happening at Terminal 5 in New York City.
When I finally found tickets, I made the brave decision to stand in line for hours among fans who put me to shame. I’ll skip the boring parts and get right down to the concert that (and this is not so much of an exaggeration) changed me.
I found my spot in the crowd, that was a mix of teenage girls and adult males alike, at the side of the stage. You could feel the energy of every single person in the room as the first opener started, a band called Sir Sly. With a similar synthesized, but no doubt, great sound and an energetic front man, they pumped up the wave of people waving their hands and moving their heads to the electricity of the guitar and drums.
Second was another Los Angeles based band, Bad Suns. With only four members they dominated the stage and captivated the audience before them. A very deep and vintage sound, for some reason they reminded me of summer and I loved every second of it.
Finally it was time for the main event. It was 9:50p.m. and I had no clue what was coming for me. A low hazy and synthesized sound started about ten minutes before 10p.m. As the time passed the drone got louder and the lights got dimmer, effectively building tension. To be honest, just thinking about it again is giving me a case of mild chills.
When Adam Hann (guitar), Ross MacDonald (bass), George Daniel (drums), and Matt Healy (vocals & guitar) took the stage, it was so loud that it seemed as if the tiny venue had transformed into a large-scale arena. Matt came out with his bottle of alcohol in hand and held it up to the crowd before they began their first song.
The audience went absolutely wild singing and nodding along to one of their rock heavy tunes, “The City.” The lead singer, Matt, took full advantage of the entire space he was given, dancing around the stage, whipping his microphone around and pointing to the crowd as he hopped up on the speakers. His vivacity made it difficult not to completely let the music take over.
They also had a saxophone player, John Waugh, on stage to add another dimension to their songs and live performance. If there is one thing The 1975 refuse to do, it’s to adhere to traditional expectations of what a “rock group” should be.
“Head.Cars.Bending” may have been one of the best songs I’ve ever seen performed live. Every member of the band looked so concentrated on their instruments and so interested in the music they were creating. They all seemed like they cared so much about what they were doing, and the song itself is exhilarating on its own.
As the feedback from the guitar and the banging of the drums started to vibrate within me, I completely forgot about how badly my feet ached or how stressed I was about everything I had to do the next day. I forgot about the things that worried me. I forgot that there were tons of people around me. I that hour, I may have even forgotten my name.
The band was humble, sentimental, and really enjoying the fact that they were playing in New York City when just a year ago, as they mentioned on stage, they couldn’t even sell out a show in their home town of Manchester.
During the slow and self-reflective song “Me,” Matt sat at the edge of the stage with his microphone and his bottle to perform it. The way he looked, swayed and sung the song was the visual representation of how you feel when listening to it. If there ever was a moment when you connect to a performer during a concert, that was it. And it was perfect. “Sorry, that was a bit depressing,” he smiled at the end.
I could go on and on about the entire setlist, but I won’t. What I will say is that it was one of the best concerts that I have ever been to. The vibe of the entire crowd connecting with the same music you connect to, singing along and communicating with the performers in a way that neither party can explain, was something I’ll never forget.
I have never trembled with so much energy in my life. I had so much adrenaline coursing through my veins that my hands were still shaking an hour and a half after it had finished.
It was music that you can’t help but love, played by four people that you can’t help but relate to.