Photographs by Neil Van.
If you are looking for a 80s, all-boy versionof Haim, then perhaps The 1975 is your band. These British upstarts from Manchester have been making music together since early 2000’s. Following up four critically acclaimed EPs, their highly anticipated self-titled debut came in at the No. 1 spot on the UK chart, edging out Nine Inch Nails’comeback record. Their blend of 80s funk and pop mixed with indie rock has turned these young lads into one of the hottest breakthrough acts of 2013. Therefore, it seems only right to have them kick off Canadian Music Week at the Kool Haus last night.
Opening strong with their Southern California heat was Bad Suns. Christo Bowman (vocals) hoped everyone brought their rock ‘n’ roll dance moves as they play a few songs from their upcoming debut “Language and Perspective”. Although it was clear this crowd was here for The 1975, Bowman and his bandmates won over the impatient audience with tracks like “Cardiac Arrest”, “Salt” and “Transpose” – songs that should be on your summer playlist.
All dressed in their best vintage grunge look, frontman Matthew Healy and his bandmates rocked the stage with a warm synth glow, the occasional saxophone, and catchy refrains. It was a night full of dancing and sing-a-longs for the 90-minute set. Almost the entire set-list was a brilliantly formed crowd pleaser. The band opens with “The City” and the crowd immediately goes wild. When things got too rowdy, Healy had to stop to remind the fans that this is not an MJ concert so please step back. Unfortunately, his demands fell on deaf ears as these teenage girls continue to fight their way toward the heartthrob.
If you’re a grown up indie kid, watching The 1975 might remind you of an 80s retro band that would be featured in all of John Hughes movies. Songs like “Sex”, “Chocolate” and “Girls” are like an ode to adolescent years. Healy’s vocals translate beautifully for an intimate setting, so throw in the band’s ethereal electronic elements and a kaleidoscopic guitar work; you’ve got the makings of an awesome soundtrack.
It’s really no mystery why this band is becoming so infectious. And if it were up to these hardcore devotees, The 1975 would be one of the biggest young rock bands of 2014. Already receiving both critical and fan approval worldwide, the boys might be on the heels of a promising career.