Photographs by Janine Van Oostrom.
On Thursday, November 3, I had the pleasure of seeing The 1975 performed at the Air Canada Centre in support of their new album, I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It.
It has been an incredible year for the Manchester band. Their second album was a commercial success, topping both the UK chart and US Billboard 200. In addition, the album was shortlisted for the Mercury Music Prize whilst winning best record at the Q Awards. The band was the musical guest for various late-night programs including the legendary Saturday Night Live.
The critics who might have perceived The 1975 as somewhat pretentious, has begun to see why the band was crowned pop-rock’s finest. In spite of all the success, The 1975 remains humble and ever-grateful to their supportive fanbase. And their current tour showcases that appreciation as they put on an impressive show for their fans.
Pandemonium erupted as the opening track (The 1975) to their album started to play while the stage lit up their signature colour, neon-pink. The hysteria continues when members Matt Healy, Adam Hann, George Daniel, and Ross MacDonald arrived on stage with their opener ” Love Me“. Like a true frontman, Healy put on his best quirky like dance moves. It felt like a scene from a John Hughes movie as the members were dressed in their ‘80s-style prom outfit.
Although majority of their setlist were songs from I Like It When You Sleep, they still managed to make room for the classics like “Heart Out”, “M.O.N.E.Y.” and “Undo”. “Thank you for allowing us to play such old songs” said Healy. It was awesome to see the band still kept saxophonist (and friend), John Waugh. His saxophone solos has always been a highlight at their shows.
It’s clear with this tour The 1975 has matured musically, graphically, and lyrically. They know who they are as a band and are quite confident in their style. Their continue combination of ‘80s pop sound and ethereal electronic elements, sets them apart from others who are in the same genre category. “This is enormous amount of people to come see our band” said Healy who began to talk about the band’s great relationship with Canada.
Healy commended us on how we are doing as a country compared to the UK and America. “This is the part in the show where I motivate the young but Canada, you’re kinda just doing your own thing…keep doing what you’re doing, and it’s great”. With that message, the band began to perform a few songs which included “Somebody Else”, “Girls”, and “She’s American”.
It feels good when you see one of your favorite bands perform for the first time at one of the top venues in your hometown. The 1975 has grown from the first time I saw them perform at the Kool Haus back in 2014. They are a breath of fresh air on the landscape of manufactured pop. The 1975 closed out with a jam packed encore.
The last half hour started with the delicate ballad “Medicine” followed by the powerhouse gospel track “If I Believe You” which featured an incredible saxophone solo from Waugh. Since it was Healy’s grandfather 80th birthday, he asked the crowd to sing Happy Birthday while he records it. As a thank you, they performed their most-treasured hit “Robbers”. They closed their encore with fan-favourites “Chocolate” and “The Sound”.