As The 1975 [10/10] finished their set at Britain’s most iconic music venue, frontman Matthew Healy stated that it had been the best night of his and the other band members’ lives. It’s easy to see why.
The performance was the latest in the series of Albert Sessions – an initiative that aims to get performers and crowds into the venue who would not usually be found there. Also on the bill was Marika Hackman [6/10], who has been making waves recently with much airplay and sold out shows in small venues (including Birmingham’s own Hare and Hounds). Hers was a set among the most reserved and laid back one could ever expect to see. Though her vocals and music playing abilities were of exceptional standard, her stage presence gave the impression that there were other places she would rather be.
This stripped back performance gave way to what was easily the most atmospheric opening to a concert I have ever seen. An Inception style drone had been gradually getting louder over the course of ten minutes while the lights got dimmer and dimmer. We found ourselves in pitch blackness before strobe lighting gave us glimpses of four silhouettes walking onto the stage. A giant white rectangle (as is found on their debut album cover) lit the stage from behind as the band erupted into their set with “The City”.
Healy was quick to make it clear how monumental this concert was for them; thanking all their parents and managers, as well as those who had doubted just how far the band would come. The complex layers of vocals and instrumentals that help define their music was not lost onstage – whether it was the funk enthused “Girls” or haunting piano playing of “Is There Somebody Who Can Watch You”.
Any nerves that came with such a prestigious venue were quickly overcome and Healy was rather adorable when talking and waving to the crowd. Their set progressed through their eponymous debut album, with the highlight of the night coming with their penultimate song– “Chocolate”. They finished the set with “Sex” which allowed the entire band to show off their raging musical talent. The 1975 are performing at a number of festivals this summer, including Glastonbury. This is a band not to be missed.