LIVE REVIEW: The 1975 – The Riverstage

The 1975 have built themselves a legion of fans in Australia despite not having any mainstream radio airplay, triple j backing or TV show appearances. With a massive sold out Australian tour in support of their recent album ‘A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships’, they’ve maintained a massive presence by doing ground work in the country.

After having a spike in social media attention in 2013, the British group came over to Australia to play a 1pm afternoon set for Big Day Out. And each time they’ve come back their fanbase has grown and the word is continually getting out about the phenomenal live show they deliver. With the majority of this current arena tour in sold out status, they’ve already announced their return to Australia in February 2020 to headline Laneway Festival. 

With an airhorn siren announcing their arrival to the humid hillside of The Riverstage in Brisbane, The 1975 walked out onto the stage for the angsty opener ‘People’ which is from their forthcoming fourth studio album ‘Notes On A Conditional Form’. With lead singer Matty Healy donning a flowy patterned dress and a comfy cardigan, he appeared to be the most comfortable on stage than he’s even been. But another thing that was quickly made apparent was how much the band have grown and evolved. From their punk-rock attitudes of their debut album which saw Healy running around in black skinny jeans holding a bottle of wine and chain smoking with a moody light show to the neon dream their set has become. With two backing dancers and vocalists now apart of their live show, they have turned into your anti pop band in a cool way. 

‘Give Yourself A Try’, ‘TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME’ and the self proclaimed “tune”, ‘She’s American’ lead the start of the set, and they had the singalong’s immediately ignited. With the pushing and swaying of the pitt becoming a little hectic, Healy asked the crowd to move back and give everyone some room to dance and breathe. 

Taking his cardigan off and replacing it with a baggy t-shirt, he put on a beanie and re-enacted the music video of ‘Sincerity Is Scary’ with the giant LED screen behind him. Throwing the beanie into the crowd at the end of the song, I’m still unsure if it remained in one piece after watching the crowd fight amongst themselves for it. 

With the band changing their setlist up to allow some self indulgence and creative expression occur, some older songs like ‘You’. ‘Depth’ and ‘If I Believe You’ made their way onto the setlist for this special outdoor show which didn’t get played at other Australian dates. But this saw songs like ‘GIRLS’ and ‘Love Me!’ being outed to make room. However ultra fan favourites ‘Robbers’, ‘A Change Of Heart’ and ‘Somebody Else’ still held on for life. 

“These sort of shows blow our mind” Healy confessed to the admiring crowd. Promising that he wasn’t bullshitting he admitted that he’s rarely taken aback but this was one of those times. Closing out the set with ‘Love It If We Made It’, ‘Chocolate’, ‘Sex’ and ‘The Sound’, the energy was electric. This is a band who knows how to put on a live show and cater to their evolving fanbase. The setlist was a perfect mix of all three records as well as a little hint of what was to come. With a mix of vulnerability and energy balanced, there were even politically charged moments where Healy and the band took a moment to get a message out about climate change which proves that they are a band who know their power. 

Check out the full gallery captured by Claudia Bill Photography BELOW:

Photos by Claudia Bill

The 1975 Australian Tour Dates 

Wednesday 25 September – Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Adelaide *SOLD OUT*

Friday 27 September – HBF Stadium, Perth

Saturday 1 February – Brisbane Showgrounds, Brisbane 

Sunday 2 February – The Domain, Sydney

Friday 7 February – Hart’s Mill, Adelaide

Saturday 8 February – Footscray Park, Melbourne 

Sunday 9 February – Esplanade Reserve & West End, Perth

* February 2020 dates are for Laneway Festival

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