Australia have had a love affair with The 1975 since the very beginning, but it’s safe to say things have escalated quite dramatically since their first visit for Big Day Out in 2014. Returning down under for their biggest run of shows yet, this also marks their seventh Australian tour, and while their core long-term fans are still there holding onto the front row there is also a whole new legion of fans witnessing them for the very first time.
With the house lights dimming and the big LED screen turning on to reveal a live-feed of lead vocalist Matty Healy getting ready for the show, he starts a monologue about the sort of artist he wants to be as he walks through backstage and onto the actual stage. Heading straight into an acoustic solo performance of “Be My Mistake”, he makes it halfway through before repeatedly laughing after glancing at the setlist and seeing the band had swapped out all the nouns from the song-titles to “cum”, to try throw him off. So for example “Be My Cum”, “Looking For Somebody (To Cum)”, “Cum”, and “CUM!” were the first four songs printed on the setlist. With Matty continually laughing, he tried to pull himself together to finish the song, before the rest of the band joined him on stage.
It’s evident that they’ve played a lot of shows, because as a band they are tighter than ever before. Every song feels flawless with its delivery, with big solos, and anthemic breakdowns elevating the songs into the live space. “Oh Caroline”, If You’re To Shy (Let Me Know)”, “fallingforyou” and “Robbers” were early favourites in the set. An acoustic brief cover of “I Want It That Way” from Backstreet Boys heard the crowd passionately singing along which made Matty comment “Ahh, there we go, there are millennials in the house”. It provided a nice segue into the more greatest hits styled part of the set which saw “She’s American”, ‘Somebody Else”, ‘Part Of The Band”, “It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You)”. “Love It If We made It” and “I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes)” follow. Matty is in his era where he loves little skits and he decided to film one during the show where he made the audience turn around in silence and not look at him while he was on stage. And the crowd obeyed, obviously.
As they steered towards the end of the set “The Sound”, “Sex” and “Give Yourself A Try” closed out the epic 90 minute show which was a masterclass in performance and musicianship. No matter where you looked on the stage you were magnetised by the pure talent that was showcased on the stage. Whether it was your first time or seventh time seeing them, this show felt special, and felt like a pure celebration of their career to date.
Photo credit: Jordan Curtis Hughes