Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne.
The lights go down as the stage begins to fill with smoke as bright lyrics emblazon the screen to herald the arrival of The 1975. The room erupts into thunderous applause, and a deafening roar move through the arena in a sonic explosion of excitement.
As the lyrics to The 1975 ( A Brief Interlude into Relationships) disperses, it quickly transitions into ‘People’ as frontman Matt Healey runs around the stage. Dressed in a miss-matching skirt that looks borrowed from his Grandmother and an ill-fitting sweater, Healey is cheeky, and in seemingly good spirits.
Taking five songs to engage the crowd Healey remarks its a ‘ Proper big show Sydney” -despite being in Melbourne and is ‘ Miles away from where we are from”. Awkwardly even though he is corrected, he continues to make things worse by taking a rather lengthy almost two mins giving excuses as to why he can’t remember the name of the city he is in, some how making the gaffe worse by proclaiming how hard it is to be a rock star wearing a dress. The crowd love him, his boyish charm and mentioning about the Climate Change March making him easily forgiven by the mass of screaming teenagers.
As the evening progresses though their set list there are times when some of the tracks are a very close rip off of Australian band INXS, including saxophone solos and synth laden intros. Healey is charismatic and lively despite having been unwell. ‘ Love Me’, ‘ A change of Heart’ and ‘Robbers’ are clear fan favourites. The room is alive with dancing, voices in unison singing out across the auditorium.
Joining the band on stage for’ ‘ Narcissist’ No Rome’s own song the duo have a great time on stage together covering the song. ” I like America and America Likes Me’ uses strong imagery on screen to convey a deep and meaningful message to the audience. At times the over use of the auto tune becomes a little too much and its a shame that Healey relies on it too much, he’s got a decent enough voice without the electronics.
Closing out the night with ‘ Be My Mistake’ and ‘ The Sound’, The 1975 have captivated the audience throughout the show. The euphoric feeling he’s given every audience member in the room likely to last a long time.
Words and images by Amanda Lee Starkey