April 08, 2013

The 1975 Are Anything But Borderline

             Nothing beats a case of the Monday blues better than attending a gig in central London, and on February 18th, that is exactly what I did. Forgetting about schoolwork for the night, I travelled to a venue called The Borderline to see my favorite band, The 1975, play live. The 1975 originally hail from Manchester and their three EPs, Facedown, Sex, and Music For Cars, have been making wavesThey have a debut album set to release in the summer. The band consists of Matthew Healy on vocals and guitar, Adam Hann on guitar, George Daniel on drums, and Ross MacDonald on bass. This up-and-coming quartet boasts an ambient, electric sound with dark yet relatable song lyrics. They manage to capture a variety of genres in their songs and this inability to put them into a box begs us to ask the question, who are The 1975? 

             The Borderline is situated relatively close to Tottenham Court Road tube station, but it can be tricky to find because of its hidden away location. After consulting my phone’s GPS and wandering around various side streets, I managed to reach the right place. Arriving early, but not too early, to a gig is key. I was able to snag a standing position at the very front of the stage because I claimed my spot almost instantly. People watching is always a fun way to pass the time as well, and from what I gathered, the scene that night seemed to be mostly indie. The venue was cozy and inviting and instead of the typical rap overhead, lesser-known bands blared from the speakers. Opening act Pixel Fix were a good filler while waiting for The 1975, but their songs all dragged on for too long and I couldn’t tell where one song ended and the next song began. However, regardless of whether or not they were my personal taste, it was refreshing to see a worthy act get their chance in the limelight.  

             As soon as The 1975’s leopard print drum set was being assembled, a hush fell over the crowd and everyone inched closer to the stage. The 1975’s set list consisted of about 11 songs, which left all of us wanting more, but gave us the chance to rightfully savor and digest each individual song. Healy’s stage presence was dynamic. He was “dressed in black from head to toe” (lyrics from The 1975’s song, “Chocolate”) in an outfit that looked haphazardly put together, but painfully cool anyway. Not only was Healy mesmerizing to watch, but he also engaged the crowd and humbly thanked all of us for attending. Strobe lights, energetic guitar solos, pounding bass, and a sold-out show led to an atmospheric night. While a drunken middle-aged woman from the crowd yelled that she loved Healy, Healy wryly replied, “If you love me so much, give me your beer,” to which she naturally complied. One of the highlights of the night was when Healy hopped on top of Daniel’s drums, continuing to play his guitar during this balancing act. Healy ended the set by slamming his guitar down on the stage and walking off as the lights dimmed. Rock star potential? I think so.  

             The 1975 are an undeniably talented live act and their rapport with their fans is nothing short of impressive. Healy stuck around after the gig at their merchandise stall, signing autographs, taking photos, and joking with fans. He maintained a laid-back composure despite the recent publicity of The 1975, which was refreshing to witness. The 1975 have just finished touring the United States for the first time and will return to the United Kingdom in May. This probably goes without saying, but I have already booked my tickets (plural) for their return.   

             Check out The 1975’s website here.

With Matthew Healy, The 1975's frontman

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