In Concert: The 1975

Julia James, Staff Writer

How easy is it to express something that was spectacularly amazing? I can use as many descriptive adjectives I find necessary and attempt to paint a very vivid picture in your head, but I would be lying if I said it was not hard. The 1975, an alternative band from Manchester, England was back in town, and I had the unforgettable opportunity to go to one of their shows. That concert was incredible, and no matter how hard I try to get that across in this article, there simply are not enough expressive words in the English language to make that happen.

The 1975 concert was on Tuesday November 18, a day that I had been counting down for ages, though I bought the tickets only a few days before. After months of convincing my parents, since the concert was, after all, on a school night, they finally gave me the go-ahead and I could not have been more excited for Tuesday to come.

The concert took place in the Masonic auditorium, a very intimate place in San Francisco where there is not a bad seat in the house, and the sound quality throughout was fantastic. The auditorium has two levels: the balconies and the lower level where the concert attendees stood. It was packed — a full house, more so on the bottom than up at the top — but there were not too many open seats in the balconies, either.

The concert started of with two opening acts: The Young Rising Sons, who performed first, and then Cruiser. The opening acts were really great and did an impressive job at making the atmosphere more lively while we were all anxiously waiting for The 1975 to come out. I must say that it was all in true 1975 fashion: the brief intermissions between acts, when the stage crew took care of things onstage by changing and preparing instruments, the DJ’s mix between throwback R&B , pure rap and electro-pop. The mix was completely eclectic but worked together well, and The 1975 did say they were influenced by some of those genres.

After about an hour and a half of the opening acts, it was finally time for The 1975 to perform. I was thrilled, and the energy in the room intensified. The lights dimmed, smoke was sprayed into the crowd, the rectangular logo on stage was flashing, and then … they walk out and the crowd goes wild. They opened with “The City”. Everyone was standing up and dancing, singing along. The crowd and band were both so energetic that it was the perfect way to start off this unbelievable concert. After the first song, there were some brief technical difficulties where lead singer Matt Healy explained in his attractive accent that that sort thing does not normally happen and told us a few funny jokes. Soon enough, everything was fixed and ready to go, and they launched into “M.O.N.E.Y.” Their saxophonist, John Waugh, came onstage a bit later and was absolutely stunning, adding another element to the concert. While he was on stage, The 1975 played “Pressure”, “Heart Out”  and “Me”.

The thing that made this concert so wonderful was that the band was so interactive with the crowd. Matty took a picture that one of his fans had painted of him, and George Daniel, the drummer, threw his drum sticks out into the crowd nearing the end of the show. Matty would say something and the crowd (comprised of mostly women in their late teens and early twenties) responded enthusiastically as he danced around the stage with his shirt unbuttoned, the occasional cigarette in his hand and the wine bottle at an accessible distance. People sang along readily, especially to their more popular songs like “Heart out”, “Girls”, “Chocolate” and “Robbers”. It was so much fun, and hot and stuffy, but we were all so into the music and swaying to their catchy beats and choruses that nobody minded. The atmosphere of the concert was lively and the band sounded absolutely fantastic. Sadly, all good things do come to an end and the band closed the concert with an impressive light show and played “Sex” before walking off the stage with our screams following them.