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Reviews PopWrapped | Reviews

Live Review: The 1975 Plus Guests - Manchester Apollo 03/13/16

Rebecca Haslam | PopWrapped Author

Rebecca Haslam

10/30/2016 6:28 pm
PopWrapped | Reviews
Live Review: The 1975 Plus Guests - Manchester Apollo 03/13/16 | The 1975
Media Courtesy of Popwrapped/Rebecca Haslam

Despite everyone in the venue being here for the headliners rather than the support act - as is usually the case - Japanese House, fronted by Amber Bain, have the task of entertaining the almost packed house before them. It's certainly not easy for them and the melancholy style of the groups' musicianship really doesn't help matters. The instrumentation and vocal delivery is unusual to say the least, mixing electronica with what can only be described as lacklustre pop and subsequently, they never truly earn themselves a warm reception. The only time those in the seats respond as those on the packed floor space do is towards the end of their set when they finally pick up the tempo with "Cool Blue", but by then, they've all but lost any chance they had of earning themselves a whole new army of fans.

The 1975 Popwrapped/Rebecca Haslam

During the short interlude that allows the stage crew to set up for the main event, the fans on the floor prove themselves to be in fine voice, warming up for the performance ahead, as they sing along to Drake's "Hotline Bling" which blasts from the PA system. Then, as the lights go down, the noise level incrementally rises until The 1975, fronted by Matt Healy, make their way on stage to almost deafening cheers.

The 1975 Popwrapped/Rebecca Haslam

The quartet are in a celebratory mood. Having already rocked Brixton Academy on this tour, they've now come home for a run of shows that have seen fans queuing since the early hours of the morning AND they bring with them news that their latest album I Like It When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It has topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic, so the entire room, both the fans and the band, are buzzing as the set gets under-way with "Love Me", the backdrop to the stage lighting up bright and often in perfect accompaniment.

Within seconds, the floor is a mass of dancing bodies and those in the seats are on their feet - and remain so for the rest of the night. Healy meanwhile, in an almost trademark black jacket, saunters from one end of the stage to the other, holding out the microphone, strutting and showing off some rather fancy footwork. 

The 1975 Popwrapped/Rebecca Haslam

For the next hour and a half, the band fire their way through a set-list heavy with favourite tracks from both of their albums, the fans throughout the venue joining in at the top of their voices every chance they get. They also delve into their earlier material with the likes of EP highlight 'fallingforyou' which goes down particularly well with the die-hard fans down the front.

As for their newer material, "A Change Of Heart" and "Somebody Else" shows off the bands' versatility, while "She's American" has the whole place dancing with their arms aloft. 

The 1975 Popwrapped/Rebecca Haslam

Taking a moment to really cherish the moment everyone present is experiencing, Healy asks that everyone put their phones and cameras away for "Me" and instead, invites them to join him in fully embracing the night they're having - rather surprisingly, given society's obsession with technology, and certainly from where I was standing in the upper tier, every single member of the audience obliges with his request. What follows is a stunning performance sure to linger in the minds of those who witnessed it.

"Girls" in closing out the first part of the set prior to the encore could quite easily, metaphorically at least, have blown the roof off the place, but while that track comes close, when the band return after a few minutes away and launch into "Chocolate", the noise level hits an entirely new crescendo, the walls and floor vibrating with the sound of thousands of people jumping, singing and having the time of their lives. 

The 1975 Popwrapped/Rebecca Haslam

Drawing the night to an end, "Sex" is a fitting finale, the entire crowd delighting in the performance and as the lights go down and the band exit to rapturous cheers, whistles and applause, there's no denying they band put on one hell of a show.

The 1975 have, since their inception, been referred to as the saviours of British music - on the back of tonight, I'd say they're not worthy of such a referral any-more. Instead, it needs to be made fact.


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