The 1975: Swelling Hearts At Chicago’s House Of Blues
Let’s take a moment and rewind to 2013 when The 1975 was just gaining momentum as Britain’s latest export of indie rock darlings. The venues were intimate, the stage was simple, and the band was being introduced to a following of fully invested fans who loved nothing more than to rock the fuck out to “Chocolate” and “Sex.”
Now, as seasoned performers gracing main stages of massive music festivals, and playing for thousands of fans, it’s rare to find yourself with a ticket to a show reminiscent of those early days. However, their Lollapalooza after show at Chicago’s House of Blues felt like time traveling, when being in a ’75 photo pit meant you were close enough to grab Matt Healy’s bottle of wine for a secret swig when he set it down.
Indicative of the magic their music brings to an ever-growing popularity, is the love and camaraderie amongst their fan base, as if it’s their own secret lexicon. Those standing more than two hours for a front row spot were kind in accepting cups of water from security and passing them back into the heart of the crowd, where standing shoulder-to-shoulder meant singing every song, lyric for lyric, to the fan next to you and loving every second.
Taking the stage dressed in loosely matching outfits of white shirts and jeans, the room was love struck by Matty, George, Ross, John, and Adam. The crowd’s first glimpse of the boys from Manchester elicited screams and tears, with a cell phone in every hand desperate to record every moment to play over and over long after the lights went out.
Launching into “Love Me,” the band generously fed off the energy of the crowd, who never stopped moving, never stopped singing, and voraciously consumed every hair flip, hip shake, and sexy side eye thrown from the stage.
Moving through a well curated set list including, “Menswear,” “Somebody Else,” “Girls,” “Chocolate,” “The Sound,” “Change Of Heart,” “UGH!,” “She’s American,” “Heart Out,” and “If I Believe You,” there was never a moment when show goers slowed down, lost interest, or even took a bathroom break.
When Matty asked everyone to put their phones away for a song to just enjoy the moment, they obediently obliged, creating a truly intimate experience between band and fans, which is so often lost in a time of social media over-sharing.
While we’ve become accustomed to their extravagant stage production of fancy lights, neon, and Matty in a suit, the moments of fans being asked to go crazy throughout the performance created a vibe of old school show going, where the only thing that mattered was the music, and absorbing the electricity crackling between bodies moving to the simmering speakers.
As their time on stage began to run out, they refused to participate in the traditional, tired out game of “encore,” and continued on until climaxing the crowd with their closing performance of “Sex,” which sent everyone into a euphoric state of music magic. It was fucking mint.
Thanking the crowd with the humble gratitude they’ve had since becoming a mainstay in the music scene, it was the one downside of the night knowing the show was over and the band was being whisked away within minutes of walking off stage.
With swelled hearts, sore throats, and perma-grins on every face, it will feel like forever until they breeze through again on their Fall tour making many more fall in love with their unique style, talent and ultimate cool.