The 1975, notorious for its obsessive, dedicated fan base and killer shows, kicked off the U.S. leg of their tour in Allen, TX Saturday, April 15.
Colouring, another U.K band, opened the show. While their songs were calmer and kept the crowd bobbing their heads, lead singer Jack Kenworthy’s vocals ruled the music. His effortless high notes and lullaby-like melodies left the audience swooning and wanting more.
Next came Pale Waves. The lead singer’s goth exterior was misleading once they played their first note fueled with ‘80s pop vibes. Even though their songs brimmed with energy, Pale Waves fell flat. Each song blended into the next with the lead singer and guitarist Heather Baron-Gracie unable to move much from her spot. They got the crowd dancing, though, with their last song “There’s a Honey” produced by The 1975’s Matthew “Matty” Healy and George Daniels.
A hum pulsed through the crowd for 10 agonizing minutes before it faded, leading into the iconic first lines of The 1975. A singular LED rectangle lit up and the crowd went wild. Band members filed in as the track played until it effortlessly bled into “Love Me.”
Frontrunner Matty Healy jived along, moving with enough charisma to knock someone over. This was the band’s first U.S. stop on its latest tour, and it showed through its heightened energy.
One thing was clear: The 1975 knows how to put on a show. While the performances were as enthusiastic as those of artists at their first major concert, the light show was one of the most captivating features. The 1975 were smart to keep Tobias G. Rylander, their lighting designer who won an award for the shows in 2016.
Along with the iconic three lighted rectangles hovering above the stage, the band was backlit by a giant LED screen and four LED columns. These projected colorful images perfectly evoked the feelings of each individual song: the bouncy irony of “Love Me” is an in-your-face fuchsia; somber “Please Be Naked” consisted of a dark stage and a swirling silver-blue shape; and “The Sound” was all pulsing vertical lines that emulated the pumping bass with each beat.
Healy’s performance matched the energy of the lights behind him. He danced down the stage, sometimes climbing around the light columns. At one point, he climbed on an amp and finished out an epic guitar part. Other members jammed along, with drummer George Daniels exemplifying the art of multitasking as he sang backup and played with ease.
In the middle of the set, the band took a break to introduce the next song. Rainbow lights shone above the stage, signaling to fans that “Loving Someone” was queued.
“I want to sing a song in honor of anybody who has feel – Jesus, I’ve had a drink – anybody who has felt ostracized or discriminated against ever, really,” Healy said. “And this song has become, from what I can see, a little bit of an anthem for the LGBT community and this song goes out to that community.”
“Loving Someone” was an emotional experience. Healy sang from the bottom of his heart as a wall of rainbow lights shone in front of the stage. The audience sang the simple but powerful chorus as Healy looked on: “Yeah you should be loving someone.”
While the lights were astounding, fans were not “allowed” to film 100 percent of the show, as some might like. Just before their rendition of “Me,” Healy kindly asked fans if they could put their phones down for the duration of the song.
“The experience you get from this will be so much better than a video on your phone,” Healy said.
The 1975 closed with “The Sound,” during which Healy asked everyone to jump as high as they could.
“Texas style,” Healy joked.
Surprisingly, an extremely exhausted crowd danced and jumped as if they had not been standing for the past four hours – the perfect ending to what felt like a dance party from start to finish. The 1975’s 22-song set packed with fan favorites proved that they will not leave any stone unturned; if you didn’t know them before, you definitely do now.