The 1975, the renowned English pop rock band that first came together during their high school years in 2002, have continued to captivate audiences with their enduring musical journey. Previously known by various monikers such as Drive Like I Do and Bigsleep, they eventually settled on the evocative name “The 1975,” inspired by a line found on the back cover of a Jack Kerouac poetry book: “1 June, The 1975.” These early years saw them honing their skills, initially gracing local clubs with energetic renditions of punk covers before venturing into their own original compositions.
Fast forward to the present, and it is in Stockholm where we find ourselves, still enthralled by the unwavering camaraderie of the band after an impressive 21 years together. As the spotlight illuminates the stage, lead singer Matty Healy emerges, wielding a cigarette that he eventually trades for a bottle of champagne. It becomes evident that an air of profound self-destruction permeates not only his image but also the lyrics that emanate from his soul. In the resounding words of “Love It If We Made It”, Healy’s voice carries the weight of our tumultuous world, singing, “Jesus, save us, modernity has failed us”. This song, an anthem encapsulating the chaos that envelopes our existence, has become one of the most celebrated tracks of the past year.
The band’s latest album provides a window into Healy’s innermost fears, exposing his vulnerabilities for all to witness. Observing The 1975 in a live setting is akin to embarking on an immersive journey into the labyrinth of Healy’s mind. With “I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes)”, they confront the arduous battle against mental health issues, flooding the audience with a tidal wave of emotions through their impassioned melodies. Healy’s ethereal falsetto has the power to elicit goosebumps, while the trademark rectangular backdrop, a visual emblem of their live performances, seamlessly shifts its hues in harmony with his every uttered word.
Healy himself personifies a whirlwind of artistic fervour. His movements encompass a full spectrum of expression—he dances with abandon, his head vigorously shaking in rhythm, only to suddenly contort himself, unleashing guttural screams that leave him raw and hoarse. It is within these moments that Healy reaches his zenith, particularly when he delivers poignant critiques of the contemporary world. Whether highlighting the callousness of heartless leaders or expressing apprehension towards the escalating power and pervasive influence of the internet, his impassioned performances strike a resonant chord.
“The next song is about how much I hate robots,” he proclaims before launching into the searing track “I Like America & America Likes Me”, his voice echoing with a mixture of anguish and desperation. This transcendent moment stands as one of the most potent highlights of the festival, leaving an indelible imprint upon all who bear witness.
The stage show presented by The 1975 is nothing short of breathtaking. Each performance unfolds like a vivid tableau, seamlessly blending sight and sound. Whether it be the vivacious graphics accompanying the buoyant “TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME” or the enveloping darkness that engulfs the stage during the haunting rendition of “Robbers”, their artistry creates an immersive experience that defies expectations.
In the captivating world of The 1975, boundaries blur, and music transcends its auditory form to become a multi-dimensional sensory journey. Through their unwavering commitment to artistic integrity and their ability to ignite collective catharsis, The 1975 continue to prove themselves as a force to be reckoned with, leaving audiences spellbound by the sheer magnitude of their talents.
I Couldn’t Be More In Love
I’m In Love With You
Me and You Together Song
Looking For Somebody To Love
It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You)
If You’re Too Shy (Let Me Know)
I Always Wanna Die
Photos courtesy of the festival, photographer Timothy Gottlieb