Gig Reviews

The 1975 – Hordern Pavilion, Sydney 19/1/16

It’s been just about a year since British heart-throbs The 1975 graced our shores, but the sold-out Hordern Pavilion crowd proved that Sydney punters can’t get enough.

Drawing a mixed crowd of (mostly) squealing girls that wouldn’t look out of place at either a One Direction or The Amity Affliction gig, they didn’t need much warming up by the time The Japanese House kicked off the night. Fronted by the husky vocals of Amber Bain, the trio delivered a fusion of mellow vibes and layered melodies soaked in synth. Carrying a slightly eerie feel, tracks such as Teeth and Cool Blue added some calm to the otherwise manic atmosphere.

By this time, the crowd was bordering on pandemonium as the Hordern became packed wall-to-wall and girls were pulled from the crowd before The 1975 hit the stage. Welcomed by ear-splitting screams, the quartet opened with their self-titled track before belting out new banger Love Me, a slinky number laced with 80s nostalgia and a Bowie-esque guitar hook that had bodies moving from the first beat.

As frontman Matt Healy sauntered around the stage in stove-pipe pink trousers and an unbuttoned chiffon blouse while shaking his mop of raven-black curls, the room became hypnotised by his undeniable stage presence. “Ladies and Gentleman, we are the 1975”, Healy announced in his Manchester drawl (as if anyone needed telling).

Over the night, the boys slammed out a slew of hits from their 2013 self-titled studio debut including Heart Out, Settle Down and The City which had the crowd singing back every lyric and grooving along to manic guitar riffs and smooth sax solos. They also gave a sneak peek at some sonic gems from their forthcoming album I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It. As well as The Sound, which came out last Friday, the boys also played new tracks She’s American and Me.

“That was the first part of the set where we’re all serious and don’t talk,” Healy said, a cigarette and glass of wine in hand. The remainder of the show would now be dedicated to forging a connection with the crowd, a vow he kicked off immediately when he realised that an absolute trooper in the front row was blind and jumped off the stage to give him a hug. To the horror of many, this also meant that all phones had to be put away for the next two songs. “Ten minutes. Us, you, no phones”, he demanded.

Finishing off the main set with the catchy tune Girls, the crowd were far from ready to leave. Welcomed back to the stage by a roar of screams, the boys eased into the encore with the slow love song Medicine. They quickly took it up ten notches with crowd favourite Chocolate and the seductive single Sex, causing estrogen levels in the room to reach palpable levels just in time for the end of the show.

Given the reaction of the untameable crowd and some hints that the boys will be returning to Oz later this year, Healy’s prediction that the band’s success is set to skyrocket may come true sooner than they think.

Gallery: The 1975, Hordern Pavilion / Photos by Ashley Mar

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