The 1975 Takes Philly
By Rose Leh
On Wednesday, December 3rd, I had the pleasure of attending a much-anticipated concert of the Manchester-based band, The 1975 (link). The venue was new to me, but did not disappoint. The Tower Theater physically stands out among the streets of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, boasting a large, three story tower; hence its name.
Upon arrival, I encountered a line of at least five blocks, which was no surprise to me because of the band’s widespread popularity. While waiting for the doors to open, I marveled at the many Matty Healy (guitar and lead vocals) look-alikes, rocking their black skinny jeans and flowy floral print tops. The vibe was very expressive and screamed punk rock, which made the whole experience that much more invigorating.
When I finally entered the theater, I decided to venture up to the balcony for a grand view of the stage instead of standing in the general admission area. Shortly thereafter, the opening act, Young Rising Sons, took the stage. I knew nothing about the band prior to that moment, but the few songs they performed were enjoyable and upbeat. This band consists of Andy Tongren, Dylan Scott, Julian Dimagiba, and Steve Patrick. So far, they have released two EP’s: Young Rising Sons and High. After the concert, I had the chance to meet them. They were all extremely kind and seemed to be just as happy to meet people as the fans were to meet them, which was cool to see. I think that opening for The 1975 was a surreal experience for them, as it must help to increase their fan base as well.
Next up on stage was a local band from here in Philadelphia, CRUISR, who have quickly gained recognition among music lovers. I was looking forward to this band, in particular, because of their combination of indie rock/pop with Californian beats; a style that especially peaks my interest. The members are Andy States, Jonathan Van Dine, Kyle Cook, and Bruno Catrambone. Their debut EP, All Over, includes a notable track that truly captures the essence of the band: “Kidnap Me”. I was certainly impressed with how well they sounded live, and honestly there wasn’t much difference between their live performance and their recorded music, which can also be attributed to the quality of he venue. CRUISR is definitely a must-listen.
Finally, the time came for The 1975 to take the stage. The seconds leading up to their entrance were full of anticipation. From the smoke swirling around the room, to the rectangles lining the back of the stage, and the soft but audible synthetic sounds emanating off the speakers, the whole moment was iconic.
One by one, the boys took their places, Matty emerging last, swinging a wine bottle and waving to us (which I thought was hilarious). Once the screams died down a bit, the group burst into the opening song, The City. I must add as a side note that, just like CRUISR, The 1975 truly sound amazing live, if not better. They played through their edgy songs such as Milk and M.O.N.E.Y, and then performed almost every song from their album with the addition of So Far (It’s Alright), Me, fallingforyou, and You. A stand-out performance of Heart Out featured the band’s newest member, John Waugh, who is quite the talent on his saxophone. The entire night was filled with Matty’s little appreciative soliloquies, powerful performances, and lots and lots of passion. It was like everyone in the venue was connected, if even for a short time. The group finished with the songs Chocolate (if you haven’t heard this song, stop reading this and listen to it! Do it!) and Sex. Although it was a bit sad to see the night come to a close, it definitely showed me the importance of music and how it has the magical potential to bond us. The 1975 put on an absolutely impeccable show, and I strongly recommend seeing them live if you might be so lucky as to have the opportunity.