The 1975 – Manchester Apollo – 12/03/16
It’s the first night of four sold out home town shows for The 1975 (8) who are undoubtedly pretty pleased with themselves right now, with their new album perched high up at the top of the U.K. Charts, boasting their second no.1 album in the UK. So headlining four nights straight at the beautiful Manchester Apollo is more than just the icing on the cake.
Needless to say, their is an excitable buzz around the Apollo waiting patiently to catch a glimpse of some new material live for the first time, but also mixed with some of the bands super hits that rocketed them into stardom worldwide.
When the lights drop the sound of thousands of screaming fans fills the room, as a flood of bright pink light fills the stage to the twanging guitar riff of ‘Love Me’. Front man Matt Healy wanders out eccentrically in his platform boots and oversized sweater waving the sleeves around like a toddler in his dads jumper, as he dances along to the song like he’s at a karaoke bar after a few too many drinks.
However he may look a little drunk as he stumbles around the stage grinning from ear to ear, but it’s all part of the act as he has the crowd feeding from his energy out of the palm of his hand. Needless to say ‘UGH!’ follows with a just as exciting performance proving it’s worth as one of the lead tracks from the hit new album. The perfect way to start the show on the front foot, and it is received electricity throughout the room.
The infectious ‘She’s American’ also gets a huge response with everyone moving and dancing like the band on stage to the glitzy upbeat riffs throughout the chorus. One fan at the barrier feels the need to show her friend on facetime what she’s missing out on, and it catches the eyes of Matt Healy who sharply responds with “If she’s on facetime, tell her she should have bought a ticket!”, leaving the crowd cheering and laughing along with the front-man, who then later asks for everyone to put their phones away for the chilling ‘Me’.
The 1975 have kicked off the show like the party it should be celebrating their recent success, but this band is not just a one trick pony. They continually pick up and drop down the level of the show as they swing from their upbeat joyful tracks such as ‘Heart Out’ and ‘Girls’, to their more moving sing alongs like ‘FallingForYou’ and ‘Robbers’, which sounds fantastic live as ever, pulling the loudest singing from the crowd all night to this point.
You can tell the band was more than ready for tonight’s hometown show as they are on top form. Guitarist Adam Hann isn’t shy of a few solos, as he effortlessly scales through them with ease looking as cool as ever. Drummer George Daniel and bassist Ross MacDonald are holding and driving each track through from start to finish fluently and it sounds brilliant. Even a few moments are stolen from the front man by the screaming saxophone by the session musician side stage throughout many of the newer tracks in particular.
A long set comes to an end as the band leave the stage, but the crowd aren’t quite finished. Chants of “We want sex” leaves the security in front of the stage with puzzled looks on their faces, but the band return to the stage to finish the night off with their greatest hits for the encore.
The opening riff of ‘Chocolate’ makes every single person in the Apollo loose their minds, and they cant help but scream back the lyrics to the front man from start to finish taking the set to the next level. Matt’s vocals are pinpoint perfect through the track, much as they have been throughout the set all night.
The recent single ‘The sound’ had also been saved for late, as it sees the stage filled with backing vocalist, not that they were needed with this crowd, but it creates one of the highlights of the night with arguably the best track on the new album.
There was always only going to be one way the night would finish off and everyone was more than ready for it. The night closes with “This is how it starts…” as the fantastic ‘Sex’ completes the show in ecstasy. It leaves the crowd bouncing chaotically, especially with the flashing strobe lights during the electrically charged breakdown of screeching guitars and pounding drums.
An all around fantastic display of new and old material performed solidly by The 1975. The only floor tonight would be that the set list was noticeably missing a couple of the bands more upbeat and cheerful songs, especially ‘The City’ that is regarded as one of their most famous songs. But with a 17 track long new album fresh out, who can blame them for switching things up!
Check out our ‘Live in Photos‘ section for more live shots of The 1975 here!
Photography – Danny Peart Photography