It was Round Two at the Birmingham O2 Academy, only this time I was queuing up with the knowledge that The 1975’s night would be less barbaric in comparison to the crowd from the night before at Foals.
We arrived at the venue with an extremely long queue full groups of teenagers and young adults. I felt the burning stares of the real “hardcore” fans who’d clearly been waiting for hours in the cold as we walked past to the separate queue of disorganised people like myself who needed to go to the Box Office. So my not so wise words of wisdom for aspiring front row-ers are…lose your concert tickets and you’ll effortlessly get to the front as there was merely four or five people between us and the venue.
Support came from London band Wolf Alice, regardless of the slight mishap of a certain guitar strap breaking off, their performance was left unhindered. Second support act were The Neighbourhood, who stunned the crowd and set a buzzing atmosphere which continued to stay throughout the remainder of the night. With the signal from the dimming of lights, the whole venue raised the roof with the sudden roars of excitement, predominantly from teenaged girls and the odd boyfriend who clearly had no choice in attending. The majority of the crowd were female and a portion were the paisley print shirt, top buttoned lads.
Adam, George and Ross were greeted by the ruckus as they made their way on stage, followed by frontman Matty with his strut of what I can only describe as a careless swagger. The set was opened by George with the beat that we were only far too familiar with; ‘The City’. Judging by the reception, Birmingham sure found love. Once everyone was moving about and dancing, it wasn’t long until the venue started to heat up and I stood there mesmerised whilst thinking to myself why (and how) the fuck is Matty wearing a hoody as well as a leather jacket. Luckily, when they came to perform ‘So Far’, Matty was startled by the cheers from the crowd as he took his unnecessary layers off to unveil this drooped armhole NBHD tee; an ideal opportunity to gain brownie points from the women by revealing his toned arms.The venue was blacked out and the 1975-esque rectangular lights lit up. “You ready Birmingham?”, he asked. The band followed on with ‘Talk!’, the track which involved turn-taking between Matty and the crowd with the lines: “Why you talk so loud? Why you talk so?” The crowds energetic participation didn’t go unnoticed as Healy said, “excellent, that was the best one so far” as the song drew to a close.
The 1975 continued with their consistent phenomenal performances of old and new tracks. “Heart Out” complete with the harmonising melodies from the saxophonist, (nothing wrong with adding a bit of jazz) had a great response from the crowd, everyone couldn’t help but have their arms up in the air as well as jumping along to the beat. When “fallingforyou” came on, the slow tempo and the combination of the prosody in Healy’s voice reflecting well with the lyrics of the song, I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who felt the need to cry. I didn’t, but it was very emotional. Then there was the electro performance of “Menswear” and Matty having a go at the soundboard himself. Matty introduced the next and last song with a complementary “the girls are looking fit tonight” which caused the massive outburst into the track “Girls” which was obviously reciprocated well by the women i.e. 90% of the crowd.
The departure of the band was short lived as there wasn’t much of a wait once they were back on stage for the encore. With such a strong setlist of 16 tracks so far, it wasn’t too difficult to figure out what was left to come. With a minimalistic introduction, they went straight into playing “Robbers”. During the slow paced song it suddenly hit me that the night was nearly over. Much like the rest of the crowd, I sure made the best of it. “I’ve got a feeling, it’s gonna go fucking bananas in here”, Matty said. Yeah, he got that right. The crowd were ecstatic for the performance of the well loved “Chocolate” and it was ensured that every lyric was belted out when Matty would subconsciously point at the crowd or stand on the speaker. With the fantastic delivery of the last track “Sex”, the crowd were full on going for it. All throughout the night Matty would swing the mic between verses, however he upped the ante for the encore. As the song came to the end and with the added spur of adrenaline caused by the crowd, I wasn’t 100% sure whether he’d dropped the guitar as he left with the rest of the band but I was reassured that damage was done by an Instagram picture the following morning with the caption ” / / B I R M I N G H A M – O O O P S / / ”
Written by Pav Nagra
Tour Dates: http://the1975.com/tour