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The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

Concert review: The 1975’s increased popularity draws larger, rowdier crowd


The first time I heard the song “Chocolate” by The 1975 the summer after my senior year, I fell in love. It perfectly captured what I was feeling at that time in my life. I was bored with my hometown and driving around town with my friends, looking for trouble to distract us until we could get out of our “one horse town.” I spent hours scouring Google for their name and devouring every EP and unreleased song I could possibly find.

When their debut album was released that September, my adoration for them was solidified. Some of their songs were dark, some were fun and guitar-filled. There seemed to be this flawless balance that made listening to their album from start to finish an entirely enjoyable experience. I listened to it on repeat for months.

That fall, I saw them for the first time at The Black Cat, a tiny club in Washington, D.C. The venue was one of the smallest I’d ever been to, and a friend and I were among the youngest people there. It was not very crowded, and we were able to get pretty close to the stage. During the concert, they played a good amount of songs from their original EPs and their new album. However, they left out quite a few that I had hoped to hear live. Experiencing them live made me fall even deeper in love with their music. After the concert was over, the band members came out to sign merchandise. I met the lead singer, Matty Healy, and talked to him for a few minutes. I embarrassingly shed a few tears after giving him a hug goodbye.

A few weeks later, I bought tickets to see them at Rams Head in the inner harbor in December, the night after my last final. A friend and I showed up a little early to be able to get a good spot in the standing-room-only venue. This time, The 1975 was opening for the band Twenty One Pilots, who were much more popular than they were at the time. My friend was there for Twenty One Pilots, but I was definitely there to see The 1975. Because they were an opener, they didn’t play all of their songs. It felt a little rushed, but their set was still incredible,. I thought seeing them again would satiate my obsession, but it only continued to grow.

This past summer, I saw them again at Rams Head, but this time they were headlining. They had become much more popular at this point, and this concert was much more well-known than it was the previous times I had seen them. Earlier in the day, they had a free acoustic show at The Sound Garden, a record store in Fells Point. My friend and I showed up about two hours early to find a line stretching down three blocks and around a corner. The people at the front had been there since 7 a.m. I knew The 1975 had grown in popularity and were receiving quite a bit of radio time for “Chocolate” and “Girls,” but I was blindsided by just how many more fans they gained in a short period of time. The acoustic show was packed, and I ended up in the back with a horrible view, but I was able to at least hear them perfectly. Afterwards, they had a CD signing before heading over to Rams Head. Pictures were not allowed and it was very rushed. You could barely say more than a quick hello to the band. It was nothing like the first time I had met Matty, and I left a little disappointed.

Later, we headed over to the actual concert, where we found Rams Head equally as packed as The Sound Garden. We were able to squeeze our way pretty close to the stage despite the crowd. For this concert, The 1975 played most of their songs. They included songs like “Me,” “Menswear,” and others that they previously hadn’t included. This obviously made up for the drawbacks of being in a larger crowd. It was incredible to hear some of my favorite songs played live for the first time. The very next day, I got a ticket to see them at Echostage in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 2.

Last Tuesday was an entirely new The 1975 concert experience. We arrived to the venue around the time when doors were opening, so I expected a pretty big crowd to be gathered already. When we got there, the line was down a long street and around the corner. It was insane and overwhelming. There were uninterested parents waiting with their braced-teeth preteen daughters as well as many young adults around my age. I didn’t see many adults there who weren’t clearly chaperoning their kids, unlike the crowd at my first The 1975 concert.

Once inside, we began to make our way to the stage. People were pushing hard to get the chance to be as close to Matty Healy as possible. We found a decent spot, and decided to stay put because the crowd wasn’t worth dealing with. I had never experienced a concert like this before. Concertgoers seemed almost possessed by the thought of getting as close to the stage as possible, and didn’t think about anything else, like, say, the safety of other concertgoers around them. In fact, a man came onto the stage after the final opening band finished, and said that The 1975 would not be coming out until everyone stopped pushing and spread out. The disrespectfulness of the crowd delayed the entire concert for a bit. Finally, people listened and they took the stage. At this point, I was completely annoyed but seeing and hearing them quelled all of that.

They did the exact same set as the time I saw them in June, and it was great as usual. I was really hoping that they would play their new song, “Medicine,” but they didn’t.

I already want to see them again, but my experience has changed so much over the past year. As the lyrics in their song “You” read: “It’s so ironic/how it’s only been a year.” Of course I still am so passionate about them and their music, but my experience seeing and listening to them live is now tarnished by my experience with my fellow concertgoers. I love them, so of course I’m proud that they’re gaining such popularity in a relatively short time. However, there’s a part of me that sees them as “mine.” I feel as though I want to keep them to myself and always have that first experience at their concert. But if that were the case, what would be their incentive to continue to create the music that I love so much? It’s bittersweet.

(photo, cropped, via)

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  • B

    BritApr 8, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    I stumbled upon The 1975 very early as well and bought their album as soon as I could. It’s kind of fun to follow a band that not a lot of people know about, until everyone knows about it. It is very bittersweet, like you said. It’s almost as if I feel that I have some sort of superiority over newer fans and I should be treated so awesome for it, but that doesn’t make any sense. haha It’s a very funny feeling; a mixture of jealousy, stinginess, and obsession i guess lol

  • C

    CharmDec 9, 2014 at 6:31 am

    That was a great review. Great to read something like this from a proper fan.

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Concert review: The 1975’s increased popularity draws larger, rowdier crowd