Thursday, June 16, 2016

Live review: The 1975, Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheater (6/15/2016)

Posted By on Thu, Jun 16, 2016 at 4:27 PM

The 1975
Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheater
June 15, 2016

The one thing most people can agree on when it comes to The 1975: You either love them or you hate them. There’s rarely a gray area. When they hit the Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheater on June 15, it was to a packed venue that fell into the former. Touring in support of their second album, I Like It When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It (with a name like that, it’s easy to understand why some people find them a little pretentious), their 90 minute set left Charlotteans begging for more - especially the ladies.

The 1975 first came on the mainstream scene three years ago with their hit "Chocolate," a strange way to rise to popularity in a PC culture considering the song revolves around the British slang for weed. Yet it’s '80s pop sound appealed, culminating in a huge following that made the release of their second album that much more exciting. This time around they’ve fully embraced the pop sound, and brought their trademark positive vibes to a whole other level.

Their live show is incredible to behold - they’ve become a band that is in a much bigger spotlight over the years, but still keep their show to a minimal, not overdone with lighting and effects like some of their peers. Four LED columns fading in and out of various colors that actually enhanced their electro-pop sound flanked them. Because what goes better with electronica than neon lighting? Besides flawless vocal execution and musicianship, not a whole lot.

Singer Matt Healy jiggles to the beat with every movement, driving girls wild with every hip shake like Elvis himself. Whether you love The 1975 or hate them, seeing them live, you have to admit they put on a hell of a good show. Healy certainly has become a master at crowd control - he’s the only front man I’ve seen that can actually get an entire venue of people to put their smartphones down for five minutes:

“So we’re going to do a song, this next song, where it’s just us, and you, and nobody else in the world,” he said during a pause in the set. “The only way we can do that is if everybody puts down their phones for one song… I’m not being patronizing, I’m not being grumpy, I get the whole phones thing - just trust me, the memory of the next five minutes, the real memory, will be far better.”

For a full song, nothing distracted from the band, not even the glare of a single iPhone. It was incredible. As they moved through their set, Healy became more talkative, a slight departure from his usual onstage persona. A portion of their set appeared to be in honor of the recent Orlando Pulse club shootings, featuring a backdrop of beautiful rainbow colors. Healy paused to speak to the crowd between songs, saying:

“Being in a pop band sometimes feel a bit superficial, and sometimes I wonder are we doing the right thing,” Healy said. “But the fact of the matter is, this kind of thing this environment that we live in, the kind of freedom, cultural, social freedom that we have at something like a pop concert, it’s really fucking important. We can’t have our liberties taken away from us.”

These words echoed the sentiment of the crowd exactly. The band finished out their live show by bleeding their encore into the usual setlist, afraid of the threat of a looming storm and sparing their fans the indignity of getting drenched. It was easy to see that despite the glaring lightning and bank of clouds, the music factory crowd would have been willing to sit in a torrential downpour all night if it meant more of The 1975. Well done boys.

1. "Love Me"
2. "UGH!"
3. "Heart Out"
4. "So Far (It’s Alright)"
5. "A Change of Heart"
6. "She’s American"
7. "Anobrain"
8. "Menswear"
9. "Loving Someone"
10. "Me"
11. "fallingforyou"
12. "Somebody Else"
13. "An Encounter"
14. "Robbers"
15. "You"
16. "Paris"
17. "Girls"

18. "If I Believe You"
19. "Chocolate"
20. "The Sound"

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