Show Review: The 1975 at the Fonda
Editor’s note: We sent the incredible Natalie Angiuli to check out The 1975 at the Fonda. This is her account:
“It’s just you and I tonight, why don’t you figure my heart out?” singer Matt Healy of the 1975 cried out mid-set to the audience at Friday night’s Hollywood show. All the girls in the audience desperately wanted to do exactly that.
Moments after opening act Linus Young departed the stage, the house lights dimmed and the velvet curtains ascended to reveal a glowing rectangle hanging in the air above a drum kit. The Manchester quartet walked out the on stage below in carefully coordinated black & white outfits, sporting handsomely disheveled hairdos.
Their entrance was accompanied by at least a thousand high-pitched screams from girls in the audience. This might have been the closest thing to Beatlemania that I’ve experienced in the 2013 Los Angeles music scene. There was a unique energy and enthusiasm right away with this audience that the band cultivated and maintained throughout the show.
They opened with “The City” and immediately had everyone up on their feet. The band’s dreamy, shoe-gaze influenced pop/rock blends real instruments with digital sounds that lighten the songs by incorporating dance elements. This 1975 signature sound is one that combines nostalgic melodies with ultra-modern lyrics (that are sometimes so crass that I’m sure he only gets away with because of that charming UK accent).
Healy browsed through a handmade booklet thrown on stage by a young female fan during the first verse of “M.O.N.E.Y.,” turning the pages while singing as if he were alone in his bedroom reading a love letter. Another female admirer threw a bra on stage several songs later, which Matt caught and draped over his mic stand. There’s something very endearing about his stage presence. He really looks like he spent all day smoking cigarettes, reading poetry, and pulling his hair out trying to figure out a girl who’s been driving him mad.
Overall, the set was extremely high energy, thoughtful, entertaining, and musically promising. The band maintained a well-rehearsed sound while their performance still seemed spontaneous and just plain punk rock.
Later in the set, the boys played their latest playful single, “Girls,” which became a big sing-along. Matt shyly thanked his mom for being in the audience before closing the show with their breakthrough single, “Chocolate.” My personal favorite from the record, “Sex,” (from their latest self-titled record) showed up in the set as the first part of the encore. The outro of this tune will bring you right back to age 18, no matter where you are in life at the moment.
They played a few more songs before the lights went dark, the band departed the stage, and the drummer tossed his sticks into the audience. Somehow, amidst a sea of determined and infatuated girls, I walked away with one. He was a hard hitter, according to the dents on the sides.
The band announced plans to return to Los Angeles in April for their next tour.