Tuesday 15 January 2019

Live Review: The 1975 - Cardiff, Motorpoint Arena 14/01/2019

The 1975 Cardiff Live Review, Motorpoint Arena 14/01/2019

Just over two years since they last played Cardiff's Motorpoint Arena, The 1975 returned with their biggest and most ambitious show to date in support of their recently released third studio album A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships. Having promised fans a whole new and immersive experience, with a completely re-imagined set design, the band had big promises to fill, and they weren't ready to let any one down just yet. Following their most spectacular album campaign, through visually orgasmic posters, slogans and imagery, the Manchester-based outfit have continually pushed the boundaries and tonight they were ready to show everyone just how far they'd come.

It wasn't long before the fans got to experience it for themselves. From the twinkling piano keys of Love Theme, daintily echoing around the expansive hall, it would've been hard for anyone inside to have imagined just what lay in store as at 8:50pm sharp the blinding headlight's that had been lighting the room dimmed and they emerged to their eponymous self-titled single. It's easy to forget this is a song about oral sex of all things as the room erupted with screams.

The new album was released less than two months but that wasn't going to stop fans from singing back each and every word in perfect form to Give Yourself a Try and TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME, all amongst the glitchy imagery that flashed around the giant screens behind them. On times I was thankful that my ears were still a bit muffled from a cold I contracted last week to take the edge off the One Direction-level of teenage squealing.

Following She's American and UGH!, two previous album cuts, Matty donned a quick costume change to re-enact the music video for Sincerity is Scary, stepping out on to a treadmill as the New York City backdrop scrolled past. It's a surreal moment and for something that shouldn't work, does, so incredibly well. He seemed genuinely refreshed and at home, swaying about on stage pulling out your dads best dance routines, normally only reserved for the wedding party dance-floor whilst suitable drunk. This is a band at the height of their game and it showed as they controlled the crowd's every movement, Healy pointing his mic to the audience as they sang on command throughout.

Being one of the smaller venues on this tour it did mean the stage design had been slightly scaled back from the previous night's in Belfast and Glasgow, but that didn't seem to have any bearing on its impact. Visually it remained beautiful. The band almost caged in by three giant rectangle light features that harmonised with the music throughout. They've attempted to incorporate their visual elements from across their releases, and pieced together, it's been realised in grandeur form. With backup dancers (Jaiy Twins), political messages deployed as an almost call to arms to the youth, and a plethora of old and new material alike, the vast open space in the arena almost make their past shows in small sweaty rooms feel like a forgotten memory. But that's far from the case. It's a common occurrence for band's of this size to build a barrier between themselves and fans, aside from the odd grunt and thanks, not uttering another word for the duration of their set. But not these guys. There was a real sense of utmost gratitude as Healy thanked and thanks again. The acknowledgements came often. They even left off any encore theatrics too, moving through the hits, straight in to the final quarter without exiting the stage. 

There's a lot to say about people who can take a laugh at themselves too, and the band seem to have embraced this pretty well as The Sound's visuals flashed negative comments in a humouring way. "Do people really still make music like this?". "There's no danger in the music at all". "Terrible high pitched vocals over soulless robo beats".

Ending with Sex, they've shown once more they're probably still one of, if not the most important groups of our decade. Love them or loathe them, their music speaks to the masses and they're not quite done yet on their world dominating escapade. It's just the beginning.

The 1975 played:
Love Theme (intro)
The 1975 (A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships version)
Give Yourself a Try
She’s American
Sincerity Is Scary
It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You)
Loving Someone
The Ballad of Me and My Brain
A Change of Heart
Narcissist (No Rome cover with No Rome)
How to Draw/ Petrichor

An Encounter (Interlude)
I Like America & America Likes Me
Somebody Else
I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes)

Love It If We Made It

Be My Mistake
The Sound


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