Wednesday 18 January 2023

Live Review: The 1975, Cardiff International Arena 16 January 2023

Live Review: The 1975, Cardiff International Arena 16 January 2023

It's strange to hear Matty Healy talk about 10 years so nonchalant. Through their various incarnations, the band have become a synonymous soundtrack to the best part of a decade through health and sickness and all the love and relationship breakdowns along the way. 

From John Waugh being a fun new addition to the band's live shows to becoming a prominent fixture. From four Manchester lads with just a handful of EPs playing to 300 people to selling out Madison Square Garden.Through controversy and accolades and everything in between, you could say they've had quite the career.

After touring for such a long time though it begs the question, what next? Fans will already be aware that there's no expense spared in stage design when it comes to their live shows. Yet everything else has already been done countless times before. There's only so many upgrades a neon boxed logo can sustain. So what better than an almost American sitcom style living room and suburban street, the only thing missing be it the canned laughter. 

Healy arouses from a drunken slumber as the lights and lamps are switched on, one by one. He looks jaded, much like a Japanese karaoke singing businessman with his loosened tie and drunken stumbles, is this acting or should fans be concerned? More is to be revealed.

Done away with slotting in new tracks between the hits, the first half if an almost exclusive Being Funny In A Foreign Language escapade. Healy rarely breaking character except to discuss method acting before ordering a freeze frame, which is quite the feat in itself as no one breaks character for over a minute whilst holding guitars mid air until he says resume. 

Swigging from a wine bottle, slinking around stage with a lit cigarette, it's hard to know what's real and what's acting as the lines blur. But this is 'Live On Stage In Show & Concert' and we're really seeing it in full effect. 

If you can drag yourself away from the entrancing performance of Healy climbing through open windows and on to rooftops there's a new record getting its first live outing. An expansive record that comes to life in an arena setting as Looking for somebody (to love) ramps up the energy through its jazzy 80's synths and darkened lyrical composure adding further layers to its already complexed nature. 

Elsewhere All I Need To Hear shines a light on their slower, more sincere material with About You paving the way for their wholesome instrumentation to fill up the echoing hall. 

Comfortable enough to talk about wanking on stage, stripping to his shirt and eating a slab of raw meat becomes second nature. With some push-ups thrown in for good measure as TV screens fluttered with images of the lesser liked politicians and state figures, Healy begins to climb through an opening in the small screen. It's an almost metaphor for our lives being consumed by media.

Wasting no time with encores, the band have a few moments to change in to matching black suits before re-emerging for the second instalment.

As the white jacket clad technicians return to start packing up the set which, Healy comically comments on being just a Velcro backdrop, the band dive head first in to an all out hit set. The crowd's energy has been conserved and now they're ready to play as they rapidly jump around to If you're too shy (let me know). 

Back interacting with the crowd, there's soon a battle for Paris or A Change Of Heart as he casts the vote to the song with the loudest scream. "You just shouted no at the top of your lungs, that's not very clever is it", Healy jibes at someone in the audience. There's no doubt Paris wins. 

With an artillery of tracks to choose from, a greatest hits set is going to be a mammoth task but with careful planning they provide a perfect cross sectional insight in to their back catalogue. 

All in all, the two-act show plays out to an incredibly unique experience unlike no other live performance. And there's still even a neon box logo present, this time it's just around the door of Matty's on-stage living room rather than the prominent feature it once was. 'Live On Stage In Show and Concert' brings a whole new meaning to Arena-based music and we're all for it. 

The 1975 Played - Cardiff International Arena 16 January 2023:

  1. The 1975 (BFIAFL)
  2. Looking for Somebody (to Love)
  3. Happiness
  4. Part of the Band
  5. Oh Caroline
  6. I'm in Love With You
  7. Be My Mistake 
  8. All I Need to Hear
  9. fallingforyou
  10. I Like America & America Likes Me
  11. About You
  12. When We Are Together
  13. If You're Too Shy (Let Me Know)
  15. Chocolate
  16. It's Not Living (If It's Not With You)
  17. Paris (Fan voted for)
  18. I Couldn't Be More in Love
  19. An Encounter
  20. Robbers
  21. Somebody Else
  22. I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes)
  23. Love It If We Made It
  24. The Sound
  25. Sex
  26. Give Yourself a Try

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