The most astonishing thing about The 1975’s performance at BB&T Arena, on the campus of Northern Kentucky University, is the song they didn’t play.
The group first gained national exposure in their native Britain when BBC Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens championed their debut single “The City.” They got a further boost a few months later when Stephens’ colleague Zane Lowe chose “Sex” as the Hottest Record in the World. At BB&T they played “Sex,” but not “The City.” Apparently, the songs in the encore rotate, so “The City” gets played sometimes. It’s still odd, though, to regularly leave out the song that gave you mass exposure.
The 1975 Like it When You Sleep
Of course, the rest of the set was brilliant as the lads churned out 22 songs. The same track that opens their 2013 debut, self-titled LP, “The 1975,” opened the show. The boys then quickly broke into “Love Me,” the lead single from their second album I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It.
After a round of bouncy numbers, they switched gears with “A Change of Heart.” Another slower song, “Paris,” didn’t seem to wow the crowd—at first. Gradually the cell phone flashlights came on. Hopefully, this will be considered as an upcoming single.
Another nice twist was when the band went all synthy, like on the title track of the second album “I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It.” Adam Hann, Ross MacDonald, and Healy took to the keys, while George Daniel remained behind the drum kit. They headed back in a rockier direction with “Robbers.”
Lead singer Matthew Healy strutted about the stage putting one in the mind of the late Michael Hutchence. Not too chatty with the crowd, he did comment on the American presidential election and told the crowd not to lose hope, that they were still the future.
The big finish came with “The Sound,” which got a massive sing-a-long going, and sent the crowd home happy— except for those waiting to hear “The City.”
PF Wilson has been writing about music, TV, radio, and movies for over 20 years. He has also written about sports, business, and politics with his work appearing in Cincinnati CityBeat, The Houston Press, Cleveland Scene, Cincinnati Magazine, Cincy Magazine, Atomic Ranch, and many more. Check out his podcast PF’s Tape Recorder available from Podbean or in iTunes.