The 1975: Still At Their Very Best

The 1975 has been “Playing on my Mind” ever since they came to Montreal’s Bell Centre Friday, November 17th, 2023. The indie-pop band has been active since the early 2010s but as the title of their tour suggests, they remain relevant across many demographics. People of all ages and genders gathered in the arena to witness the talent that is The 1975. The band’s ability to reach such a large audience is commendable and speaks to their adaptability to the fluctuating music trends of the past decade.

Their lead singer, Matthew “Matty” Healy, has gone viral on TikTok for his erratic behaviour and controversial comments during this tour. While he was drinking from a flask or a glass throughout the show, he remained on his best behaviour in Montreal. In fact, Healy brought attention to the audience’s anticipation, commenting “What’s he going to say?” This was a signal to the crowd that they would not catch anything offensive on video that night. This is not to say that he was not entertaining. Indeed, The 1975 know how to put on a show. 

The stage design for this tour is quite elaborate. The stage was turned into a house and the band appeared to be having a cocktail party throughout the show. Furthermore, the backdrop gradually changed the time of day it was presenting (night sky, moon, daylight) to curate the time passing. This creative scene is captivating to the crowd, especially in the way The 1975 interacted with it. While they had another performer on stage, Healy climbed to the roof of the house and sat there for the duration of the song. He moved around the stage throughout his performance, sometimes sitting on a couch, at a piano, and sometimes in front of a small television watching it play. In this way, the set goes beyond being a prop to an integral part of the show to tell a particular story. 

The stage was not the only thing keeping the audience entertained. Apart from Healy’s incredible vocals and the impressive instrumental skills of the rest of the band, The 1975 let their humour shine during their performance. When the screens to help people seated farther back see the band were not reflecting the performance, they had a combination of slime ASMR, Dance Dance Revolution, and Subway Surfer videos playing. In Healy’s words, both humbly and humorously, this was so the audience would “not get bored.” He also had the audience laughing during “TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME” when Healy tried pronouncing “bonjour” into his autotuned microphone. Acknowledging how he butchered it, he stated with the autotune still on “That’s the best you’re getting.” 

Humour aside, Healy was inspirational. One young boy had a poster that said it was his first concert ever and he wanted it to be memorable. Healy was determined to make it so and thus, he brought the child on stage and had everyone in the crowd cheer for him. Healy urged the boy to pursue a career as an artist and to avoid becoming a politician. The interaction was overall admirable and showed Healy’s soft side, in contrast to the negative comments about him swirling around the internet. 

Given the extensive list of fan-favourite songs by The 1975, the concert was quite long (and therefore well worth the money). Songs such as “Robbers,” “Somebody Else,” and “About You,” among others, were sung along to by almost everyone. Despite this, some fans were left disappointed when the concert ended and their favourites had not yet been performed, most notably “Girls” and “Chocolate” were missing. With this being said, the fact that in two hours of top hits, there were still anticipated songs just goes to show how good the band is. Indeed, The 1975 is “Still At Their Very Best”.