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Live Review: The 1975, Truly ‘At Their Very Best’ – A Review Of Their Show In Brisbane

Headliner: The 1975
Opener: Wallice
Date: April 15th 2023
Venue: Riverstage
Reviewer: Mariyah Shahrin
Photographer: Jordan Curtis Hughes (Touring Photographer)

On their sixth show of their Australia and New Zealand leg of tour, The 1975 took over Riverstage on a Saturday night in Brisbane. Living up to the name of their tour, ‘At Their Very Best’, the band did not hold back in giving their fans everything they hoped for.

Playing a sold out show, the band performed newfound favourites like Oh Caroline, Looking for Somebody (to Love), and I’m in Love With You from their latest album, Being Funny in a Foreign Language (2022) to classic fan favourites like Robbers, Sex, and fallingforyou from their first studio album (2013). What struck me the most about the setlist was frontman Matty Healy
opening with Be My Mistake, one of the band’s slower songs from their second album, I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful yet So Unaware of It. The choice of song was different to many other artists who usually start off the set with an upbeat song or a single to get the crowd hyped and grooving along. But Be My Mistake created an intimate and emotional atmosphere
which seemed to connect with the entire crowd, a theme I have been noticing at their shows across this entire tour. Other songs to note were Matty’s short cover of I Want It That Way by the Backstreet Boys (which was such a pleasant surprise for the crowd), and I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes) (which was chosen over Medicine) by the crowd.

Although their fourth album, Notes on a Conditional Form, wasn’t too well-received by fans, The 1975 have seemed to make somewhat of a comeback with their latest album, which was evidently noticeable in the interactions between the band and the audience. Having seen them live in Auckland in 2019, Matty seemed more comfortable and confident on stage — some fans
would even argue he seemed more ‘himself’. The band, in its entirety, along with their additional touring musicians, performed phenomenally, giving fans the perfect snapshot and memory of what this band could do on stage. An additional highlight of the set was the band’s touring saxophonist, John Waugh, who had multiple solos in between songs, adding an extra layer to the
entire auditory experience.

That being said, the band’s energy tied the whole show together. Fans of The 1975 are probably familiar with Matty’s antics on stage, of drinking a bottle of wine and having a few cigarettes. But what really seemed to build the connection with the crowd was his effortless banter in calling out certain crowd behaviours intertwined with anecdotes of how their songs came to life. It was quite refreshing seeing an artist be so candid on stage, as he spoke about how the era of him being reckless and chaotic is coming to an end. My favourite part of his ramblings was probably when he addressed the meme of him looking like the rat from Flushed Away, and revealed that his mother’s godfather actually produced the film, thus bringing the meme to life — life imitates art, right?

Opener Wallice was also a great choice to the lineup, as she warmed up the crowd with her hit songs like 23, Punching Bag, and Funeral. Her set was so well-received by the crowd that she stated, “You guys are my favourite crowd so far, and trust me, I don’t say that at every show”. Her songs gave me visions of dreamy Sunday mornings with sunlight creeping in, to angsty and nostalgic 2AM nights. The American singer-songwriter revealed that she’ll be heading back to Australian shores in October for a few headlining shows. Having only been in the game for over two years, it’s safe to say I can see her going far, and I’m super keen to see where she goes (consider me a converted fan!).

It was undoubtedly a brilliant show altogether. It’s no surprise that The 1975 has maintained such a solid fanbase for over 10 years, which is only growing more and more with each album they release. Being a long-term fan myself, it’s been interesting and quite refreshing seeing how the band has progressed since their infancy, even when they used to be named Drive Like I Do. The
band seems like they have come to much more of a grounded and content stage of their musical and personal lives. What’s good to know is that they don’t seem to be stopping any time soon, as Matty revealed at the show that they’re in the midst of creating their sixth album. Safe to say this show was truly, The 1975 at their very best.

Hear2Zen Magazine
Hear2Zen is a "Non Genre Specific" publication that celebrates all things sensory.

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