Gig Review: The 1975 At The Hollywood Palladium

Photo: Joyce Jude Lee/ Soundsnspirits

Photo: Joyce Jude Lee/ Soundsnspirits

Even though Harry Styles and Fifth Harmony were among the teen heartthrobs at the Hollywood Palladium last night, they were not who thousands of fans camped out to see.

The 1975 returned to Los Angeles for the fourth time and charmed those in attendance from start to finish. I’ve seen this band more times than I am willing to admit, but never like this. Selling out most of their tour dates, the Manchester quartet returned to America with improved lighting design and stage presence.

Photo: Joyce Jude Lee/ Soundsnspirits

Photo: Joyce Jude Lee/ Soundsnspirits

The splendid LA evening kicked off with Young Risings Sons and Cruiser, The 1975’s label mates and tour companions. With upbeat guitar rock, both bands warmed up the restless crowd appropriately.

By 10 pm that night, the fog machine had shroud the room with mystery and aesthetic. The lights dimmed as the band’s signature rectangle lit up and white strobe lights projected hazy rays into the crowd. Ross MacDonald (bass), George Daniel (drums), and Adam Hann (guitar) strolled onto the stage to a loud reception, but when lead singer Matt Healy slithered on, the sound turned deafening.

Photo: Joyce Jude Lee/ Soundsnspirits

Photo: Joyce Jude Lee/ Soundsnspirits

Kicking off their seat with “The City,” the drum heavy track from their debut, Matt Healy danced around and lept into the crowd and incited incessant cheers right off the bat. Following up with “Milk” and “M.O.N.E.Y,” the band only furthered the energy as Matt Healy playfully performed and leaned into photographers’ cameras-before I knew it, his face was millimeters away from my lens and he poked his finger into it.

Photo: Joyce Jude Lee/ Soundsnspirits

Photo: Joyce Jude Lee/ Soundsnspirits

Slowing things down with “So Far (It’s Alright),” The 1975 had the crowd singing along to every line of their stellar record. Continuing the trend of slow jams, the band continued with “Heart Out,” “Settle Down,” and “Pressure,” three songs that boast incredible saxophone medleys (courtesy of touring member John Waugh) and introduce variety into the set. This trio of tunes showcase the genreless-ness that The 1975 identifies with and proves the band excels at ‘guitar&B’ (rather than R&B).

Asking everyone to put their phones away, Matt Healy sat atop a box on stage and sang “Me,” a vulnerable song about personal guilt, and “Fallingforyou,” a romantic track from their 39 song catalog. Just when the crowd simmered down a bit, the band picked up the energy with “Girls,” a upbeat, pop rock song that sounds leagues different from the ones that preceeded it. As the song ended, the four Englishmen thanked the crowd and stepped off stage momentarily.

Photo: Joyce Jude Lee/ Soundsnspirits

Photo: Joyce Jude Lee/ Soundsnspirits

Knowing that the band has yet to play three of their most popular singles, the insatiable crowd chanted “We want ‘Sex’!” over and over until the band returned for a three song encore. Starting with “Robbers,” Matt Healy paints a painful Bonnie and Clyde type relationship and got everyone to sing a particuarly honest line of the song (“Now everybody’s DEAD!”). The quartet close with “Chocolate” and “Sex,” the band’s first singles and songs that almost the entire sold out crowd knew by heart.

Photo: Joyce Jude Lee/ Soundsnspirits

Photo: Joyce Jude Lee/ Soundsnspirits

With shaggy hair, undeniable talent and swagger, The 1975 delivered a solid show at the Hollywood Palladium. Even though Matt Healy was obviously tipsy from the bottle of wine that he finished, it only seemed to enhance the band’s performance as he was more open with the crowd and playful with his dance moves (though he did forget the lyrics to a few songs).

The lights, the black-and-white aesthetic, and the music seemed to quench the thirst of The 1975 fans in Los Angeles. The next time the quartet returns, it’ll likely be with new music and take place at an even bigger venue.

Originally posted here.

-J

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