The 1975 at the 3arena, Dublin, 24 March 2016
The 1975 make their triumphant return to Dublin in support of their new album ‘I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It’ (doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, does it?), which scored the band their first number one album on the Billboard 200 chart. The question is whether or not the new album merits its success, but also, can The 1975’s live show still meet the needs of bigger venues? The short answer is quite simply: yes. The slightly longer answer follows.
Starting with hit Love Me, the band immediately set the tone of the concert – loud pop anthems filled with sarcasm and satire, with the power to get a crowd dancing like very few other bands can. Really, it’s not often you see nearly the entirety of 3Arena on their feet from the very first song. But here we are, the first few chords of the opening riff and everyone (including those seated) jump straight up.
The 1975 made a very conscious and honest move to change the look of their band. Moving away from the monochrome aesthetic they had for their debut album, 2016 is a much more colourful year for them. This is reflected in the visuals on stage – during the new songs, the stage is lit up with luminous colours and for the older songs, the black and white look returns. A nice little addition to the concert is the effort that the band have put into how it looks. It’s not filled with fireworks and crazy displays, but the subtle factors embody what the band is about – making simple things beautiful and captivating.
With all the horrible stuff going on around the world at the moment, Healy makes a nice little dedication to all lives that are being lost at the hands of war and terrorism, avoiding specifics. This is a moving moment and was done with grace and sincerity, and generally just unites the 3arena even more than the music already had.
By time the encore comes around, the crowd are well and truly wrapped around The 1975’s figurative little finger. With everyone in the 3arena singing the start to The Sound alone, mimicking the choir effect in the recorded version, and then everyone jumping in unison – it really is a sight to behold.
The 1975 make pop music at its best. It’s fun, catchy, and above all it’s smart. Their music has more to it than just radio-friendly choruses, they’re filled with self-reflective and satirical lyrics. The band have moved with the time and have matured and created their own niche. They know what they’re doing, even if it’s not for everyone, and they’re doing it extremely well. They’ve taken the leap from smaller venues to arenas in their stride and look like they belong nowhere else.