An Ode to The 1975

Words and photos by Angela Levitan

Have you ever listened to a band and felt like you completely belonged in the world that they created?  For me, that band is The 1975.  I discovered them about three years ago at the ripe age of 13 and haven’t stopped loving them since.  Their bubbly yet somewhat edgy pop music transports me into a world where I am free of my silly teenage problems, and seeing them live means I can escape not only emotionally, but physically.  The 1975 has been the soundtrack to my adolescence, some of the most challenging and confusing times of my life, and for that I couldn’t be more grateful.


On April 16, 2016 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, CA (and again on April 21, 2016 at the Santa Barbara Bowl) I saw The 1975 live once again.  Every time I attend one of their concerts, I notice a distinct growth in their live shows- the biggest change this time being their stage production.  Now with a backdrop that lights up the stage and sets a different mood for each song, their stage production is like no other.  The only way to successfully describe this production is to compare it to a James Turrell installation.  The band’s frontman, Matty Healy, has even altered his performance quite a bit.  Besides being accompanied by a single glass of wine, he becomes more and more energetic with every show (maybe the wine has something to do with it!).  His previous sulky stage persona has now transformed into that of a a satirical, overly self-involved popstar, prancing around the stage, exuding passion with every word (if you are at all confused by this description, just watch the “Love Me” video).  Even the band as a whole is a tighter, more precise unit.  Matty Healy, Adam Hann (lead guitar), George Daniel (drums), and Ross MacDonald (bass) all build off each other, creating the sound that is The 1975.  

 The fact that The 1975 are able to sell out venues like the Shrine (6,300 capacity) and the Santa Barbara Bowl (4,562 capacity) merely based on the passion of their fans and not excessive radio play or enormous record sales, is almost unprecedented these days.  As Matty put it at the Santa Barbara show, The 1975 is a “fan band”.  Being in a crowd of 6,300 teenagers screaming every word to every song is an unreal feeling.  The energy at their shows is something that not many bands possess.  Whether you are dancing in the back, like I did at the LA show, or right up at the front, as I was at the Santa Barbara show, you can feel the love, adoration, and camaraderie between the fans and the band.  

“The times that I have seen The 1975 have been some of the best nights of my life.”

The 1975 introduced me to a new type of music, one that makes me feel special and involved, like I’m a part of their movement. I relate to their lyrics and although it may seem crazy, I also relate to their sound. The times that I have seen The 1975 have been some of the best nights of my life, and if you are a fan of music at all , PLEASE do yourself a favor and see The 1975 in concert. Also be sure to check out their latest album, “I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it”, available here. ✿