“Love” Them? No Problem: The 1975 Light Up Boston’s House of Blues

Keely Chisolm ‘17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

The band in the booklet for their debut album. Photo credit: The 1975
The band in the booklet for their debut album. Photo credit: The 1975

Hailing from Manchester, England, The 1975 brought their beloved indie synth rock to Boston this winter. Fans had queued up outside the House of Blues for hours before the show began. The line stretched from the entrance all the way down Lansdowne Street and around the corner, finally reaching the end of the bridge over I-90. By the time this author finally got inside, the floor was completely packed.

The first North American show of their winter Love Me Tour opened with frontman Matty Healy crooning just that — “Love Me” — and the crowd had no problem doing it. The screaming began as soon as the main lights went dark and only grew as the band launched into the first song.

Healy has a rather distinctive singing voice: while most artists’ singing voices sound fairly neutral in terms of an accent, Healy’s is the complete opposite. It’s full of quirks, nuances, and drama, almost to the point of unintelligibility. But for some, that’s part of his charm. It’s what sets The 1975 apart and makes them the band they are. Live, it’s truly something to experience.

So Healy’s voice wins the award for the most captivating part of the evening, but the lighting design earns a close second. It consisted of one large screen in the back and four pillars with screens on all sides, plus lighting around the edges to create outlines. The result? A visually stunning backdrop, almost sneakily simple but with major impact. The colors changed with every song, giving each a new theme, and to some extent, a new life. “Love Me” was pink, “The City” was fuzzy black and white (when there were any lights at all), and “Robbers” was blue. “She’s American” was, fittingly, complemented with a red, white, and blue light scheme.

The 1975 performing in Boston. Photo credit: Keely Chisholm
The 1975 performing in Boston. Photo credit: Keely Chisholm

The band even previewed some yet-unreleased songs from their upcoming second full-length album, I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It, which is slated for a February 26, 2016 release date. “You’re the only reason we’re here,” Healy said to the crowd, “so you deserve to hear it first.”

“She’s American” was one of the new songs, along with “Change of Heart,” both of which promise the same funky beats and cryptic lyrics that fans expect. After the band left the stage for the first time, a chant rose up for the fan favorite “Sex,” with the crowd shouting “We want ‘Sex!’” Minutes later, the band returned and closed with another favorite, “Chocolate,” followed by the requested “Sex.”

Overall, the combination of Healy’s unique vocals, the energy of the crowd, and the mesmerizing light show in the background made for a concert experience one can only get at a 1975 concert.

The 1975 will be touring Australia and Asia in January and will be returning to Massachusetts in May.

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