November 5th, 2016 at Mohegan Sun Arena
By: Jillian Fliedner
On November 5th, The 1975 stopped by Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT, offering a stunning performance and demonstrating how much they have honed their live show through a combination of their theatrics and pure talent. Opening with a possibly perfect show introduction, The 1975 played their self-titled song, smoothly easing into “Love Me” and “UGH!”. The set list was curated to a T, and it was obvious how much thought there was to each song’s placement during the night. The band played favorites like “Girls”, “Chocolate”, and “Loving Someone,” but they also included their almost entirely instrumental tracks, “I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It”, “Lostmyhead”, and “Please Be Naked”. It can be hard to make an instrumental work well live, but The 1975 were able to execute that feat three times during the course of the night thanks to their stage presence and perfectly chosen background animations. Singer Matty Healy did not remain still throughout the performance of those songs; he was either nodding his head along passionately or, during the climax of “Lostmyhead,” balancing himself on a piano. The rest of the band followed suit, but in a much calmer, less erratic manner that is characteristic of them.
Matty spent some of the night drinking red wine and occasionally smoking a cigarette while offering the crowd his dance moves, which were not to be taken seriously. Despite his relaxed demeanor, Matty devoted some time during the set to speak sincerely about the U.S. election and his annoyance with Brexit. He encouraged fans to vote, while passionately explaining how you cannot be complacent. Prior to this little speech, he told the crowd this was not going to be about hatred for Donald Trump, but ended his speech by calling Trump an expletive, receiving cheers from the audience in agreement.
The night did not keep this serious tone, soon after Matty made note of a sign held by a girl at barrier, which led to his dedication of the song “Paris” to Harambe. No, I am not kidding, and for what it is worth, it was a very beautiful and touching performance for Harambe. Soon after “Paris” was “Sex,” which is where The 1975’s show really reached its peak with the most insane amount of lights and excitement from the crowd. Their live show is definitely not a performance for the faint of heart or those who are prone to seizures – I may have been blind for about five seconds after with a slight headache, but it was stunning and euphoric regardless.
Leaving the stage after “Sex”, the band returned for the encore, which included “Medicine”, “If I Believe You”, “Chocolate”, and “The Sound”. The band kept the encore calm and soothing for a while, with the romantic tone of “Medicine” and the introspective desperation of “If I Believe You,” but the band picked things up once again during their final song “The Sound,” and the audience did the exact same with thousands jumping together. The 1975 were able to use their performance at Mohegan Sun as a reminder to everyone in attendance why they deserve all the success they have had thus far. If you have yet to see their live show, you should be sure to check the band out as soon as possible, hopefully when they do a third tour of North America in support of their most recent album release.