When you attend a live concert there’s a level of expectation that’s demanded. Stage lighting need to be vibrant and reflective of the tone the performers are releasing. The energy exerted must exemplify the vibe in which the musicians are made up of. In other words, it all boils down to a sense of duty, which the musicians are asked upon to execute. Last Wednesday at Club Nokia The 1975 dispensed all they had, and left nothing on the floor, except an empty wine glass.
Keeping things within the nationality of the United Kingdom direct support act Swim Deep were the first set of Brits to take the stage. Hailing from Birmingham, England the quintet has been around since 2011 and proved that they have the pull to keep on keeping on. Starting out with the track “King City” off their album Where the Heaven Are We lead singer Austin Williams quickly showcased his quirky stage presence and outlandish, over extenuated smile (along with a tambourine). Playing a plethora of hits off their newest album Mother the band gave fans a heavy helping of moveable beats and catchy melodies. About one-third of the way through the band’s set Williams gave a quick message to the audience stating that he was thrilled to be in Los Angeles playing in front of a sold-out audience. As Swim Deep’s set continued hit tracks such as “Honey” and “Namaste” surfaced creating a whirlwind of audience vocal participation.
As soon as 9 p.m. hit the in-between set music fell silent and the 2,700 sold-out crowd began to muster. One energetic scream coming from house left was then followed by 2,699 screams of pure excitement. Beatle-mania? What the hell was going on? I knew the 1975 were a force to reckon with but I hadn’t a clue in the world how wet they’d soon make their fans. Before their set even began one girl told my fellow pit photographer Mike Daneberg about how she’d been camping outside of Club Nokia for two days. That’s bloody intense. The band started off their night in Los Angeles with a bang playing the familiar tune “Love Me” which was then followed by “Heart Out.” Mid way through the set lead singer Matthew Healy started getting a bit testy with the crowd, demanding that all technology be pocketed for the time being. “Let’s all be one and experience what’s before us. Put the fucking phones away,” said Healy. Phones went away. Shortly after a glass of wine that was perched up on the bass player’s keyboard rig was swooped up and consumed by Matthew. It was a first for me, seeing a vocalist sipping wine. Do I have any qualms with wine? No way. I love my reds. And quite frankly it gave an already massive show a more intimate atmosphere. The band closed the night with monster hits such as “Medicine,” “Chocolate,” and “Sex.”
All in all the 1975-mania was a spectacle to watch. Seeing fans so passionate about the music in which they listen to goes to show there’s still hope for generations to come. Just make sure when you’re experiencing life you’re phone takes frequent trips to your pocket.
Words & Photography: Timmy Farmer