In the last couple of years, The 1975 have gone from performing at tiny night clubs to headlining some of the summer’s biggest music festivals. The last time the group visited South Florida was back in 2014 when they performed at a sold out Culture Room in support of their debut album. This time around, the band traveled a little more south to the Kilpsch Amphitheater at Bayfront Park in Downtown Miami to accommodate their rapidly-expanding fan base.
On Wednesday (May 11), the United Kingdom-based band made their long-awaited return to South Florida, almost two years to the day after their last show there. Armed with a brand new record and two supporting acts, the group showed the crowd just why they have managed to make the leap from small-print band on music festival posters to one of the main headliners with chart-topping hits. For their North American trek, the band enlisted support from two of their Dirty Hit label mates, Japanese House and Wolf Alice.
By the amount of people in the crowd who were singing along to both opening acts’ songs, it was evident how The 1975’s popularity has managed to rub off on both groups. During Japanese House’s set, the crowd was able to witness the sunset over the Miami skyline as they performed, while Wolf Alice’s rocking set welcomed the windy, star-studded evening.
At around nine, some of The 1975’s crew members could be seen on the stage, giving it a last-minute look-through. As they walked off the stage, the lights that once illuminated the area dimmed and the screaming and hollering from the audience grew to an all-time high. The shouting and mumbling of the band’s fans could be heard across the venue in a deafening tone. Following a long introduction in the dark, the band members began to make their way on stage with the exception of frontman Matt Healy and drummer George Daniel.
It was revealed the week before the show that Daniel would not be performing on the remaining tour dates due to an unfortunate, and random, incident. The drummer suffered a broken shoulder when he slipped off the group’s tour bus and was instructed to abstain from drumming. Healy and the band’s manager, Jamie Oborne, had confirmed the news, but also revealed that no dates would be cancelled. Instead, a friend of the band (who turned out to be Japanese House’s drummer, Freddy Sheed) would replace Daniel during the remaining shows.
Healy was the last member to make his way onto the stage, dressed in what at first appeared to be white silk pajamas which turned out to be nothing more than a white silk shirt and white pants. A few seconds later, they launched into the first song of the evening; the fame-mocking “Love Me.” Drenched in bright pink lights, Healy danced around the stage as the screams of the lyrics resonated across the venue. For anyone who has ever seen any of the band’s music videos, Healy’s performance on the stage, and in film form, are almost identical with the singer getting into his own music as he pranced, and danced, about the stage and almost appeared to be making out with his microphone.
One of the biggest eye-catchers of the show, aside from the band members themselves, were the color-changing lights. It was a sight to behold, as they changed to fit the tempo of each individual song. During “A Change of Heart,” the colors reflected the I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It cover art with pastel pink and mint illuminating the group from behind. During “Loving Someone,” the song in which Healy pleaded with the crowd to put their phones for a little bit, the colors shifted to darker tones with purples, reds, and oranges while during “UGH!” a city skyline illuminated the band during the three-minute track.
If the light show wasn’t enough to keep the audience interested, then incorporating older songs from their EPs as well as their debut album did the trick. Instead of focusing solely on tracks from their recently released album, The 1975 incorporated songs from their IV EP, their self-titled, and of course the new album to create a 21-song set list.
From the IV EP they played songs like “Me,” “You,” “So Far (It’s Alright),” and “fallingforyou.” Taking it back a little further, they played “Anobrain” from 2013’s Music for Cars EP. From their breakthrough album, The 1975, they gave fans tracks like “Menswear,” “An Encounter,” “Robbers,” and even had a saxophonist come out during “Heart Out” instead of playing pre-recorded audio. The rest of the lengthy set list came from I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It which included tracks like “Somebody Else,” “Paris,” and “She’s American,” a very fitting title for a group of British guys singing to a group of Americans.
While an encore was imminent, it didn’t quite feel like one. Instead of taking a break to refresh or recharge like many acts do before the encore, the band launched directly into “If I Believe You” from I Like it When You Sleep. The encore also included “Chocolate” from their debut album, recent single “The Sound,” and wrapped things up with the song that could arguably be the one that helped launched them into the mainstream, “Sex.” With a quick good-bye and thank you to the overflowing crowd, the group made their way off the stage ending another night at the rock show.