Concert Review: The 1975 proves they are ‘Still… at their very best’

Photo by Samuel Bradley

A show-within-a-show — The 1975 is in fact “still… at their very best”. The English pop rock band is embarking on the tail end of their North American tour, making a stop in the heart of Boise State University’s beloved campus at ExtraMile Arena.

Many eager fans, including some who traveled from out-of-state to the City of Trees, bundled up and camped out outside the venue the night before,  lining up and facing the brisk Boise November temperatures in hopes to secure a spot close enough to smell the cigarettes and whiskey stemming from the stage. 

Matty Healy and his bandmates, guitarist Adam Hann, bass player Ross MacDonald and drummer George Daniel take the audience on an emotional rollercoaster through their numerous metaphors, rooms and acts. 

Despite the performances receiving backlash and controversy in the past, the meaning and messages behind them artistically explore topics such as toxic masculinity and politics. 

The facets of the show are larger than the meaningful lyrics Healy incorporates into his punkier songs — the stage set up, visuals and props all bring a deeper level of interpretation for the audience. 

As the large curtain dropped to unveil the band, the stage architecture is portrayed as a house, giving each band member their own “room” and allowing for intricate detail down to the television screens and flower vases. This setup allowed for continuation of The 1975’s storytelling throughout the show. 

Opening with the song, “The 1975”, concertgoers were rallying. As Healy continued to stumble through the house, he passionately trickles through the setlist including the songs “Looking for Somebody (To Love)”, “Oh Caroline”, “The Sound”, “Love It If We Made It” and of course, the iconic “About You” bridge by vocalist Polly Money, which everyone in the venue shouted in sync. 

Healy made his way into the ExtraMile Arena crowd during their song ”People”, which is essentially an upbeat, high energy song about increasing awareness to worldly issues. 

Each song had the stadium on their feet, screaming and matching the band’s high energy. 

The 1975 incorporated the setlist with songs from their most recent studio album — “Being Funny in a Foreign Language” as well as hits from the rest of their discography. The band from Manchester proved their presence is just as relevant today as it was in the early 2010’s. 

Perhaps the most attention-grabbing scene of the night was Healy on a moss-covered platform, cradling a naked figurine of himself in the fetal position. This portrayed, out-of-body, experience from Healy left the audience with layers to interpret. 

Between sets, Healy teased fans he was unsure about his demographic expectations of an Idaho audience. 

“This is a 1975 show, so take your Carhartt off,” Healy said. “Loosen up those working boots that you’ve never used.” 

The band was a great land for ExtraMile, with the audience consisting of both college students and older adults. The showing also proved Boise’s relevance as a concert hub.

The 1975 will wrap up their tour next February at the O2 Arena in London.

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