A Brief Inquiry into The 1975 at BB&T Pavilion - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

The 1975 packed a cozy BB&T Pavilion on a chilly Saturday night to kick off the new US leg of their “Music For Cars” tour. The first of a two night run at the Camden, NJ, venue, the British band met a feverous crowd excited to see them back in the Philadelphia area for the first time since 2016.

After opening sets from Laundry Day and Muna, the sprawling autotune of the self-titled track from their most recent album, A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, announced their arrival.  With a new record (Notes On A Conditional Form) coming early next year, their set kicked off with new single “People,” a Nine Inch Nails-channeling screamer where singer Matty Healy (decked out in a Bauhaus shirt) rips through lines such as “living in a sauna with legal marijuana.” 

It was a hot start. Healy and the band immediately flew through the singles from ABIIOR to major response; songs such as “Give Yourself A Try” and “TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME” went off with their meme-worthy singalong verses and raving attitudes. It’s almost as if the audience knew the lyrics better than Healy, which he used that to his advantage; the chorus to “It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You)” sung almost exclusively by the crowd. 

The 1975 | photo by Ashley Gellman for WXPN

The 1975 are a band of many faces. They’re Brit-pop & white boy funk. They’re 80’s sentimental cheese and pop-punk glory. The middle of their set had them jumping back and forth between songs from their first two records (The 1975 and I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful yet So Unaware of It). Disassociative in nature (which is one of the factors that makes them so intriguing), at one second Healy would be commanding the audience with a wave of his finger on “Love Me,” then would lose himself to overwhelming sadness on “Somebody Else.”

After powering through “I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes),” the greatest Oasis song that Oasis didn’t write, the band left the stage while a soft voice spoke over twinkling piano chords. That voice being Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teen who has rallied an entire generation to confront climate change. Her inclusion on the NOTES version of “The 1975” signals the band’s shift towards political awareness, which was also alluded to on ABIIOR’s “Love It If We Made It,” a millennial anthem if there ever was one and the band’s re-emergence to the stage.

The 1975 | photo by Ashley Gellman for WXPN

The 1975 finished the show with a searing hit-fest: “Chocolate,” “Sex,” and “The Sound” had the entirety of BB&T Pavilion out of their minds, issuing screams one after the other. Healy brought it home with shouts to the crowd for inclusivity and action and most of all, kindness. They might be the most “2019” band we have, and having them in Philadelphia for two more nights before closing out the decade was special. The world may be burning, and we may only have a thousand Monday’s left, but The 1975 will be there with us until the very end.

The 1975 (ABIIOR Version)
Give Yourself a try
She’s American
Sincerity Is Scary
It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You)
Love Me
I Couldn’t Be More In Love
She Way Out
A Change of Heart
I Like America & America Likes Me
Somebody Else
I Always Wanna Die Sometimes

The 1975 (NOACF Version)
Love It If We Made It
The Sound

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