Concert Review: The 1975, Bad Suns, + Sir Sly @ Starlite Room

Electric. Engaging. Full of energy. And no, I’m not talking about some loopy kindergarten teacher. I’m referring to the band The 1975; consisting of members Matt Healy (vocals and guitar), Adam Hann (Guitar), George Daniel (Drums), and Ross Macdonald (Bass). These boys are from Manchester, are known for their alternative/indie feel, and even better known for their self-titled album, released on September 2, 2013. Even better, these guys decided to hit the road on tour to promote themselves throughout North America, bringing along two eclectic up-and-coming bands, Sir Sly and Bad Suns. And Judging by the concert, everyone in the crowd was already thoroughly impressed before they even set a foot on the stage.

The concert was on April 28th at the Starlite Room in Edmonton Alberta, and the intimate atmosphere really has set the perfect spot for The 1975 to perform. Doors opened at 7, and at around 8 the first act, Sir Sly, began playing. This indie-pop band hails from California, consisting of members Landon Jacbos (vocals), and Jason Suwito, and Hayden Coplen (Instrumentalists). I can’t remember for the life of me their exact setlist, but they played Where I’m Going, Found You Out, Gold, Ghost, and Easy Now. Where I’m Going had a very slower tempo attached to it, but it really captivated the audience with its solid hook. Frontman Landon Jacobs made his way around the stage quite often in an attempt to interact with fans, and it really worked. Ghost, which had captured the attention of many Teen Wolf fans after appearing on the official Teen Wolf season 3 Soundtrack, made its way onto stage and it was very well executed. This song has such an easy listening feel to it, and audience members who had never even heard of Sir Sly before were obviously very into every single song played. In this case, Sir Sly was an excellent warm-up band. Stay tuned, and you’ll most likely be seeing these boys headlining a tour of their own in the next few years.

The next band was Bad Suns, also from California. They played and hour long set, starting at around 9. It was clear at this point that everyone in the venue was getting impatient with yet another opening band, whether they were too tired from standing or just impatient that two bands were warming up for The 1975. In my opinion, this was the optimal decision. Sending an additional opening to get the audience ready for The 1975 was perfect. Both the bands were relevant, musically talented, and they only exemplified younger versions of The 1975, which was a good dynamic to have. Bad Suns did an excellent job considering how impatient the crowd was getting, keeping the audience enthralled with every note that was belted from their mouths.  The members Christo Bowman (vocals), Gavin Bennett (bass), Miles Morris (drums), and Ray Libby (guitar), formed the band in 2012, and considering how new of a band that they are, they have managed to be musically beyond their years. They were very calm despite Christo confessing that he was nervous because it was their first time playing in Edmonton. But they did not disappoint. The band played a plethora of songs a few worth mentioning being the very catchy Cardiac Arrest, Transpose, and Salt. All three of these songs had a fast beat associated with them, but in my opinion, it only exemplified the chemistry that all four of these boys held. They interacted with the audience, played and ace set, and managed to come across as the most cool and collected guys you would ever come across. They are a definitely a must-see in concert, as these qualities are exceptionally hard to find in bands these days.

After Bad Suns had left the stage, the anticipation for The 1975 was only building higher and higher. You could feel the excitement in the air, hearing screams coming around throughout the audience when people had caught glimpses of Matty. George had made a quick appearance, obviously noticeable by his untamable hair. He flashed a smile and waved, which completely over threw the audience. The lights were flashing, a few chords of their first song The 1975 adding to the screams of excited concert go-ers, and before we all knew it, they took their place on stage and began -what I hands down believe- was the best concert I’ve ever been to. The setlist was jam packed with hit after amazing hit, everyone in the crowd so excited to finally hear this band live.

Now, I could go into great detail about each and everyone of these songs, as I have been following this band for so long, and watching them live was something that I would never forget. But, that might get a little boring, so I will talk about everyone’s favorites. Overall, ever single song was executed with hardly any error -in my eyes at least. Now it could have been an excellent combination of the chemistry between the venue and The 1975, or it may have had something to do with the lack of sleep the band had endured before the show, but whether it was both or just one, Matty, George, Adam, and Ross had an infectious energy that emanated throughout the crowd. Everyone was naturally excited for The 1975, but you could really tell that all the concert-goers had done their homework when you could hear each lyric of every single song being sung right back to Matty as he sung them out. Like I said, I’m not going to talk about all of the songs, but there are a few I want to talk about. The CityPressure, and of course Chocolate.

The City was made for crowd sing-a-longs with its signature line ‘If you wanna find love you know where the city is’ and it was apparent that everyone was hooked from the moment the first chord released into the audience. I’ll forever be perplexed as to whether it was the lyrics or just Matty’s horrible dancing as he pranced around stage with an opened front floral shirt, but wither way, the tone was set for the rest of the concert.  Pressure, a classic song, similar in rhythm to Chocolate but more laid back and less-in-your-face will always be my favorite. This song had a slow introduction before it got more upbeat, but by the time Matty had the chance to belt out the first line of lyrics, the crowd had already been waving their hands back and forth. It was an amazing moment to see and be a part of, especially since I though it wasn’t a very well known song. There was such a laid-back feel throughout the whole song, almost giving fans a break before the next dance-your-face-off song. And last on my list of notable songs, Chocolate. Chocolate has graced uncountable radio stations, local gyms, and even the coffee shop I work at. I was worried that hearing chocolate in concert would not live up to my expectations of the song, but I was absolutely blown away. The catchy guitar hooks and clap-along beats worked perfectly with Matty’s vocals and crystal clear tone as the crowd danced along, singing the songs as if it was second nature.

At the end of the concert, everyone was cleared out of the venue, and sent out side to wait for the guys to come out and say hi, everyone hoping that they would get a photo with one of the band members. We went and stood in line, and to my surprise Matty came out first and was taking photos. No one was yelling or screaming, rather we were all very calm. It felt like Matty’s calm demeanor had rubbed off onto us, and we were patiently waiting for our turn. Matty took his time with each and ever fan, making them feel genuinely special, and he signed anything they needed, along with a photo. Matty and the rest of the boys were so calm and lovely that I fell in love with them all over again. They wanted to make sure that each and every fan had a great last impression of them.

I could really go on for hours and hours to talk about how electric it was to finally see them in the flesh, and watch the sparkle in their eyes as we all sang back lyrics to them. You could tell that these boys love what they do, and they have the time of their lives doing it, and I absolutely can’t wait to spend the rest of my life listening to the incredibly deep and personal lyrics that The 1975 seem to always be cranking out. But as for this concert goes, going to see The 1975 should be on everyone’s bucket list. It’s a must go-to, and who would want to pass up the chance to be in a photo that Matty takes on his vintage camera at the end of every concert? I mean, after each concert, I don’t care if you’re a guy or a girl, you will have a crush on each and every single guy in this band. I can’t wait to see where this band end up, as they all have such a chemistry that has the potential to sell out arenas all over the world.

For an interview with The 1975, click here.

Alexandria Hay |

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