The 1975 At Club Nokia
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By Julie Mutnansky
British, classy, pop, alt-rock, and chocolate are five words that describe the 1975, who lit up the Club Nokia stage during the L.A. stop of their current world tour on April 16. Situated in the vibrant L.A. Live complex in downtown, Club Nokia prides itself on the ability to hold a significant amount of fans (more than 2,300) while keeping the vibe intimate, which made for a unique sense of camaraderie among those in attendance.
Following opening sets from local L.A. favorites Sir Sly and Bad Suns, the Manchester, England, four-piece — guitarist/vocalist Matt Healy, bassist Ross MacDonald, guitarist Adam Hann, and drummer George Daniel — appeared onstage beneath a thick layer of fog. The stage was set to mimic the artwork featured on the cover of their 2013 self-titled debut album, with a black-and-white background combining with the fog to create a ghostly atmosphere. The crowd erupted with excitement as the quartet opened with "The City."
Daniel had a very creative aesthetic as his golden hair matched the shine of his ride cymbal — something this band gets right is the synthetic pop of the snare and haunting boom of the tom. All the while, the stage lights simultaneously flashed with the kick drum, making me feel like the back beats were running through my veins.
One thing a lot of people may not know about the 1975 is that if they could go back to any decade, it would be the '80s, evidenced by their performance of "Heart Out" halfway through the set, which paid tribute to the upbeat sounds of that era with the addition of a saxophone player. Who doesn't love the swanky-smooth sound of a saxophone in an alt-rock song? MacDonald integrated a mean bass line that surprised me when I realized it wasn't a synthesizer I was hearing, but him.
Other honorable mentions for some of my favorite songs were "Settle Down," which featured a catchy guitar riff; "Me," for making me feel like I was caught in a dream surrounded by nothing but whimsical wind chimes; and "Head.Cars.Bending," for its half-time tempo and dark undertones.
Additional highlights included Healy performing while holding a full bottle of wine to keep him hydrated; the way their accents sounded when the band spoke to each other between songs; a fan giving Healy a picture of his own face printed out, to which the singer replied, "I've tried for so long to get things, and now they're just given to me"; and the raucous sound of an entire room chanting "we want sex" playing off the band's latest crowd favorite, "Sex," which closed the set and was preceded by another fan favorite, "Chocolate."
As the band sang in their opening track, "If you want to find love, then you know where the city is." Truth be told, Los Angeles is a city for following great artists and hearing live music, which may as well be the definition of love … well, that and chocolate.
To catch the 1975 in a city near you, click here for tour dates.
"So Far (It's Alright)"
"She Way Out"
(Julie Mutnansky lives in Santa Monica, Calif., where she serves as the Senior Administrative Assistant for the GRAMMY Foundation. She is a graduate of the University of Arizona and a Southwestern girl at heart. She enjoys going to concerts and taking adventures. You can follow her on Instagram @juliemut or on Twitter @juliemutLA.)