Live Review: The 1975, No Rome

23 September 2019 | 12:27 pm | Emily Blackburn

"'The Sound' sends the room into a genuine frenzy."

The 1975. Photos by Andrew Briscoe.

The 1975. Photos by Andrew Briscoe.

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Emerging in a wash of pink and blue smoke, London-based chillwave act No Rome bursts into Do It Again. “This song is about making money,” he proclaims, before the bass-heavy Cashmoney. “This is about going out with your friends,” he says, before Stoned In The Valley. Each little matter-of-fact blurbs provokes giggles. Though 5 Ways To Bleach Your Hair cranks up the distortion and vigour, the simplicity of the pink and blue smoke mixed with an occasional strobe in the same tones gives the room a soft bubblegum-pop feel, and by final song Flowers On My Neck / Breaking, fans are grooving along, warmed up and ready. 

"GO DOWN. SOFT SOUND." How else would you begin a show from The 1975 than with huge, blinding block letters across three giant LED panels? As the lights flicker and the intro song drones to a stop, the panels now spell out "PEOPLE", the band appearing on stage to a roaring cheer. Frontman Matty Healy kicks things off with latest single People, a fiery and abrasive way to begin. Singing in a floral skirt and green knit sweater, Healy’s I-don’t-give-a-fuck attitude is just one of the many reasons his fans adore him. Nobody is sitting in the stalls anymore by Give Yourself A Try and Tootimetootimetootime, Healy dancing alongside band's two back-up dancers. 


The 1975. Photos by Andrew Briscoe.

Healy calls us Sydney by accident, though realising his mistake he sweetly tries to boost our ego by stating, “Melbourne, I used to live here so I’m one of you,” which is met with thunderous applause. 

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“You’ll know what song this is because of the colours,” Healy proclaims before A Change Of Heart. The band's aesthetic is exceptional throughout. Each song is paired with stunning visuals, from the pinkish-blue hue of Change Of Heart to the infamous glitching stock images and flashing lyrics in the politically charged I like America & America Likes Me. 

The 1975 fans are loud. Each song is met by excited cheers and screams, and whether they're belting out “Now everybody’s dead” during fan favourite Robbers, or “Fuck that, get money” during Somebody Else, the volume of the crowd is vigorously earsplitting. It’s clear this band have a heavily devoted fanbase. 

The show falls on the same day as the Global Climate Strike, and the band pause to play their unique collaboration track The 1975, which features a speech by climate activist Greta Thunberg. It's hauntingly fitting and fans cheer out in agreement to every statement. The speech’s end, “It is time to rebel,” leads straight into Love It If We Made It, paired with profound visuals depicting the utter destruction of our world, before they flip the mood on its head with classic track Chocolate

As the stage falls to black, “We want Sex” is chanted loud and clear, and the band deliver. Be My Mistake turns down the mood for a moment, everyone captivated by Healy and his guitar. It’s the calm before the storm, as final song The Sound sends the room into a genuine frenzy. Fans jump, friends hug, girls whip their hair all around– it's just utter carnage as everyone exhausts whatever strength they have left.