Los Angeles has become a second home to the UK act The 1975 since their debut with the perfectly packaged single “Chocolate.” The group previewed their highly-anticipated sophomore album I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It in LA before its release, performed to a packed Forum during the album’s promotional tour and even hosted a pop up shop last holiday season. Last week, the indie pop rock group played two evenings at The Greek Theater to accommodate Los Angeles fans that can’t get enough of these musicians from across the pond.

All photos by Stephen J. Branagan

Powerful winds whipped through The Greek Theater as instrumental music warbled to a crescendo to open then show. Screams erupted as frontman and multi-instrumentalist Matthew Healy took the stage with his signature swagger wrapped in a snug white hoodie for the funky “Love Me” followed by the debut single from their recent release “UGH!”

The set split their songs between their two LPs, balancing the “Change of Heart” followed by “The City” and the desperate “Lostmyhead” with 80s synth-pop ballad “Somebody Else”. Upbeat songs like “She’s American” were balanced by the slow burning “Robbers”.

John Waugh’s saxophone solos were woven through the set, reminding fans of the indie pop rockers R&B influences. Three synth keyboards were lined up downstage, perfect for songs like “Menswear” and instrumentals where Matty took to the keys to create hypnotic soundscapes during extended instrumental interludes.

Stage lights cycled through neon pinks, blues, greens and purples throughout the night, complementing the 80s vibes of their latest album. Their signature rectangles were suspended above the stage as screens displayed complementary images like black and white static, crashing waves and cityscapes through the evening.

A rainbow lit up the stage for “Loving Someone,” which was dedicated to the LGBTQ community. The 1975 has always been an inclusive group (denouncing Trump during our election season at their last LA performance) and Healy explained proceeds of a merchandise option would benefit charities in those communities.

Healy continued his tradition of asking fans to put away cell phones for the burning “Me”. I watched a sea of fans who had been Snapchatting and FaceTiming the show (Healy called out someone who was video chatting from the pit) respect his request and give their full attention to Waugh’s dramatic saxophone solo.

The one two punch of infectious tunes “Girls” and “Sex” ended their first set in a dance party, complete with sing a longs with thousands of screaming girls.

Encore began with “Medicine” as hundreds of cells phones returned, flashlights lighting up the arena. Healy brought the house down by conducting the crowd-turned-gospel-choir in the the soulful “If I Believe You.”

Their biggest singles “Chocolate” and recent earworm “The Sound” ended the evening, a night that was packed with over twenty songs. There was little downtime in between songs, but after the success of this group and their growing discography, fans got exactly what they wanted; to soak in dreamy instrumental interludes and the chance to dance and singalong to perfect indie dance pop on a summer night in Los Angeles.

For more information:

The 1975 official website