The 1975 blessed the Santa Barbara Bowl stage at last Sunday, its eighth stop on a North American tour taking the band from Mexico City to Toronto. Showcasing songs from the group’s latest hit album, A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships, and older classics, the 1975 is celebrating its deep catalog ahead of another album set to be released early this summer.
Fellow English acts and Dirty Hit labelmates Pale Waves and No Rome opened for the 1975, each providing electrifying sets of their own that left the packed audience palpably giddy as the sun was setting. Giddiness exploded into roars as the lights went off and the song “The 1975” played over the speakers in the darkness. The song faded into the hard-rocking guitar riff of “Give Yourself a Try” as the band ran onstage and the audience frantically leaped with joy.
The Manchester band continued with 19 more songs; highlights included “Sincerity Is Scary” and “It’s Not Living (If It’s Not with You).” The 1975 had an incredible presence and vibrant stage design that revolved around frontman Matty Healy’s expressive performance. Eccentric and lively, Healy’s vocals were just as clean live as on record. His work left the crowd hungry for more even after a five-song encore, which included “Love It If We Made It,” “Chocolate,” and “Sex.”
The crowd was remarkably involved and energetic throughout the set, proving the kind of artists The 1975 are — they bring passion and intensity to their live shows and do so with undeniable style.