The sounds of British electro-indie band the 1975 were heard by thousands in the open-air Greek Theatre at UC Berkeley, on Friday, April 22. The group hails from Wilmslow, UK, and performed with two other British bands from London, The Japanese House and Wolf Alice. The concert was part of the 1975’s North American tour for their new album, I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it.
The night opened with a rather disappointing performance from The Japanese House. All the songs sounded the same, with similar chord progressions and a gross overuse of vocal synthesizer and overlays, to the point where the singer’s voice sounded like mumbled sound.
The second opening band, Wolf Alice, was much more promising. With fast-paced rock beats, they got the crowd warmed up and dancing on their feet.
After an excruciatingly painful wait, the band we had all been waiting for finally took the stage. The most elaborate smoke and lighting effects accompanied the band’s grand entrance as they opened with “Love Me.”
The 1975 has four members: a drummer, bassist, guitarist, and a singer/guitar player. The bassist and guitarist also play the synthesizer. For this show, a tenor saxophone player as well as another synthesizer player were brought in to help out with the songs.
Lead singer and guitarist Matthew “Matty” Healy wowed the crowd with his eccentric dancing and soothing vocals. Right after the first song, he took off his shirt and performed bare-chested, thrilling the crowd.
The 1975’s music encompasses many genres and has been described as alternative rock, electronica, pop, and indie. This is because they blend many different styles of music. Lots of electronic synthesizer sounds are generated, but the band also uses a live saxophone player and traditional guitar instruments. The result is a unique and totally new sound that can be mistaken for no other band.
I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the performance. The lighting and smoke effects paired perfectly to enhance the atmosphere and the music. Some of the most memorable songs were “Robbers,” “The Sound,” “UGH!” and “Sex.” I highly suggest you check out the 1975 if you’re looking for some unique, laid-back music to listen to. I rate the concert five out of five stars.