At one point during The 1975’s two-plus hour show at Ascend Amphitheater on Wednesday, lead singer Matty Healy stated that “This has been the best time of our life.”
It’s really hard to counter that argument. After all, the English rockers are coming off of a new album last year, “A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships,” which became an instant critic and fan favorite.
Even without the backing of critics, The 1975 rose to fame off of their cult, instantly marked as a fan favorite. Five years to the date of their first-ever Nashville show, and only their third-ever show in Nashville, the band was back in Music City, this time selling out Ascend Amphitheater.
The perception that rock ‘n’ roll is dead has been something that has been argued roundabout for several years. However, in a declaration, that band flashed the message, “Rock and Roll Is Dead, God Bless The 1975,” on the ginormous backing video following the smash hit “Sex” on Wednesday.
Again though, that perception that rock is dead is a statement that can be argued to death. I left Wednesday’s show in pure admiration thinking that the genre was left safely in good hands. I was left with no doubt that The 1975 are genuine rockers, complete with a charismatic lead singer.
In some ways Adam Hann (guitar), Ross MacDonald (bass) and George Daniel (drums) get overlooked and are categorized as the guys who show up and do their job. It’s easy to think that the remainder of the band is overshadowed when you hand the microphone to somebody like Healy, and that’s not a bad thing.
There were times when Healy felt like he was just toying with the Nashville audience, poking fun of those in the crowd. However, there were the other moments when he felt like he was being genuine and real.
In fact, the Nashville crowd got a little bit of a taste of that bi-polar performance all in one song, with the powerful rendition of “I Like America & America Likes Me.” During that heavily auto-tuned track, Healy dropped to his knees, passionately asking the audience, “Would you please listen?” and stating that he “I’m scared of dying.”
However, once again, it was all to poke fun at the culture that all stemmed from the Internet. While stating that he was “I’m scared of dying,” Healy quickly followed that with cackles, before hitting the crowd with a dab and a Floss, both dance moves that became famous in videos that went viral.
Throughout the night, Healy rarely stayed motionless during the band’s performance, minus the one rare exception during an acoustic performance of “Be My Mistake.” The silence for that song was remarkable. While mouthing along the words, the fans at Ascend Amphitheater were silent, making the song that much more powerful.
However, the remainder of the time, the singer couldn’t stop himself from moving, even with a class of wine in one hand and a cigarette and the other. He even went on to have arguments with the stage crew in his ear, which resulted in a reward to longtime fans of the band.
Before heading into “If I Believe In You,” Healy told that crew member that he “wanted to play both songs,” which then lead to 2014 single “Medicine” being performed for the Nashville crowd.
Once again, Music City got a taste of that bi-polar performance, as Healy seemed emotional toward the end of that track, noticing a couple getting engaged in the middle of the pit. However, he quickly followed that up by yelling at them, “You’re too young to get married,” holding back laughter in doing so.
While poking fun at the audience, Healy and the rest of the band still had the Nashville crowd dancing almost the entire night. In fact, the band had everybody in the venue on their feet dancing, closing the night with some of their biggest hits, “Chocolate,” “Sex” and concluding the night with “The Sound.”
Before The 1975 graced the stage at Ascend Amphitheater, No Rome and Pale Waves performed for the Nashville Audience. Both sets just felt too short as each was allotted just 30 minutes.
In both instances, it felt like both bands were just getting going as their set time expired. Hopefully in the future, both bands will receive more stage time in their next Nashville shows.