The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The 1975 just can’t stop what they do best

The 1975 in concert. Photo by Jizelle Villegas ’26.

The 1975 put on a unique, yet strange, performance for their “Still… At Their Very Best” concert on Oct. 26, 2023 at the Target Center. This is the second tour for their latest album, “Being Funny in a Foreign Language,” which was released on Oct. 14, 2022. 

The 1975 comprises Matty Healy, lead singer, Ross MacDonald, bassist, Adam Hann, guitarist, George Daniel, drummer and John Waugh, saxophonist. This concert didn’t have as many provocative antics as their previous tour “At Their Very Best,” like when Healy, the band’s controversial frontman, asked fans’ ages and kissed them, ate raw meat on stage and touched his body provocatively. Healy faced an uproar after doing these acts on stage. Earlier this year, Healy was called out for making rude and racist comments about Ice Spice on a podcast. He responded to that controversy during this tour with a few spiels about how what he says is never received right by the general public. He wanted to emphasize to the first-time 1975 concert goers and new fans that he was sorry for the way people perceive him. Essentially, he apologized not for what he said, but for the fact that it was perceived negatively. This isn’t surprising for Healy; his inflammatory comments are an expected part of a 1975 concert experience. 

I was surprised, however, by the ads they had in their set. Not one, but two (maybe three, if you count the political ad placed as a segment) were played during the concert. As Healy started talking about mental health, he turned towards someone holding up cards with a script to promote BetterHelp, an online therapy service. Healy has a tendency to poke fun at the modern day age of people, especially in songs and his speeches, so these ads were another way for him to be the controversial figure he takes some pride in. He offered a code to get a discount on the service, but I don’t know how credible it was. 

Then the band started playing “Oh Caroline,” a song with the beginning lyrics reading “I’ve been suicidal/You’ve been gone for weeks.” Even though it was shocking to see a literal ad for a therapy service that seemed like a scam, I think they chose a great song to segue into. Only Healy would think to do this. The other “ad” was for MasterClass, another online subscription service that offers many tutorials to its subscribers. They also offered another code for this subscription. 

Their setlist contained two songs, “Pressure” and “People,” which had not been performed on the first tour. An additional stage located at the back of the standing general admission area was implemented for some performances. The band went with a new artistic approach, which was hinted at in clips posted over the summer on their Instagram and YouTube profiles. On the smaller stage, there was a wax figure replica of a nude Healy curled in the fetal position. Healy then laid down by this replica body and started cuddling with it as instruments played. It was intimate and weird. The body slowly dropped back into the stage and a plant began to “grow” out of the turf. That plant then turned into a microphone, which led to Healy’s acoustic performance of  “Be My Mistake.” It was a beautiful and emotionally intimate performance. 

The highlight of the night was certainly the end, when the band made their way again to the green turf stage. Healy, Hann and MacDonald came up from underneath the stage. Once they were settled on the B-Stage, they performed “People.” The crowd went crazy, and so did I; it is a song made to scream to. I haven’t been able to experience this live, even though the song was released three years ago now, so I made sure to scream my head off during the performance. 

The set was elaborate, utilizing furniture, door frames, stairs and homey decor to outfit an onstage “house.” 

It’s always a good time going to see The 1975 in concert because their live performances consistently offer something new for audience members. This tour was definitely less out-there than some previous shows, and even a die-hard fan can admit some of the segments were just a little distasteful. Nevertheless, they know how to put on a good show for any type of fan. 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Jizelle Villegas, Associate Arts Editor

Comments (0)

All The Mac Weekly Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *