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The 1975 - All Their Very Best

Photo By Jordan Curtis Hughes

Like many music fans, the news that The 1975 were back on the road for their headline tour was the most dreamiest start to the brand new year, because let’s face it the thought of spending an evening with Matt Healy, Adam Hann, George Daniel and Ross MacDonald will be one of the greatest gifts in life.

Having had the pleasure of seeing them on numerous occasions over the years this past 10 years, each time I come away with countless memories and my entire body and mind infused with adrenaline. With the tour kicking off on 8th January 2023 in Brighton, the vibe online especially via social media has been one of sheer excitement, and with The 1975 loving to keep us all on our toes, no two shows are ever the same!

Having patiently waited, it was finally time for me to head out for an evening of great music when the tour came to Newcastle’s Utilita Arena on the 25th January 2023 and as expected the Newcastle crowds turned up in their number ready to welcome the band with open arms and give the 4 gents a true North East welcome. A few people I had spoke to had even been queuing (and camping) since the night before - that’s commitment for you, and the perfect example of the unconditional love this band have in countless peoples hearts.

Photo By Jordan Curtis Hughes

As you step into the Utilita Arena it is like you are stepping into another world, where you leave your problems at the door, put on your best smile and enter a safe space with friends, .loved ones and fellow music fans united by their love of live music but through the eyes of The 1975. What makes The 1975 even more special in my opinion is their continuous ability to bring together people from all walks of life - so regardless of age, gender, sexuality, race, disability you will alway be made to feel welcome, accepted and loved for who you are, which is part of the reason why Matt Healy and the band have such a special and meaningful bond with their fans.

So to the show the show itself. Starting just a little after 7:30pm the night began with a introductory set from emerging singer songwriter Bonnie Kemplay, who has been on the road with The 1975 for the entirety of the UK tour. Opening up for one of the biggest global bands in history is like a pinch myself moment if I were in her shoes, and Bonnie brought her own magic to the night, as she introduced us all to her beautiful music and mesmerizing voice. She may have been a new face to the majority of this Newcastle crowd, but nevertheless looking around you could see alot of people giving a smile of approval as they warmed to her brilliant set.

Photo By Jordan Curtis Hughes

With Bonnie having blessed us with her presence, it was time to quickly top up your drinks, stretch your legs, freshen up and whatever else, before it was time for The 1975 to take to the stage. With the stage hidden behind a curtain with the sign The 1975’s logo, the lights went down, and as soon as that curtain dropped the voices of excitement roared across the whole room. I don’t know how anyone else felt, but for me I could feel the butterflies in my stomach and this burst of positive love as one by one the band stepped on to stage followed by Newcastle’s very own - Mr Matt Healy.

Beginning with songs Being Funny In A Foreign Language and Looking for Somebody (to Love), from the get go the band had everyone on their feet and dancing and singing at the top of their voices in an instant. To be in that room, in that moment and soaking up that atmosphere is the greatest feeling you can ever feel. Having started off strong, Matt finally greeted the crowd which was responded to with the greatest of cheers, plus a few screams of “I LOVE YOU MATT” from those fans (FYI was not me, but hey I was tempted).

Every time I see the 1975 I am always impressed at how creative they are especially when it comes to their stage set up, and with the curtain no longer in the way I was very impressed to see how they had designed the stage in the style of a classy looking apartment which gave it a feel of us being invited in The 1975’s home which I must say looked very cool. Attention to detail, to create the perfect aesthetic, something which Matt, Adam, George and Ross do so brilliantly be it via music or other parts of their creative mind.

Photo By Jordan Curtis Hughes

The set continued with other great tunes from their material such as I’m In Love With You, All I Need To Hear and I Like America & America Likes Me, a perfect indicator to demonstrate just how the band have continued to blossom and thrive as musicians over the years. It feels like evolution but at a much higher level than you can ever imagine.

If you have been keeping your eye on social media, you will also know that the shows on this tour have also come with a few suprises too, including a few special appearances from some familar faces. Previous shows on the tour have included the band suprising fans with guests such as Taylor Swift and Charli XCX. Many wondered we would be seeing tonight here in Newcastle - with some speculating it might be Sam Fender or someone else also closer to home - but that is what I like about The 1975 because they always remind us to never assume and teach us to expect the unexpected.

Photo By Jordan Curtis Hughes

The lights go down, and all of a sudden a spot light appears on another North East hero, Matt’s very own dad Tim Healy, who gives a very touching performance which is such an endearing moment. The gratitude and respect that Matt has for his father Tim is so uplifting and priceless, that you just can’t help fall inlove with even more.

However this was not the last of the suprises as shortly after we hear a ring and a knock on the apartment - who could this be? On the screen appears ‘Harry Styles” and the excited screams from the crowd erupt. HOWEVER could this truly be? Everyone’s eyes are fixed to the stage to get a glimpse, but in true 1975 style there is an extra twist, as no its not Harry Styles that appears on stage, but someone even better, the one and only Lewis Capaldi. I kid you not, if you thought the screams for Harry Styles were loud, they quadrupled even more when everyone realized it was Lewis.

Photo By Jordan Curtis Hughes

Currently on his own UK tour, many of us thought as Lewis Capaldi was already in Newcastle on Saturday 21st January, he would be the last person we would be the last person we expect to see, but oh boy you could really tell everyone was so happy to see him on that stage. Always full of banter and words to make people smile, Lewis greets the Newcastle crowd with the words “In case you haven’t realised, I am not Harry Styles?” before treating us to all to a couple of tracks including a Taylor Swift track.

With Lewis departing, the band then step back on to the stage to pick up where they left off with more of their incredible music. Taking a moment to reflect, Matt shows his appreciation to the fans who have supported and believed in them over the years, and also takes the opportunity to introduce and give special thanks to the life long friends Adam, George and Ross who have taken this journey with him, with Matt humblely sharing “these guys are the real heart of the band”.

Photo By Jordan Curtis Hughes

As the name of this tour is entitled “All Their Very Best”, having given us just over a hour of their much more recent material, the night was still young as the second half of the set was a chance for everyone to rejoice and celebrate some of the classics too, which for me was certainly a moment of nostalgia as I had flash backs of my very early and fondest memories this band has blessed me with since personally first got into their music back in 2013.

If you were looking for the perfect excuse to sing and dance with every fibre in your body as you lived your best life ever, then this second half was certainly a point not to be missed. Some of the classics included TooTimeTooTimeTooTime, It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You) and my absolute favourite, Chocolate.

Photo By Jordan Curtis Hughes

When you are playing a tour of this scale, I guess there is always this predicament, especially for a band who have been in our lives since 2002 of which songs to play because everyone has their favourite but not wanting to disappoint anyone the band gave fans a choice to select a song of their choosing between Paris, Change of Heart, Menswear or Medicine. After taking it to a vote, the Newcastle crowd decided they wanted to hear Menswear which the band were more than happy to honour the request.

As the saying goes time flys when you are having fun, it was getting to that point in the night where it was almost time to say goodbye, and even though the band gave a phenomenal and impressively strong 2 hour set, I am pretty sure we could of very well continued for countless hours more. However before ending, there was just enough time to embrace the captivating atmosphere as the band continued with tracks Love It If We Made It and Sex before ending the night on a high with Give Yourself A Try.

Photo By Jordan Curtis Hughes

As I said at the beginning each 1975 I have been to over the years has brought its own memories, and as I walked home for this week show I had this sense of euphoria and overwhelming gratitude for being able to have The 1975’s music in my life. My love for this band, like many has been taken to a whole new level of appreciation, and is by far one of the most orgasmic shows I have ever experienced since all the years of enjoying live music and that is all thanks to The 1975.

What a great time to be alive, and a special thank you on behalf of all music fans to Matt, Adam, George and Ross for being our inspiration, strength and motivation in a world where your presence and your music is the most precious gift in life. With love and respect always, one very very blessed 1975 fan!

Photo By Jordan Curtis Hughes

Article By Thushara S. Chandrasiri, Photography By Jordan Curtis Hughes

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