The 1975, Wallice @ Entertainment Centre, Adelaide 10/4/2023

The hottest ticket in town on a Monday night in Adelaide was for highly acclaimed English rockers The 1975. Having sold out the Theatre at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre in next to no time the show was upgraded to the Arena selling just as fast. There is no doubt that The 1975 are at the height of the powers and it was great that Adelaide was very much part of the tour schedule given the adage that it is perceived that Adelaide can’t sell out shows… well, take notice, the proof is in the pudding.

Opening proceedings was American singer-songwriter Wallice Hana Watanabe aka Wallice. Best known for song Punching Bag her short set focused on singles released to date including the likes of 90s American Superstar, Little League, new single Disappear finishing on Best Friend, Funeral and 23. The music of Wallice could be considered to be an acquired taste for some but on the same hand a positive to be able to see a new artist on the rise.

The rise and rise of The 1975 continues and their affinity with Australian music fans is something to behold. This tour sees and even bigger production adding to the delight of fans with a swag of new songs from new album Being Funny In A Foreign Language. As the lights dropped attention focused on the video screens seeing the band geeing themselves up before taking the stage and following them through the passageways in the inner sanctum of the Entertainment Centre right up to show time. I was expecting the band to come charging out the blocks with a big opening number but like most was surprised to see front man Matthew Healy take the stage solo with a cigarette in one hand and a bottle of wine in the other. Full of rock swagger Healy asked “how ya feeling’ later explaining his struggles to exist outside the stage and providing some perspective of his trials and tribulations of life which led in to the acoustic focused Be My Mistake.

Lighting another cigarette the rest of the band join him on Looking For Somebody (To Love). It was a cool set up with a vintage record player and a lounge chair where Healy would sit briefly and smoke. Adding to the uniqueness of the show the band has been turning the set list on its head mixing it up with a few surprises thrown in. The heart felt pop tune Happiness got the crowd going with Healy proclaiming that The 1975 are the sexiest band in the world and that there wasn’t a lot of competition adding that tonight’s show would affirm that this is the grooviest side of The 1975. Ugh! and Oh Caroline followed with Healy revealing that the era of him being the arsehole is coming to an end indicating that he can’t perform offstage any more just wanting to be a bloke (reference to not being on social media). Adding that life turns on a dime and that they had a song for every emotion.

Tonight (I Wish I Was Your Boy) was a great moment but Healy did not want to reflect on his birthday saying that “birthdays are like carbon dating my soul”. I doubt there would a song that the faithful wouldn’t have known the lyrics to finding plenty of voice making it a night to remember. The hit machine pumped out the likes of I Couldn’t Be More in Love, If You’re Too Shy (Let Me Know), I’m in Love With You, fallingforyou and About You. It is great that the band didn’t overlook their debut album with Robbers proving popular. Healy suggested they were the last emo band in existence and admitted to being plagiarists at heart which led in to the cover of the Backstreet Boys I Want It That Way. I guess the question for fans was the first half better than the second half or vice versa. It seemed as if the band picked up momentum and really powered their way the second half.

A fan asked Healy to do a shoey to which he said “if you’re trying to get me to drink out of a shoe, grow up it is fucking disgusting”. The commentary around Somebody Else was interesting followed by a poll to select the next tune either being political or romantic, romantic won with Medicine getting the nod which was not originally on the set list. Paris was a great moment with drummer George Daniel being afforded a ‘toilet break’ during All I Need to Hear with Healy going for the trusty acoustic guitar.

With the end in sight they pulled out all stops playing the big ones Love It If We Made It, I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes) and the big hit The Sound. Healy asserted that they didn’t want to saturate our emotions and took a moment to reflect on making records for twenty years before playing another song from their debut in Sex, which was written when they were eighteen. What a way to bring it on home than with Give Yourself a Try. I seem to suspect a return maybe on the cards a lot sooner than we think!

Live Review By Rob Lyon

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