Stagecraft is something so often overlooked by artists at any show, some sticking up an extra-large tapestry with their logo on behind their performance space and calling it a ‘set.’
But The 1975 bring it.
The iconic boxes on the ceiling and the memory of ‘WAKE UP! WAKE UP! WAKE UP!’ flashing on the screen behind the quartet gives me the tingles every time I think about it.
The stage craft at their gig at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena was incredible from start to finish. The band caught me in a hurricane of emotions when they performed a song from their latest album, Notes on a Conditional Form (yet to be released), which featured a video which followed their journey as a band, right from The 1975’s conception.
But, quite honestly, the performance itself was bang average.
It seems the band have got cocky in their timeline of performing. They’ve gone from the deep, meaningful symphony of songs like Medicine and Me at their December 2017 shows at the London 02 to a selection of ‘trying-too-hard-to-be-different’ style music.
As someone who has seen The 1975 perform on multiple occasions, I think it’s safe to say that their shows are starting to get samey.
They set the bar high for themselves when they first started performing with their unique staging, and this is a standard that they will struggle to surpass.
I commend The 1975 for their commitment to bringing awareness to the climate crisis, using a platform that’s followed by so many people to show the dreadful things that are happening in the world.
This was brought to life in their performance when Matty called for ‘No screaming, no booing; don’t heckle me,’ prior to playing a recording from Greta Thunberg with a climate crisis call to action.
Accompanied by a video showing the devastation and destruction around the globe, the display was moving, revealing and effective, and it was one of the best uses of a public platform that I’ve seen from any celebrity in a long time.
The 1975 are good performers; they know how to please a crowd, they’re unique and they really care about how their performance looks.
But I can’t help but find myself wanting more from their shows.
I welcome the release of Notes on a Conditional Form with the hope that it inspires a new wave of exciting stagecraft that will inject some of The 1975 flare that we know and love into their performances.