It was a very warm ‘welcome back’ to The 1975 as they made their return to Melbourne’s Festival Hall, accompanied by dream-pop prodigy Amber Bain – otherwise known as The Japanese House.
Starting the night on a more somber tone, 19 year old Bain was joined by 2 band members who helped to flesh out The Japanese House’s wonderfully layered and warm, washing tones. With debut EP Pools To Bathe In produced by The 1975’s George Daniel and Matthew Healy, the majority of the audience (who had already packed out the floors and stands) already knew of Bain, and sang along to her small but beautifully crafted back catalog.
Bathed in pink light and soundtracked by screams of adoration from the enthusiastic crowd, The 1975 opened with ‘Love Me’ – the breakthrough single of their elaborately titled sophomore album I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It which is set to drop in February. They have an undeniable presence live, which makes it all the more frustrating that, much like many of their peers, they tend to be written off unfairly as a result of their largely young female fanbase – which is incredibly problematic in itself.
The show was a definite step up from many of their previous rounds touring in Australia. Their first appearance in Melbourne at the way too small (and definitely oversold Nothcote Social Club) seems like forever ago – when it’s only been 2 years. In that time, the band have defined themselves as an absolute force of modern music, blending elements of pop, funk electronic and alternative laced with not-so-subtle nods to the past. It’s a powerful, and judging by a string of sold out shows across the country and world – a winning combination.
Throughout the whole set, tracks from their upcoming record were exclusively premiered to an absolutely riveted crowd. Tucked alongside a slew of singles ‘A Change Of Heart’ was debuted, showcasing Healy’s demure alto tones. All night, it was evident that with every release the band become more and more 80’s inclined – but if anything they sounded more comfortable and confident than ever.
It felt as if The 1975 were at last growing into the sound they always envisioned for themselves.