Picture this: After putting on your American Apparel tennis skirt with a plaid flannel around your waist, you head to a small venue pub in England to see your favorite indie band, The 1975. You are surrounded by fans you have added on Tumblr over the last few weeks, as the white rectangular box on stage lights up, and the band arrives on the scene, opening with “The City.” No, we’re not in 2014; the year is 2023.
Nearly a year after announcing their live comeback in February of 2022, the prolific and admired band, The 1975, brought back the 2014 era of combat boots, grunge Tumblr photos, and wired headphones this past week in Manchester. Fans relived their teenage dreams for the special night. The band performed their beloved debut album at an intimate show at the Gorilla club, and for an important cause.
With a small capacity of 550, The 1975 turned back time with this intimate show and in support of the War Child cause, a charity designated to raise money for children affected by war worldwide. Sponsored by Brits Week in partnership with Mastercard for War Child, the shows consisted of intimate one-off performances with artists to raise money. Other artists in the lineup include Beabadoobee, Sugababes, Rina Sawayama, and more. The War Child charity reached over 600,000 children through its programs in 2021 and has remained especially important in the past year in response to the ongoing war in Ukraine.
After the release of the group’s fifth studio album, Being Funny In a Foreign Language, the band announced their latest tour, as well as their U.K. tour in 2023, they played in an intimate club setting in Manchester. With the B.F.I.A.F.L. tour, the gig was stripped back for audiences as the stage was decorated as a home and sitcom-stage production. The 1975 returned to their roots as their iconic ‘box’ artwork lit up while frontman Matty Healy headed to the stage with a bottle of wine. The rectangle box represents the band’s earlier music and albums, which is perfect for a night of nostalgic tracks such as “Robbers,” “Sex,” and “Girls.”
The 2014 Tumblr grunge aesthetic has staged a comeback via social media platforms such as TikTok, as it is being revisited by its millennial and Gen-Z originators. Fans are being reminded of the good ol’ days, featuring the music of not only The 1975, but also The Neighborhood, Lana Del Rey, and Arctic Monkeys. 2014-era Tumblr has had a significant influence on Gen-Z and millennials.
Fans traveled from near and far to Manchester for the one-night-only performance, one fan flying in from Boston, and others traveling from cities such as Cologne, Germany, and New York. They were ecstatic to hear their favorite songs performed live once again. The band had not played tracks such as “Settle Down” and “M.O.N.E.Y.” in over seven years. The 1975 played the entirety of their debut self-titled album, encored with fan favorites from their most recent album, including “About You,” and oldies such as “Paris.”
The 1975’s performance at Gorilla celebrated the band and how far they have come in the past decade as they played in their hometown of Wilmslow in Manchester, England. Audiences admired the organic success of the 1975, as they had played venues such as Gorilla when breaking into the music industry. The show was indeed an ode to independent artists.