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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCLA chapter.

Following the release of their fifth studio album, Being Funny In A Foreign Language, The 1975 are back on tour! The band’s signature conversationally-written songs and upbeat instrumentals take a new life with Jack Antonoff’s signature production style. After becoming obsessed with their latest record and all it had to offer, I knew I had to see them at the Forum. So, a couple weeks ago, I sported my 2014-esque black and white plaid dress and Doc Martens and headed down to the Inglewood arena to hopefully witness my high school anthems and new favorite songs live.

The Forum welcomed the Manchester band and their fans across all entrances, the band’s name decorating all sides of the 17,000 seat arena. Walking in, my friend Ava and I were transported back to the 2014 Tumblr era when the group first found its notoriety. Leather jackets, black tennis skirts, knee-high socks, dip-dyed hair and more made up the evening’s dress code. After a basket of garlic fries and some people-watching, Ava and I found our way to the nosebleeds and waited for the show to begin.

The show began with lead singer, Matty Healy, single-handedly playing the guitar while nursing one of the many cigarettes he would smoke in his other hand. “The 1975,” the self-titled opening number of the show, echoed throughout the arena, battling the loud eruption of cheering and screams from excited audience members. The rest of the band made their way to their instruments as Matty stayed at his piano, singing and now taking sips from a flask. The show had officially begun.

A house set welcomed the band onstage. With windows and lamps decorating the expanse of the two-level stage, the sold-out show became intimate and theatrical. At many points in the show, the concert felt more like a play, with lead actor Healy playing a drunk, cynical character. The staging would change to accommodate whatever song was playing, such as “fallingforyou.” The calm, ethereal song was accompanied solely by Healy standing under a streetlight, with the lighting flickering between Matty’s verses and his backup singers aiding him in the chorus. Immediately following this song was “I Like America & America Likes Me,” where Healy stood alone on the roof of the set and sang in autotune. All of these scenes showcased the latest album in an artistic manner that I had never witnessed in a concert before. 

And before I knew it, the show’s viral moment was before me. The end of “When We Are Together” spotlighted the band individually as they all walk off stage until finally, Healy was left alone onstage with all of the lamps in the house set turned off. Over the next ten minutes, Healy danced provocatively on a couch, ate a raw piece of meat, and did a few push-ups while controversial clips played on a TV set behind him. He then proceeded to climb into one of the TV screens, leaving the audience dumbfounded at what they had just witnessed. 

With almost no time to recover, a door onstage opened to reveal none other than Phoebe Bridgers. This rollercoaster of emotions had Ava and I hugging each other and jumping up and down, screaming in disbelief and utter joy. Bridgers then performed an acoustic cover of The 1975’s “Milk,” and the previously blaring sound of screams succumbed to quietness in order to appreciate her and all her glory. It was magical to witness two of my favorite artists in one night, and I was sufficiently amped up for the second half of the show.

In the second act, Healy dropped his cynical performance to perform banger after banger of highlight songs from the band’s past four albums. Two songs from the second act especially stuck out to me as shining moments, exemplary of their brilliance in composition and songwriting. First, the infamous Bonnie and Clyde-esque song “Robbers” stole my heart. This song is known for Healy kissing random audience members, so to say the energy in the room was electrifying and full of intrigue is an understatement. During my show, Healy kissed fellow bandmate Ross MacDonald during the bridge. Kiss aside, this song is a personal favorite of mine and has been for nine years now, so to hear the wailing guitar riff and Healy scream-singing the bridge live was a full-circle moment of mine.

Even more impressive in my opinion was the band’s performance of their single “Love It If We Made It.” This power ballad, born out of the many headlines displayed on various media outlets during the Trump presidency, is meant to be sung at full volume. Its earnest hope and ambition in just hoping for a better world is felt even more personally when a sold-out crowd of about 17,000 people are all screaming its chorus over and over. I felt unity that brought tears to my eyes, and I developed a deeper appreciation for the hopeful anthem.

From viral videos of the show, it may seem like “The 1975 At Their Very Best” tour is just full of awkward moments and Healy messing around on stage for two hours. And to an extent, that criticism is valid. However, witnessing the show live, I cannot overemphasize how this tour is a true masterpiece, unlike anything I’ve seen before. The 1975 are truly masters of their crafts, their passion for their music evident within their performance. This show had me on the edge of my seat the entire time, and I left the Forum that night on an endorphin high from dancing my heart out for two hours straight. I am happy to report that the 1975 are truly at their very best.

Madenn is a fourth-year Political Science student with a minor in Conservation Biology at UCLA. She is passionate about all things environment, pop culture, and activism!