Live Review: The 1975 with Linus Young at Black Cat, Washington DC – 11th October 2013

By on Friday, 18th October 2013 at 2:00 pm

The gig I went to the other night almost turned out a disaster. Clearly, I was just cranky. The queue was wet and cold, the crowd was smash-y right from the get-go, and I was stone cold sober, unlike the squealing underage girls around me. Loud, wet, drunk teenagers could have ruined my night, but I forgot how much I like the 1975. That is, until they started playing.

Linus Young Washington live

First up, however, was Los Angeles-based Linus Young. Neither a ‘Linus’ nor a singer-songwriter as the name seemed to imply, they seemed more like a hipster 2.0 band. Nary a flannel shirt or thick rimmed glasses in sight, but the band were replete with massive ungroomed beard, tattoos and velvet trousers. This is not to say that I didn’t like them, I did. They had a massive groove that I totally got into. With a flow and a vibe that called to mind the best of LA music, sans sunshine-y pop, they offered up a slow, melodic set punctuated by some killer guitar work. By the time they ended their set with ‘Give It Away’ some of my crankiness had left me.

The long sold out show had the 1975 on shortly thereafter and as I mentioned, my mood lifted immediately as the stage lit up with a neon rectangle surrounding the drum kit, echoing their logo. Matt Healy burst onto the stage obscuring his trademark half shaved, half floppy mop with an enormous hooded scarf. It didn’t last long though, as the music built there was no way that head gear could have stayed on his whipping body. I did think that he seemed a tab disconnected from the audience when he doffed his guitar; he seemed to get lost in the microphone in his hands. The songs were short, punchy and vibrated with life. Masterfully crafted bits of pure excitement lifted and threw the crowd. The band brimmed with confidence in their audience. Allowing numerous times for Healy to step back from the the mic, the crowd swelled with full-throated lyrics that carried them to the next bridge. Playing through about 75% of the eponymous album released just a month earlier, there was the same level of frenzy for the new songs as there was for the earlier ones like ‘Milk’ and ‘Head. Cars. Bending.’

The 1975 Washington October 2013 live

Despite the shrieking young girls, I was happy to see a significant group of guys there really getting into the quite excellent shredding going on. Healy may make ‘em scream with his on stage thrashing, but he can also play pretty well. One girl, in a living room presumably far away, got a thrill when Healy snatched the phone from someone in the front row who was face-timing said girl. He sang to her for a few seconds, then shrugged and handed back the phone. I could just imagine the squeal! That girl’s night was made. And mine was saved by the fun and energetic set by the band. I hear they may hit our shores again in a while and I will be sure to be there again.

After the cut: the 1975’s set list.

The 1975 Set List:
The City
So Far (It’s Alright)
Head. Cars. Bending.
An Encounter
Settle Down
Heart Out

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3 Responses

2:03 pm
18th October 2013

New post: Live Review: The 1975 with Linus Young at Black Cat, Washington DC – 11th October 2013

2:15 pm
18th October 2013

Live Review: The 1975 @the1975 with Linus Young @linus_young at Black Cat @blackcatdc Washington DC, 11th October ’13

2:18 pm
18th October 2013

RT @tgtf: Live Review: The 1975 @the1975 with Linus Young @linus_young at Black Cat @blackcatdc Washington DC, 11th October ’13…

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