Written by Ava Butera
Third time was truly a charm when I saw The 1975 on June 1st at Madison Square Garden. Dubbed as “The World’s Most Famous Arena,” fans and casual listeners alike knew how important and groundbreaking this night would be for four boys from Manchester that started writing music in a garage.
However, in order for me to reach such a crucial moment in my favourite band’s career, I—of course—had to endure awful news. My flight was delayed five times and almost canceled, which would have caused me to arrive to New York a day later than anticipated. Luckily, the flight didn’t get canceled but was so delayed that my three-hour flight landing in NYC at 8:00 PM didn’t land until 2:00 AM. When I finally touched down in the city, I was so enthralled that I’d be seeing The 1975 later that day that I couldn’t sleep. (Don’t tell Matty that I took a power nap during “Please Be Naked“)
When it came time for my friend and I to head to the venue, we took the subway and for a short amount of time got lost in Penn Station, but we finally found the Garden and entered what would go down in my books as the best night ever. While we were patiently waiting for Pale Waves to come on, we saw that someone found the “setlist.” This setlist had the likes of “Head.Cars.Bending”, “Pressure”, “This Must Be My Dream” and many other songs the guys aren’t known for playing live. With this potential setlist floating around, the whole venue was buzzing.
Pale Waves soon came onstage with infectious guitars, cool band members, and a unique aesthetic. Even though they only have one song released, they played a seven(ish) song set and totally won over the crowd. They ended their set with “There’s a Honey” and then they were off.
About a half hour later, the lights went completely black, one singular rectangle lit up and “The 1975” intro song began blaring throughout the arena. Adam, George, Ross, and then finally, Matty all graced the stage. I was so enthralled in that moment and for a split second I realized that three years ago, my favourite band played a small club down the street from my house in Fort Lauderdale, FL, and now here they were playing a sold out show at Madison Square Garden in New York. Here I was, having flown up from Florida and skipping my last week of school to see The 1975. I could’ve almost broken down into tears just thinking about it, but I didn’t have time to because the arena lit up bright pink and Adam began playing the intro to “Love Me”.
For the next couple songs, I danced my heart out and screamed the lyrics to all of my favourite tracks with my best friend. During songs like “Love Me” and “UGH!” Matty even danced with us, since our whole section was sitting down, besides my friend and I.
Then, I suddenly heard the familiar riff of “You”. I was so shocked that they were playing this song. In that moment, it hit me again that I was truly home. This is where I wanted to be and I never wanted the moment to end. “You” has always been one of my favourite songs and hearing it live for the second time was mesmerizing. During the song, I didn’t take any videos or photos; I wanted to remember that moment in its true and fullest form. It was definitely one of my best memories.
After “You”, I began to notice that the set was out of order from the leaked “setlist” we found. It was in fact FAKE, but I had no time to be upset since the moment was too pure.
When the show was finished, the guys all left the stage one by one, bowing or waving. Adam Hann was the last one and after he left, the whole crowd knew that the “pink” era ended. After this, The 1975 would take a two year break to write and record “Music for Cars.”
It’s so crazy to think how close this band has brought people from all over the world. People flew in from all over America and from a plethora of other countries, including England, Canada and even Australia. I’ve met some of my best friends through this band, whether it be online or at one of their shows. I get choked up thinking about how much this band means to me. I’ve been a fan of this band since I was 13 years old and now I’m going on 17. I’ve grown up with their music.
During the show, Matty sat down on stage and had a heart-to-heart with the crowd, telling everyone to be quiet so he could talk (classic Matty). He then went on to say how “The 1975 isn’t a huge radio band, or all over magazine covers, The 1975 is a FANS’ band, and that’s you guys.” That’s why this small band from Manchester sold out “The World’s Most Famous Arena” in less than a week. That’s why so many people flew in from all over the world just to see a show on the anniversary of the band, and that’s why The 1975 means so much to me, and others alike.
Even though nobody knows what the next couple of years hold for this band since they’ll be off for a bit, one thing we do know is that because of the fans, The 1975 will always be a band.