No Rome and The 1975 @ HBF Stadium in Perth, Western Australia
Review and Photography by Sethen Sheehan-Lee
The 1975 are often described as a band who have given a voice to our generation and on a frosty evening in Perth on the 27th of September, I found out why
The crowd gathering outside the venue was the largest I’d ever seen at HBF Stadium. On previous tours the bands rigorous schedule mean that they haven’t been to Perth since prior to the released their second album so despite being a fan for many years, this was my first opportunity to see them live. Since then the band have gone on to release their third album, “A Brief Injury into Online Relations” and have another album, “Notes of a Conditional Form” set for release within the next few months. On top of this, the band has just announced that they are returning to Australia in January next year to headline Laneway Festival.
Filipino singer/rapper No Rome opened the show to an almost full HBF Stadium. While most of the crowd wasn’t all that familiar with his music, they still acted as a very responsive audience. No Rome may not be the most dynamic character on stage but it’s clear he’s quite musically skilled. His vocals were comparable to that of The 1975 front man Matthew Healy and I liked how his music was chilled enough to suit a café/dining experience while having enough energy to create a party atmosphere. The audience attending his set was actually larger than that of the last headline show I attended at this venue, so from that alone it’s safe to assume No Rome is going have greater success in the future.
In the minutes before The 1975 took to stage an intro to their song, “The Man Who Married a Robot/Love Theme” echoed around the stadium.
As the lights dimmed, the screaming of adoring fans of all genders swelled in the air. At this point I was thankful that I remembered to bring my earplugs to this show. The band started off their set with one of their heaviest songs, “People” which is also the first single from their yet to be released album, “Notes of a Conditional Form”. The song has a strong political message which focuses on the themes of global warming and the populism.
The first third of the performance mainly consisted of a range of singles from their last three albums, however things became beyond exciting after No Rome joined the band onstage to perform his song, “Narcissist”. The next portion of the set featured deep cuts like, “Falling for You”, and fan favourites like, “Somebody Else” and “Always Wanna Die (Sometimes)”. The latter of which brought many audience members to tears.
Just when I though the concert had hit an emotional peak, a majority of the band, with the expectation of the front man Matty left the stage as the opening track from, “Notes of a Conditional Form” played. This track features a speech from Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg. During this time the front man chose to sit in front of the stage, with his back faced to the audience as he watched a digital interpretation of the speech. During this time many audience members yelled messages of support to Greta while others took the opportunity to heckle some of our current political leaders, who from the audience perspective have not taken enough action against climate change. After this, the band played another of their politically motivated songs, “Love It If We Made It”, on this occasion a majority of the crowd chose to sing along.
After banging out a few more hits like “Sex” and “Chocolate” for the now rowdy audience, the band finished off their performance with one of their biggest pop anthems “The Sound”. Healy did some of his best crowd controlling work during the last song, strutting from one side of the stage to the other motivating different sections of the stadium’s audience to sing along.
Some people may take caution in seeing a band live more than once in a while, however I think after this performance most of the patrons will be fairly keen on catching The 1975 when they tour Australia again as part of Laneway Festival (taking place in January/February 2020). However, I should forewarn you, seeing The 1975 live will always be an emotional rollercoaster, so best be prepared to laugh and smile while crying tears of joy.