The 1975 Plays Their Hearts Out in Manila

British indie-rock band The 1975 played their first arena show last January 24, 2015 at Mall of Asia Arena, the first act from MMI Live’s British Invasion Concert Series.

The 1975 Live at Mall of Asia Arena

Released in September 2013, the self-titled debut from the Manchester boys—whose sound does nothing to represent the 1970s—produced a handful of radio-friendly hits with “Chocolate,” “Settled Down” “Sex” “Heart Out” and “Girls.” To be honest, their music made me appreciate indie-rock and synth-pop. They have the perfect young alternative rock feel. They’ve been a band for a decade, but they broke out to the mainstream only last year. They caught my attention because they know how to create distinctive music with catchy lyrics and danceable melodies.

Fans lined up well around the venue hours before the concert started, most them were wearing the band’s black shirts. We could feel the rising excitement in the air as the crowd waited for the show to start. The show immediately reached a deafening moment when screams rang throughout the arena as Matty, George, Ross, and Adam went on stage flashing big smiles and waving to the crowd. The band opened with “The City” which was truly a great way to start the show. They did an amazing intro for it to get the crowd really pumped up. Lead vocalist Matty Healy greeted the crowd with “We are The 1975 and you are Manila!,” and added “We are bigger in this country than in our own f*ckin country”. He also revealed that their Manila tour is their first concert in an arena.

The 1975 MOA Arena

There were magical moments throughout the performance, such as the one during “Me” when Matty asked everyone to move their phones away and just enjoy the music. Then during the second half of the song, he asked everyone to turn the flashlight on their phones, and wave it in the air to the song. It was a special moment with such a beautiful sight.

The 1975 in Manila Crowd

They played upbeat tracks and fan favorites such as “Girls” and “Sex” which got everyone pumped and dancing. The band also shifted the mood with groovy instrumentals to slow, sad songs such as “Fallingforyou” which touched the fans, as some of them were even brought to tears. I was expecting them to play some of their cover versions but the set was made up of 100% The 1975 material.

The overall presentation of the show was amazing and definitely better than their first visit in Manila. They played twenty songs with such energy. The upbeat songs hit hard and the slow songs moved everyone in the crowd.The lighting setup was fun to watch as they matched the beat of the music.

The four-piece band was energetic and put an unforgettable show. You could tell they love what they do, as the energy they brought through their live performances, their music, and their stage presence projected onto the crowd and got everyone on their feet throughout the show. They also had some conversations with the crowd, adding a personal touch for the fans. This concert proved to me that George, Ross, Adam, and Matty know how to put a great and memorable show. They have two more shows after Manila before wrapping up their world tour in support of their self-titled debut album. The 1975 goes back to the studio afterwards to finish their second album, and the band promised to go back to Manila to promote their sophomore studio album.

Special Thanks to VIVA Live, Ovation Productions and MMI Live!

Written by Jam Ayala

The 1975 Live in Manila Setlist
1. The City
2. Milk
3. M.O.N.E.Y.
4. So Far (It's Alright)
5. She Way Out
6. An Encounter
7. Settle Down
8. Heart Out
9. Pressure
10. Me
11. fallingforyou
12. You
14. Menswear
15. Girls
16. Is There Somebody Who Can Watch You
17. Medicine
18. Robbers
19. Chocolate
20. Sex


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