Concert Review: Swim Deep and The 1975

By: Song River
Photo Credit: CowGirlZen Photography 

What do you get when an inordinate amount of young screaming ladies, interspersed with a few young equally ecstatic men, camp outside a venue in freezing overnight temperatures four days prior to an event?  (Many were a part of a young ladyies birthday celebration) In addition, many of the adoring fans had flown in from opposite sides of the states for this brief interlude of musiciangasms.  You get something unique to rock n roll music, hungry band fans. The adoration of wanton fandom continued to grow as the line of ticket holders wrapped themselves well over a mile on the evening of The 1975 show at the Marquee Theater in Tempe, Arizona. The anticipation of getting in line first to enter the standing room only event had the overzealous crowd pushing, shoving, and 'flocking' in a 'school' like the motion of a pack of hungry British Invasion style fan bots. 

It felt like we all were witnessing something akin to (although on a smaller scale) what a Beatles invasion may have looked like. Has anyone else noticed this steady climb  of American fandom interest in  U.K. Bands?

As the doors finally opened to the Marquee Theater the fans entered with smiles, giggles and security yelling every two seconds for patrons to walk, not run, as the event floor was filled to the walls and the upstairs balcony ran its course of taken spots rapidly. What was about to be delivered to the fans of The 1975 was well worth all the aforementioned.  

Ready, Set, Go!

Opening for the evening was the group, Swim Deep, hailing from Birmingham, England. Austin Williams (vocals), Tom 'Higgy' Higgins (guitar), Zachary Robinson (drums), Cavan McCarthy (bass), and James Balmont (keys and percussion) were the perfect complement to an anticipated invasion of British Pop. Swim Deep began by releasing a few singles between 2012-13 and then their first EP early in 2013, Sun On My Back. It was in August of 2013 that they released their first full-length studio album, Where The Heaven Are We, to the accolades of music lovers and critics alike. Mother, their latest full-length album came out in October 2015 and their fan base continues to explode. Taking a noted turn on the album, Mother, some critics felt like Swim Deep's new sound may have had some influence from an acid house sound. Listening to the new album one could definitely register this turn on the new album, yet the pop house style is still Swim Deep's major hip and it has created a stronger and broader fan-base of motion in EDM. Mother carries a stronger, louder electronica- as it fades the vocals to the middle ground. Something certainly noted in their sound live.  

Swim Deep opened their set with two of their single released songs from 2012, “King City,” and “Honey.” Clearly the original BritPop sound, but as song number three was delivered, “Grand Affection,” Swim Deep showed they weren't holding back on their own path of music development. Next came, “Forever Spaceman,” “Namaste,” “She Changes The Weather” (from their album Where The Heaven Are We), and lastly “To My Brother,” from their new release. All in all a great performance and a welcome sound to the fans. Many cheered in the audience for an encore and more, but their desires for Swim Deep would have to be met at another time and venue... for it was time for The 1975.

Today's youth can still relate to each teenage-angst of any given John Hughes film and the spilling of hormonal rages of sex, music, and more sex is divided equally among the sounds of electrofunk'npop sounds of The 1975. Crashing through the gates of orgasmic music relations and out of the womb of Wilmslow, Cheshire, U.K. The 1975, derived their band name from the back pages of a Jack Kerouac book of beat poetry, “1 June, The 1975,” and now forever foggy hues will never be the same. Band members formed during their high school days: Matthew Healy (vocals, guitars), Ross MacDonald (bass guitar, keyboards, backing vocals) , Adam Hann (guitar, keyboards, backing vocals), and lastly added in 2002 was George Daniel (drums, backing vocals). All together completed the sexually teasing foray of Britain’s latest tongue teasing seduction fueled sound. From each EP release beginning in 2012, “ Facedown,” “Sex,” “Music for Cars” and “IV,” it is clear what is on the minds of these lads and it certainly has resonated with the crowd of 13 to early 30-year-olds. The band's first self-titled album, The 1975, was released in 2013 and touring extensively in the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, and North America gained a whole new world of heat for these gents.  Setting the stage with wanton angst wide open... the fans were ready for The 1975's newest album, “I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It,” set for release 26, February 2016.  

Having released off their newest album the single, “Love Me,” on November 2015 to support their tour, The 1975 opened their set in the soft kisses of pink mist to an audience of titillated, adoring fans. The audience screamed, swooned, danced, sang through each musical sound, or spoken word from Matt Healy. The lovebasims were effectually felt through each song as “Heart Out,” lead to “So Far (It's Alright),” “The City,” “You,” to their first interlude between songs “Hnscc.” Coming in after a few recorded played notes from “Hnscc,” they came back with “Menswear,” “Change of A Heart,” and “Me.” At that point in the concert everyone belonged to Matt and as he swaggered from a bit too much wine-indulging or it is just his Depp persona the rest of their set of 15 songs, plus 3 encores “Medicine,” “Chocolate,” and “Sex,” (yes those do go together in titles alone don't they?) the climax had been reached, The 1975 had taken what they wanted, but you know what? So had their fans.
Both sides were lighting up their cigarettes and smiling.




THE 1975