Expectations were high going into The 1975’s show at Durty Nellie’s in Palatine this past Thursday, with the indescribably memorable experience of their Tuesday tour stop at The Rave in Milwaukee fresh on my mind. For lack of a better summary, they had killed it. So it felt reasonable for me to head into a free concert, skeptical that it would live up to the show I saw two nights previous. Gladly enough, I was pleasantly proven wrong.
The show was an initially unplanned stop that finished their touring period in America for the time being, as part of Q101’s No Dough Show compilation. As opposed to their regularly scheduled venues, the setting was small and intimate. “I miss playing shows like this,” lead singer Matty Healy told the crowd after a few songs. The genuineness of the statement was clear in the way the band performed—high in energy, and soaking in every ounce of vitality that the small group had to offer.
The band stayed fairly faithful to their tour setlist, opening with the upbeat “Love Me”, transitioning into the equally catchy “Ugh!”, and so on. Healy’s normally animated performance was particularly prominent and eccentric on such a small stage. “We’re going to play more songs. We’re having a lot of fun,” he announced mid-set. A fair mix between hits from their debut self-titled album and their newest album kept the crowd loud and engaged until the end. Excitement climaxed in the final two songs, where Healy surfed above the heads of the first few rows during the bridge of “The Sound”, and led the audience in closing out the show with screaming their lungs out to a popular first album single, “Sex”.
Simply put, The 1975 come ready to deliver under any circumstance. Official part of the tour or not, their performance at Durty Nellie’s was far above average, exceeding any subpar expectations that may accompany the implications of a free show. This band is one that thrives off of what they produce—a lethal combination of their intricate lyrics, impeccable live instrumentals and the stamina of their dedicated audience.