It’s always bitter sweet watching someone you’ve grown up with blossom and change without you and I guess it’s the same with bands. Following a band from virtual unknown to mega stardom is a surreal experience. Having to keep the utter excitement of finding new music they release to yourself, having difficulty keeping track of their endeavours, promoting them left right and center in the hopes they feel validated enough to carry on making music and not being able to bring up them up in a topic of conversation you so desperately want to express without being met with blank faces. Things become very personal very quickly that way. They’re not just a band anymore they’re your band, your secret no one knows about, something special.
I’ve had this connection with a handful of bands, one of the most poignant is The 1975. From stumbling across a faceless band on youtube when I was 14 to watching them perform at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall at the age of 19 made me feel a plethora of emotions. The overriding one being pride closely followed by panic. My secret is out but look what it can do.
Finally walking into the great hall with weeks worth of excitement brewed inside me I was giddy, unbelievably happy, feeling one of those natural highs you wish you could bottle and save for a rainy day. Singing the hilariously ironic per-show music the band picked out (consisting of 80’s hits to Justin Bieber to gangster rap) proving they wouldn’t changing no matter how big they got, they were gonna do it their way, which is one of the reasons I love them.
Not even the unenthusiastic wet blanket of an opening act could damped my spirits. I was witnessing a part of me hit an unbelievable milestone. The lights slowly get dimmer and the music slowly slowly builds. Three figures make their way on to the stage awaiting the forth. The crowd go insane when fourth member Matty Healy makes his way onto the stage bottle of wine in hand, raising it to the audience as a way of greeting us. Now I’ll just say now that Matty holds a special place in my heart I’ve met him a few times and honestly he is so genuine, honest and open with fans I find it difficult to deal with at times. I feel like I could tell him anything and he would have something to say I cherish our little chats and wish more people in the world were like this. It’s easy to judge him as a 20 something junkie with band but he’s actually so humble and stimulating to talk to I feel like with him and the whole band really you cant judge them by their appearance of black skinny jeans and different looking haircuts.
The show begins and I feel like I have been transported into another world. I think music can really do that to people. Make them forget, make them remember, make them feel. I was overwhelmed. I never feel the way I do when I listen to them play live. It’s such a incredible and stand out feeling I wish I could bottle and use whenever I’m feeling low.
The whole experience is hard to put into actual words. It is a day I will never forget with tears from both me and Matty during partially poignant songs and laugher from me and my friend trying and failing to take a good selfie in the amazingly beautiful venue. I never feel more alive then being in a room full of people with the same love of one thing -music.