Apple Music Festival 2016: The 1975
In the high dome of the Roundhouse, a huge0manned camera swivels back and forth across the room. The lighting set up, always an integral part of any live show, is more extravagant than usual. As the room goes dark, on the ceiling we see the number ten come into view, surrounded by a light pulsating in different colours. This “10” is to celebrate the fact that the Apple Music Festival (formerly iTunes Festival) is a decade old this year, and has come a remarkably long way since it began. This is also to remind us, lest we forget, that we are live on telly.
Matthew Healy comes onstage with the kind of swagger that made Mick Jagger a household name, but he carries it well. Wearing full black tie, he and the band launch into Love Me, a Prince-infused track from their first album, and soon the crowd are jumping, the guitar lines are bobbing and the synths are cutting through the indie-ness to generate that booming party sound that has earned the band millions of fans and sold them millions of records.
When the band get in full swing they are an unstoppable unit, going seamlessly from song to song assuming the audience will know every one. Chocolate inevitably gets the loudest throw-your-beer-in-the-air cheer, with its bounciness still as infectious as the day it was released. The ballads, of which there are several, are tender and sincere in equal part, and some of the best moments are when Healy steps back from himself and opens up. But it is The Sound, the runaway success single from their new album, that demonstrates how the band have grown sonically. Part northern soul record, part Ibiza club tune, this will be the sound that catapults the 1975 on to potentially even greater things.
When Healy declares that “these things are sometimes quite stuffy, but I like the vibe in here”, he is right. A music festival curated by Apple, a company that has thrived on being unashamedly corporate, could have been a complete tragedy. It might have been the kind of shtick NME pulled when they tried to rage about Brexit and ended up looking like a dad who had squeezed himself back into the jeans he wore as a punk thirty years ago. But Apple are smarter, and so are the 1975: they know their audience are there just to live it up, so they let them, with sparkling results.
Photos: Apple Music Festival 10, London 2016
For further information about the 1975 and future events visit here.
Apple Music Festival 2016 is on at the Roundhouse until 30th September 2016, for further information visit here.