North London alt-rockers Wolf Alice were the first on the bill to kick off the night in Cardiff. Those who turned up early to the show were treated to the impressive mellow vocals of front woman Ellie Rowsell, which were coupled with chilled out melodies from the instruments that sounded somewhat magical.
Their set initially started off on a slower note, but picked up several songs in. It definitely seemed as though the set had been very carefully planned in regards to the order of the songs in relation to the their tempo, allowing the crowd to warm up to them. Wolf Alice put on a very impressive set that captivated the audience with their folk-infused melodies that grabbed the crowd’s full attention.
California based The Neighbourhood came on stage shortly after. Their set was initiated by an impressive light show, accompanied by dramatic electronic music that welcomed the band to stage. The stunning lighting continued throughout the set, perfectly executed to reflect the energy and intensity of the instruments and the vocals on stage. There was not a single moment in which frontman Jesse Rutherford did not actively engage with the crowd to get them off their feet. From start to end, The Neighbourhood put on a solid show that was visually and musically energetic.
After The Neighbourhood’s set, the crowd quickly began to edge closer to the stage in anticipation for The 1975. Finally, the band’s trademark rectangular fluorescent logos lit up the stage and out came the band, opening with ‘The City’ and sending the fans of all ages into a frenzy, with everyone dancing along. The transitions between songs were particularly remarkable, with most facilitated through superbly smooth synth music that flowed flawlessly into the intros of the following songs. Although rumoured by some members of the crowd that front man Matthew Healy was feeling a bit under the weather, he was able to pull through and sing with absolute perfection, mesmerizing the crowd with his faultless vocals.
The second half of the set was more downbeat, but the change in tempo most certainly did not stop the crowd from singing along, recording video clips and sending Snapchat videos of the slower performances to their friends at home who missed out on the opportunity to be at the sold out show. The set picked up again quite quickly with their performance of ‘Girls’ – one of their more recent singles.
Several songs later, the band briefly departed the stage and the crowd immediately, erupted into chants for an encore. This however, was unlike any other chant for an encore at any gig. Initially the crowd chanted the standard “we want more”, but this quickly evolved into a humourous chant for the band’s successful single ‘Sex’ that the band returned to the stage and played, followed shortly after with another crowd favourite, ‘Chocolate’.
The 1975 sounded incredibly professional on stage, it was surprising how similar their live show sounded to their recorded work. The rawness of Healy’s voice and the instruments were definitely very accurately reflected in their live performance, leaving the audience blown away by their immense talent at the end of the night.
Photos by Bethan Miller.