The 1975 brings raw performance art to Madison Square Garden


Begoña from Errenteria, España

The 1975’s two previous tours in the United States were cancelled, “At Their Very Best” is their first tour in years.

Alisha Katel, Multimedia Editor

After a long two-month tour, The 1975 released their concert “At Their Very Best” live from Madison Square Gardens on Amazon Prime–and they just keep getting better.

Lyricist Matty Healy plays the role of an artist who struggles with alcohol addiction—so much so that it destroys him. The show is split into two different acts; the first half consists of songs from their latest album Being Funny In a Foreign Language, and the second has many of their former ones.

“Happiness” is about a girl that seems to be irresistible. Healy delves into his inner “broken artist” character, pretending to be drunk and in love on stage. 

Most of the songs feature some variation of saxophone via sideman John Waugh, but his solos on this song are truly unforgettable, hitting those altissimo notes beautifully.

The call-and-response lighting cues give a sense of personality to Healy’s lyrics like he’s having a conversation with someone else. 

“Oh Caroline” is about the singer’s dependency on a girl named Caroline who is always on his mind. He feels as if he cannot live without her. The lighting shifts to a pink hue, expressing his infatuation. 

At this point, the show experiences a change of atmosphere—the lights drop low. “I Like America and America Likes Me” features a synth-like auto-tuned voice, where Healy sings about his stances on gun violence. The song is raw with emotion as the audience goes quiet. 

At this point in the show, a drunk Healy stumbles through his words. This part features the iconic “About You”, one of the most popular songs on the album. Polly Moneys’ voice further enriches the entire experience, singing about how they both miss each other. 

After the band exits, Healy’s character starts to overthink, with the many televisions in the background playing clips of today’s issues: politics, war, and riots. He takes a sip of his flask, kneels, and spontaneously eats a fully raw steak in front of the audience. 

There isn’t a clear-cut explanation, but many believe this is a comment on consumerism. Healy does countless push-ups in front of the televisions filled with Ben Shapiro, Logan Paul, and presidential leaders, which he then proceeds to crawl into.

“Robbers” serves as a prelude to “About You.” Healy’s voice is rough, and his character is drunk. 

“But if you’d just take off your mask,” Healy sings, “You’d find out everything’s gone wrong.” The song is about a toxic relationship neither of them gets out of. 

The band finally closes with their much-loved “Give Yourself a Try”, a positive change from the heavy songs they played before. 

Even watching the show at home, the audience can see the sheer amount of thought put into the set, songs, and lighting. The 1975’s “At Their Very Best” isn’t just a concert– it’s an experience.