Live Photos & Review: The 1975 and Swim Deep at Observatory North Park, December 15, 2015

The 1975 at Observatory North Park
Photos by Jade Park

After their more-than-successful showcase at Soma in 2014, The 1975 returned triumphantly to San Diego. The Observatory North Park was filled to capacity by the band’s young, dedicated fanbase. Touring to promote their soon-to-be-released sophomore album, The 1975 brought back old favorites from the first album and exclusive sneak peeks of some of their new songs.

If nothing else, The 1975 are masters of putting on a show, and the crowd was more then ready to be blown away yet again by their soaring, ’80s pop sounds. Absent for much of 2015 courtesy of a social media blackout, The 1975 returned with a bang toward the end of the year, releasing the singles “Love Me” and “Ugh!” and setting a 2016 release date for their second album.

Armed with a handful of newer songs, a plethora of older hits, and some heightened stage production, The 1975 hit San Diego with a tsunami of ’80s new wave and pop-infused love from the stylish, black-clad indie rockers.

Set opener “Love Me” got everyone into the proper groove. Older songs “Heart Out” and “So Far (It’s Alright)” invoked nostalgia for their first album, and the band made sure to keep a balance of the old and new throughout the night. When lead singer Matty Healy insisted everyone put down their phones away for two songs and just listen (a frequent request at the band’s shows), the whole crowd went black as devices were put away and the white glow of screens was extinguished. In the comfortable darkness, Healy began to sing “Me” and “fallingforyou,” the set’s most somber ballads.

The atmosphere soon picked up with newer songs such as “The Sound,” which Matty Healy instructed everyone to get up and jump to. The loud and proud, no-holding-back pop song got everyone dancing and even the parents in the back smiled at the ’80s throwback sound. The encore seemed to come too soon with the three carefully selected songs “Medicine,” “Chocolate,” and “Sex.”

Much of the set was routine, with Matty drinking away at his wine and the rocking out during “You” and “Sex.” However, this tour made the anticipation for their sophomore album, I Like It When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It, only greater. The 1975 will be back on tour in 2016 and for the next two years, and their popularity should only continue to grow.

On support for the tour was British band Swim Deep, their first time touring in the US. Well known by the band’s hardcore UK fanbase, Swim Deep’s psychedelic, mellow tunes easily resonated with the US crowd. Playing a mix of their early hits and songs off their newer album, Mothers, Swim Deep got the crowd bouncing and ready for The 1975. The beautiful, flowing ballad of “She Changes the Weather” and their first massive hit “King City” were definitely the highlights of the set. Swim Deep made a confident splash and we’ll doubt be seeing them again soon, probably touring on their own in the US waters.

The 1975 at Observatory North Park

Swim Deep at Observatory North Park

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