There's a quote by Alex Turner that reads "There is always that one band that comes along when you are 14 or 15 years old that manages to hit you in just the right way and changes your whole perception of things." That band for me, and for a whole generation of kids like me, was The 1975. All photos by Rob Gallardo (website / Instagram)
I was thirteen years old when I first saw The 1975 live- it was an introduction to the concert and alternative music scene for me. Now, as a nineteen year old, it is insane to think how much this one band and the culture that they created have such an everlasting impact on who I am and where I am in life.
Even if the distance between The 1975 and myself has grown over the years, the feeling of listening to their self titled album and first EPs will forever transport me back to a time when it felt like all I had was them. Their discography from 2012 & 2013 reminds me of being too young to drive, being too young to do anything, feeling too young to be your own person. Songs like ‘You’ and ‘Sex’ and ‘Pressure’ are what I consider “forever songs”. These tracks hold such vivid memories and feelings for me- emotions that are buried so deep in my brain, they are essentially impossible to reach otherwise. This record laid a foundation in my musical catalog, and shifted my entire mindset in terms of music and its power. I had never felt that type of passion, something like that quickly owning such a heavy presence in my mind. Everything they released felt so special and so....important. I wanted to swim in it, I wanted to live in it. And I did.
The 1975 has grown to a worldwide sensation- a band receiving wide
recognition, numerous awards, and millions of listeners across the globe. Widespread tours and festivals, all supported by one of the most dedicated fanbases out there. I know kids, including myself a few years ago, who spend the vast majority of their time, money, and energy towards this band. All I wanted was to experience their music live, night after night. Balancing jobs and education and all of life’s other responsibilities, they are using what little free time they do have and using it travelling by car, plane, bus, train, or any other vehicle necessary to go to what shows they can. Meeting random strangers at shows in far away cities that you may never see again, but sometimes meeting strangers that will become your best friends for the years to come. Sleeping on sidewalks, in airports, or not sleeping at all. Eating fast food and gas station snacks, completing school assignments online in a Starbucks because that’s the only time they’ll have wifi. Taking showers at truck stops (if you’re lucky), and a sleeping bag becomes your most prized possession. If anyone reading this has gone on tour, you can relate to when I say that the memories made when travelling for a band, even in the sometimes absolutely less than favorable conditions, are the brightest and most sincere glimpses of your youth.
The feeling of your calves on fire from standing and jumping for hours on end at these shows is the utter definition of bittersweet. Waking up the following morning to find out you've lost your voice, and you have bruises all down your forearms and knees. Even as The 1975 evolves and continues to release more music, there will always be a comfort in these shows, no matter how much time passes.
My relationship with The 1975 transcends beyond me listening to them staring at the ceiling in my bedroom when I was going through scary times as a teenager. They gave me friendship, they gave me hope, they gave me love, they gave me comfort. Whether they meant to or not, they did.
I think my favorite thing about The 1975 is they are the perfect example of the power of both the artist and the listener- it's a two way street. They wouldn't be where they are without us, and they know that. The 1975, in all their glory, is just a band of guys from a town south of Manchester, writing and playing songs for those who want to listen.
All photos by Rob Gallardo (website / Instagram)