The 1975 at the Greek Theater in Berkeley, California April 22, 2016 Review

The 1975
The 1975

First of all, what a well-designed show. Starting promptly at 7:30, openers  The Japanese House and Wolf Alice, who evoked a similar feeling but carved their own names in stone, captivating even the saltiest show veteran. Dazzling lights from all angles – yet, for the most part, using delicious, design-based ways of displaying light instead of the usual blaring strobe-lights that are all fluff and no real guts. Each of the opening bands sticking to exactly 30 minutes. The 1975 playing for an hour and a half. Outfits on point, beautiful venue, ending by 10:45 (why do so many bands — or show-goers, do any actually prefer this? — want to play until 1:30am?) … they got the details down.

The performances by all bands surpassed expectations. They had their shit together. It was the perfect combo between “concert” and “show.”

The 1975 projected the 80’s better than the actual 80’s. Singer Matty Healy strutted around the stage like a goth peacock, and it was fantastic. Both Adam Hann and Ross MacDonald played keyboard while also holding down guitar and bass respectively. They truly go above and beyond even the typical great guitarist or bassist with the sounds they contribute to the band; lush elements of audio color. George Daniel sat like a king banging out beats on his drum throne. Though they played many slower songs, it was worth it since they played for so long and still pulled out classics like “Heart Out.”

Powerhouse Pop Performance

It really is phenomenal how many catchy songs this band has written with their first two albums alone, and they delivered the feelings live. A big progression from even just a few years ago when they played the Fillmore in San Francisco. Despite not always knowing how to handle drugs or romance, The 1975 take their band seriously and it shows.

New York Dolls Self-Titled Album Review

New York Dolls Self-Titled Album
New York Dolls Self-Titled Album Cover

If you didn’t know about the Dolls’ place in history, style, and connection to punk, their self-titled debut could easily come across as classic rock ‘n roll. Which it is. All of the best punk bands have always been rooted in melody, however muddied and rolled through glass, and the New York Dolls were a perfect precursor to that – painting a rebellious sheen over a jagged box of rhythm.

It’s easy to listen to one of the less memorable songs on this album and think “Yeah, that’s pretty good” (as opposed to great). But when you think about the fact that this album came out years before The Clash, The Sex Pistols, The Ramones… so many of the key players in what would become “1977 punk” were at Dolls’ shows, and influenced to start said bands because of them. In that light, this album becomes even more impressive. Similar to an album like Raw Power for it’s place in historyit gets even better when you appreciate how groundbreaking it was.

Listen to it on Spotify here.