English band The 1975 made a stop at the San Jose Event Center at San Jose State University last Tuesday as part of their 30-show tour across the US, Canada and Mexico. The show was bright, meandering, playful and had some of the best lighting displays I’ve seen since Laurie Anderson came to Berkeley in 2012.
Every time I agree to cover a show in San Jose I swear I’ll never again sit in 90+ minutes of traffic at rush hour. But then … another great one pops up and I find myself bathing in brake lights. Working through the strange maze of SJSU’s parking garage, I met others who have traveled even further to this show – Oakland, Walnut Creek, San Ramon. Some had been camped out in front of the venue since noon in hopes of the best possible general admission position. In all around 5,000 of us packed the center.
The band came out strong with their eponymous track and lead singer Matthew Healy looking like an emo prince: hiding behind layers of too-big clothes, sleeves hanging far below his hands, curly hair flopping as he bounced around, red plaid pants. The large stage spread the band out, but the lights brought them together. Three risers, four columns, and a huge LED screen across the back – at times all working together to create the visual impression of a single flat screen on which the band was displayed in cinematic silhouette. Read More