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Music for millennials: The 1975 a voice for youth

Nov 1 • Arts & Leisure • 433

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By OLIVIA BURGER
a&l editor

The ways in which a generation of young people communicate and gather have changed from decade to decade.
The popular scene that once was diners and drive-ins has now been replaced with “Netflix and chill” and Twitter scrolling on a Saturday night.
Regardless of the time period, however, one factor is a constant connection in every era: music.
Live music is an event that has yet to go out of style and the bands that young people are frolicking to give a representation of just what it means to be a millennial.
The 1975 is just one band of many that has tapped into the power of being the voice of today’s youth.
Based in Manchester, England, The 1975 is an alternative pop-rock band that has recently gained a large following of young people in America and across the world.
The band consists of lead vocalist and guitarist Matty Healy, bassist Ross MacDonald, drummer George Daniel and guitarist Adam Hann. The band currently has two full albums released under its label, Dirty Hit Records.
The band recently made a number of close stops as part of its most recent North American tour for its sophomore album, “I Like It When You Sleep for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It.”
A number of Gannon University students flocked to the local shows at Kent State University and Pittsburgh’s Stage AE over the weekend and on Monday, with some even stopping at both.
Sophomore mortuary science major Brooke Battin is one fan that plans to see the band four times in the span of a week.
“Yeah, seeing the band four times is a lot of money and a lot of time but for me it’s worth it,” she said. “The music just has such an emotional impact on me and so many other people. They make me feel alive and comfortable.”
Freshman English major Nicole Borro has seen the band twice now and said she plans to see them again next tour.
“The concerts are such an experience and their light show is amazing,” she said. “For me it’s more about the entire performance rather than just the music, and that’s what keeps me coming to their shows.”
Hundreds of Kent State students and other dedicated fans filled up Kent State’s MAC Center Sunday night for what some students considered to be their most successful show yet.
Pittsburgh’s Stage AE, a 2,400-capacity venue, held two separate sold-out shows on Monday and Tuesday night.
With such a dedicated young fan base and a slew of sold-out shows, an outsider who is unfamiliar with the band may ask, “What makes this band so special?”
Perhaps one reason for The 1975’s success with a younger generation is their lack of specificity.
Sophomore communications major Lauren Sovisky is just one of many students who gravitate toward the band’s diversity.
“They aren’t really a set genre, which I like,” she said. “To put it plainly, they are different.”
It’s hard to put a label on a band that covers such a wide range of genres depending on what song is being played.
As seen at their recent live shows, The 1975 easily transition from a song as hard and edgy as “Sex” to a soft love ballad like “Medicine” with fans equally eager to hear both songs.
A diverse set list filled with songs that cross between pure-pop, rock, electronic, instrumental and even gospel, speaks volumes about the audience that The 1975 are attracting.
“It’s not common or normal for a band to hit so many different styles and genres on a 17-track album,” Battin said. “So many people relate to their different styles and that’s what makes them so amazing.”
It’s no secret that The 1975 has tapped into something special and the band itself knows it.
In the past, the band has been criticized for its over-the-top attitude and presence.
Many fans are aware of their obnoxious nature, yet still continue to support them. Senior English major Sara Borro is one of these fans.
“They (The 1975) are extremely pretentious and actually aren’t that nice or outwardly appreciative of their fans but for some reason it works,” she said.
“They may be a bunch of stuck- up British snobs, but they can put on an absolutely breathtaking live show and that’s what really matters.”
Having such a dramatic flair and recognizable logo makes The 1975 a band that is simply “cool” to like, thus why so many young people are drawn to not just the music, but the brand itself.
Despite its growing fan base, however, the band has stayed true to its origins.
“Now that more people know who they are I love how they haven’t changed their style,” said former Gannon student Javi Ruisanchez.
“They stay true to themselves and where they came from. I just love the English rock vibe they bring.”
As a band that avoids a basic genre and emits a standoffish persona, The 1975 successfully draw in mass numbers of young listeners while still staying relevant to the brand it’s created.
A famous tagline said by Healy in a number of interviews is that The 1975 “create in the way that we consume.”
In other words, The 1975 makes music that directly reflects the purity and ideology of the millennial mindset.
With songs simply about marijuana and sex, to complex ballads of dying relationships and questions of God and being, they cover every imaginable topic that concerns the modern young adult, making the music itself relatable.
Their diverse genres speak for a diverse generation, and their ability to maintain a large, steady fan base with an outrageous character shows just how far this generation is willing to go with diehard support for something that means a lot to them.
While cigarette lighters have turned to cell phones, and telling stories about concerts has been replaced with FaceTimeing the actual event, the ability of live music to gather people remains the same.
The 1975 succeed in bringing a generation together through music and as long as they continued to be an anthem for the youth, we will continue to listen.
OLIVIA BURGER
burger028@knights.gannon.edu

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