The 1975 in Manila: A Theatrical Performance of an Intimate Moment

Written by Ava Sumortin

Just a week after The 1975 released their latest album, “Being Funny in a Foreign Language,” in October 2022, it was announced that the English pop rock band would came back to the Philippines for the fifth time for the Manila leg of their “At Their Very Best” tour. The first time they performed in the country was in 2014, and they also held their solo concert at the Mall of Asia Arena in 2015 and in 2019. This time, Matty Healy, Adam Hann, Ross MacDonald, and George Daniel met their Filipino fans for a two-night show on May 3 and 4 at the same arena.

Wallice warmed up the crowd as she started her set with “90s American Superstar.” The American singer-songwriter also performed a couple of unreleased songs, “Disappear” and “Loser at Best,” as well as “Punching Bag,” “Best Friend,” “Funeral,” and “23.”

The first day of The 1975 show began when the screen lit up with “Atpoim” written on it. “Atpoim” or “A theatrical performance of an intimate moment” is also the name of their new video series. The band members arrived in an unexpected but at the same time in a The 1975 way: riding motorized toy animals.

Their set started with the upbeat “Looking for Somebody (to Love),” making the crowd sing along and dance. One thing about this latest tour was that it was a surprise what the band would perform. Sure, they had their planned setlists, but they would change it during each performance. It just shows that The 1975 has a remarkable discography. New songs or old, the fans would want to hear everything.

Their set continued with “Happiness,” “UGH!,” “Oh Caroline,” “Me & You Together Song,” and “If You’re Too Shy (Let Me Know).”
Aside from performing songs such as “I’m in Love with You” and “About You,” which are from their fifth and latest album, they also sang “fallingforyou,” “Robbers,” “Somebody Else,” and “It’s Not Living (If It’s Not with You.”

During a break between songs, Matty told the crowd while looking at the arena, “I remember this from the first album. This was the first place you guys filled out.”

“We are very happy to be here. It is always a great experience coming to Manila because we are kind of about ten times bigger than we should be.”
Matty said they would perform more of their old songs as they continued with “Pressure” and “Paris.”

He told the crowd to put their phones down before they performed “Me.” “Just have one moment where it’s just us. And I promise it will have more value than the constant phone thing,” he said.
The last part of the first day’s set was more of the crowd favorites: “Love It If We Made It,” “I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes),” “The Sound,” “Sex,” and “Give Yourself a Try.”

On a personal note, I have seen the band four times so far, and I can say that they’re one of the best artists to see in concert. You go into the venue as a fan and come out with PCD that hits hard. Maybe it’s the songs, the “theatrical performance” (as “Atpoim” says), or the crowd interaction. Maybe they just keep getting better and better with every album and tour. Or maybe it’s something that I cannot exactly pinpoint, and you just have to see The 1975 perform and decide for yourself.

The 1975 At Their Very Best Live in Manila is presented by Pulp Live World.

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