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Pitt baseball players stand in the dugout during a game against Virginia Tech on March 24 at the Petersen Sports Complex.
Pitt baseball shows promise in weekend series in Texas
By Dylan Grace, Staff Writer • 12:32 am

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Pitt baseball players stand in the dugout during a game against Virginia Tech on March 24 at the Petersen Sports Complex.
Pitt baseball shows promise in weekend series in Texas
By Dylan Grace, Staff Writer • 12:32 am

Review | The 1975’s eccentric and stunning ‘Still… At Their Very Best’ tour visits Pittsburgh

The+1975+perform+at+PPG+Paints+Arena+on+Nov.+5.
Image via Kate Miller
The 1975 perform at PPG Paints Arena on Nov. 5.

Matty Healy is an interesting person, to say the least. Even ignoring his controversial past, his performance at The 1975’s “Still… At Their Very Best” tour concert at PPG Paints Arena on Nov. 5 was bizarre. Healy serenaded a naked, life-sized model of himself and projected Subway Surfers onto the screen, a cheeky reference to a TikTok method of capturing viewer’s attention, while singing “Be My Mistake” from the 2018 album “A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships.” 

In the past, Healy has made questionable performance choices, like kissing fans — most recently in 2022 but dating back to 2014 — and eating raw meat onstage at Madison Square Garden. I’ll give him credit –– he knows how to get a reaction out of people.

Even without Healy’s antics, the concert was incredible because the music is incredible. The 1975’s discography is a moody pop-rock blend with hard-hitting lyrics addressing relationships or social justice issues. Their most recent album, “Being Funny in a Foreign Language,” was the band’s fifth consecutive Billboard UK chart topper.

“Being Funny in a Foreign Language” is The 1975’s fifth studio album and was released in October 2022. The band commenced the North American leg of their “Still… At Their Very Best” tour in September 2023. Formed in 2002, the British group consists of lead singer Matty Healy, bassist Ross MacDonald, guitarist Adam Hann and drummer George Daniel. They gained mainstream popularity in 2013 when their song “Chocolate” reached number 10 on the UK Singles Chart and amassed a fan base spanning generations.

Each album begins with a self-titled track named “The 1975.” The band opened their Pittsburgh concert with “The 1975” from “Being Funny in a Foreign Language,” a song addressing postmodernism, a common theme in The 1975’s works, and Matty Healy’s own prominent role in it. Healy sympathizes with the younger generation, insisting “I’m sorry if you’re living and you’re 17,” and calls out flaws in current society, especially the influence of social media and the overwhelmingly negative mental state of Gen Z –– “You’re making an aesthetic out of not doing well and/ mining all the bits of you you think you can sell.” Healy even apologizes for his own questionable actions in his 20s, explaining that he, too, was learning how to exist in the postmodern age. 

Healy immediately doubled down on the social commentary by following “The 1975” with “Looking for Somebody (to Love),” the third song on “Being Funny in a Foreign Language” with a deceptively upbeat track with lyrics about a school shooting. The dichotomy between the music and lyrics seems to play into the reality versus perception of shootings –– they’re tragedies that are so frequent they’ve become seemingly trivial as people become desensitized. 

A concert goer holds up a 1975 T-shirt during the band’s concert at PPG Paints Arena on Nov. 5. (Image via Kate Miller)

As Healy sang, he stumbled around the stage in typical Matty Healy fashion, drinking out of a flask and smoking cigarettes. The set was beautiful –– a warm, multi-level, open-air house that made the giant arena feel cozy. Glowing above it all was a neon sign boasting “Still… at their very best.” My roommate and I agreed, though –– we were a bit disappointed. Healy seemed tired. Instead of his typical suit, he wore a gray sweater vest. He opted out of singing historically difficult lines of songs, instead letting the crowd sing it for him. The quirks that we’d seen in videos of past concerts were absent. 

This isn’t to say that the concert wasn’t worthwhile –– we got our fair share of eccentricity. We watched Healy get a bit too comfortable with the naked replica of himself, jokingly touching the model’s genitals before laying down with it, face-to-face. And while my roommate and I’s pleas for “She’s American” were ignored (we were in section 103 –– he never would have heard us), I was satisfied with the set list. Playing emotional songs “About You” and “Robbers” back-to-back may have left me in shambles, but the band made up for it with a succession of energetic favorites, including “If You’re Too Shy (Let Me Know),” “It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You)” and “Give Yourself a Try.”

My favorite part of the concert? During “The Sound,” Healy asked the entire stadium of nearly 15,000 strangers to jump together, and we did. It was incredible –– freeing, fun and unifying. It felt like I knew everyone there, all because we shared a love for one band’s music.

The 1975 closed the concert with “People,” a song with more screaming than lyrics, imploring the listener to “wake up” from the hold of social media. As he said in a Genius interview, “[Social media is] trying to pretend the world isn’t chaos, which it is, and then creating an algorithm that keeps us logged in. It’s not a good idea. We’re starting to reapproach the idea that it is about unity, and it is about the extension of a community.”

By the end of the concert, I was out of breath from scream-singing and jumping for two hours, exhausted by the thought of class the next morning, but I couldn’t shake the smile from my face. The 1975 concert lived up to its promise –– they’re still at their very best.

About the Contributor
Trinity Foster, Senior Staff Writer