The 1975 delivers romance, heartbreak, showmanship in Manila tour

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 5) — From performing at a series of Manila mall shows in 2014 to selling out a huge indoor arena in 2023, English pop rock band The 1975 has built a solid Filipino fanbase with its idiosyncratic sound.

Back in the Philippines for the fifth time, the group packed romance, heartbreak, and a load of showmanship in the two-night Manila leg of its “At Their Very Best” world tour on May 3 and 4 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Rising bedroom pop artist Wallice opened the show with some of her original songs like “23,” “Disappear,” “Hey Michael,” and “Best Friend.”

Signaling the beginning of The 1975’s day 1 act, the lights dimmed, the audience screamed, and the word “Atpoaim” in script popped up on the screen. This is an acronym for “A theatrical performance of an intimate moment,” the title of the series of short videos the band has been posting on social media.

The screen then showed a hallway with frontman Matty Healy, guitarist Adam Hann, drummer George Daniel and bassist Ross MacDonald riding motorized plush animals in an iconic stage entrance to Elvis Presley’s “Love Me Tender.”

Healy welcomed the audience with a flask and a cigarette in one hand while the crowd roared even louder.

The UK-based quartet, expanded to an eight-piece, ignited the arena’s stage with “Looking For Somebody (To Love),” a song from their fifth studio album “Being Funny In A Foreign Language” released in October 2022.

They also performed the hits “Happiness,” “Oh Caroline” and “I’m In Love With You,” as well as crowd-pleasers from other albums like “Love It If We Made It,” “It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You),” “Robbers,” “Sex,” and “The Sound” that concertgoers sang along with.

Aside from their fiery sets, the band also played magnetic tracks like “fallingforyou,” “Somebody Else,” “About You,” and “Paris.”

In an intimate moment with the audience before performing the mellow track “Me” with another drink and cigarette in his hands, Healy told the crowd to put down their phones and enjoy the music.

“We’re conditioned to validate our experiences. The truth is, we don’t really like doing it. It makes us feel a bit silly, so just put your phones down… Just have one moment where it’s just us, and trust me, it’ll have more value than the constant phone thing,” he said.

The setlist for day 2 was slightly different, with the band even accepting a fan request of “The City.”

The band wrapped up day 1 with flashing lights and the song “Give Yourself A Try” from its third studio album “A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships.”

“I always make it a point to always watch them when they come here, and it’s already my fifth time seeing them. I love when Matty said na (that) Manila makes them feel bigger than how they see themselves,” a fan said after the sold-out first day.

Healy told Manila fans, “We are very happy to be here. It’s always a great experience coming to Manila, because we are kind of about 10 times bigger than we should be.”