The 1975 electrifies MAC Center during concert

Matthew Healy, lead singer of The 1975, performs in the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center at Kent State University on Oct. 30, 2016.

Benjamin VanHoose

After a long Saturday evening of costumes and partying amongst the crowds in downtown Kent’s Halloween, Kent State students still managed to rally together Sunday night, singing along with The 1975 in the M.A.C. Center.

The band, which originated from England, performed songs from its most recent release — the album with the long-winded title, “I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it” — along with tracks from its 2014 self-titled album.

Julie Spohn, a freshman pre-fashion design / merchandising major, said she enjoyed seeing the band for her second time.

“It was freaking amazing,” Spohn said. “I think they sounded just like they do on the album, and they (performed) with a lot of passion.”

The 1975, known for its alternative pop-rock sound, added Kent State to its fall North American tour schedule. Tomorrow, the group is set to headline in Pittsburgh.

“I’ve seen them live so many times and every time they’re just as good as the first time,” said TJ Wood, a fan from the Medina area. “They care about the music and love to give a great show.”

It was a night full of firsts for the opening act, 070 Shake. The rising New Jersey rapper took to the stage just after 7 p.m., ambling back and forth in a black hoodie and jeans as she performed several songs, including her latest single “Trust Nobody.” This show was part of 070 Shake’s first tour, and her first time in Ohio. 

“I like it here,” she said. “I love LeBron, he’s like my man.”

After 070 Shake left the stage, a near 40-minute gap stood between the headliners. Some crowd members became impatient, a “let’s go” chant catching throughout the floor before quickly fizzling out.

When The 1975 finally graced the stage, the group was received with a deafening cheer to match the loud speakers and spastic lighting.

Bright, elaborate lighting designs and floods of smoke machine fog transformed the M.A.C. Center into a trippy personification of the band’s style.

And not all the smoke came from a machine either. Lead singer Matthew Healy smoked on stage between bouts of singing, and even downed a few shots and sips of wine, straight from the bottle. He also accepted a bouquet of flowers from an audience member — a gift he later threw in the air above the stage.

Healy halted the show midway through their set to urge the millennials in attendance not to skip the polling booths on Election Day.

“I’m a f***ing pop star, I don’t know anything,” Healy said. “But you have to f***ing vote otherwise, you’re an idiot.”

Healy also told the crowd they have the power to block Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump from taking office.

“I liked the speech he gave about how we need to not promote hate, and we need to promote love,” Spohn said.

The band then shot back into the music, oscillating between high octane hits, softer songs and instrumental interludes.

Another moment of pause during the night came when Healy revealed that The 1975 decided against cancelling its Kent State performance to attend an award show. Instead, a cameraman recorded Healy as he accepted the award while crowd surfing.

Walsh Jesuit High School students Casey Malley and Jenna Riedel were among the front row members who held up Healy.

“Touching his butt was a dream,” Riedel said. “I’ll never get over it.”

After landing back on stage, Healy joked that he “felt violated” by his intimate interaction with fans and reassured that music is “about subjectivity and not awards.”

Malley caught one of the band member’s guitar pics — a keepsake that she said made her nine-hour wait in the rain worth it. 

“It bounced off my friend’s shoulder and I grabbed it,” Malley said. “This show was probably the best one I’ve seen.”

The 1975 ended with its radio-ready track “The Sound,” demanding that everyone jump in place for the final moments. 

Organized by the Undergraduate Student Government, the show served as the follow up to September’s co-headlined Kesha, PartyNextDoor concert.

“This show was a lot better than the Kesha concert,” Spohn said. “I like Kesha, but I connect to this music on a deeper level. It makes you feel happy and connected.” 

Benjamin VanHoose is an assigning editor for the Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected]