Beats 1 is making its way into live music in a very picturesque way. For their first live event, the station brought British rockers The 1975 and about 150 fans onto a downtown L.A. rooftop yesterday (Feb. 22) at dusk to film an intimate show to premiere on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 show this Thursday.
Even the band was impressed with playing on the roof of the Pacific Stock Exchange with the downtown skyline as their backdrop. Four songs into their hour-long, ten-song set, frontman Matthew Healy commented, “This is the coolest place we’ve ever played a show.”
The group is releasing its new album, I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It, this Friday. And their set was very new album heavy, playing six tracks from the new collection, including one song, the mid-tempo synth laden “Paris,” for the first time. Obviously excited about sharing the new music, Healy said early on. “We just made a new record and we want you guys to hear it as much as possible.”
Taking the stage on a deck crafted for the event, they opened with the dance-y new track, “Love Me,” a full on pop jam. Inspired too by the intimacy of the event, which had the fans eye level with the band, midway through the song Healy went rock star, yelling, “How you feeling, L.A.?” Immediately after he commented, “Thank you, this is so much fun.”
Indeed it was, thanks in large part to the band, who continually interacted with fans. Following “Heart Out,” Healy joked with the mostly black-clad crowd, “Thanks for coming you bunch of goths, you look lovely.” They then went into a block of new songs, starting with the ballad “A Change Of Heart,” a track that would’ve fit perfectly in any John Hughes teen flick.
Clearly the band has been revisiting their ’80s record collection, even throwing some horns into “She’s American” to make the throwback vibe authentic. The highlight of the new material was the new single “The Sound,” a pop gem that has the potential to be massive on alternative in the same vein as Walk The Moon’s “Shut Up And Dance.”
Healy got in one more reference to the setting, saying, “We’re on a rooftop, gotta nail this one,” as the whole band kicked in to overdrive to bring the song to its forceful climax. Following “Girls” the band left the deck before returning, though not for an encore. This was a taping, so they came back out to redo three of the tracks they “fucked up,” in Healy’s words.
The show, which premieres Thursday at 9 p.m. PT on Beats 1, also includes an interview with the band by host Lowe.