The 1975 triumph at The Paramount Huntington, NY 12-9-14

The 1975 triumph at The Paramount Huntington, NY 12-9-14

Manchester, UK Alternative Rock band The 1975 recently wrapped up the North American leg of their world tour. Marking their second stint stateside in 2014, the dynamic group treated metro-area New Yorkers to three shows, and on Tuesday December 9th they came to beautiful The Paramount in Huntington village. Touring to support their 2013 album self-titled debut, their rise to fame took place prior to the release, with UK media buzzing after the band first hit airwaves in 2012. With four EPs released between 2012 and 2013, the band was already playing major music festivals including the Leeds and Reading Festivals, SXSW, and opening for big-name acts like Muse and even The Rolling Stones. Their full album release brought them international recognition and the band have been on the road building the excitement ever since. Outside The Paramount, where the band played with opening acts Young Rising Sons and Cruisr, hundreds of fans braved pouring rain to line up so they could secure spots close to the stage once the doors opened, and in spite of the weather, the energy was thick and spirits were high.

On the cusp of releasing their debut feature-length album, Alt-Rock four piece Young Rising Sons opened the show. This was the second show of the day for the New Jersey based band who had played an acoustic set at Five Towns College earlier that afternoon. Backed by Dylan Scott, Julian Dimagiba, and Steve Patrick on lead guitar, bass, and drums respectively, frontman/rhythm guitarist Andy Tongren looked thrilled to be at The Paramount, grinning and waving at the audience who were cheering and calling his name. Obviously in a partying mood, Tongren brought out a bottle of Jack Daniel’s midway through the set. The bottle was never opened, however, but it was clear that there was no need for liquid courage anyway, as the band played confidently and skillfully to a receptive crowd. Set highlights included hit single “High” and a cover version of “I Melt With You,” by Modern English. Look out for Young Rising Sons’ debut album in February and co-headlining tour with Hasley as well.

Before the Philadelphia based Indie-Pop band Cruisr had a chance to take the stage, a power outage preceded by a startling bang caused a twenty minute delay between the two opening acts. Under the dim glow of the emergency lights, the audience remained patient while the theater worked to get the power back on. The malfunction did not dampen anyone’s spirits, instead serving to ramp up the anticipation, and when the lights came on and Cruisr finally took the stage, the crowd was positively roaring. Once the solo-project of Andy States, Cruisr became a full-fledged band when the 2012 self-titled EP gained recognition online and on the airwaves. Realizing he would need support for live performances, States, who sings and plays guitar, was joined by Jonathan Van Dine on drums, Kyle Cook on bass, and Bruno Catrambone, also on guitar. Inspired by their hometown, summer, and the art of constructing the perfect pop melody, the band played a lively set including fan favorites “Don’t Go Alone” and “All Over.” Unfortunately, their set was cut short, presumably because of the power outage delay, but Cruisr remained cheerful, extending to fans a warm invitation to head over to the Cruisr merchandise table for a meet and greet.

Up next were the headliners with Adam Hann on guitar, George Daniel on drums, Ross MacDonald on bass, and fronted by Matt Healy on vocals and guitar. With Healy claiming such varied artists as Michael Jackson, My Bloody Valentine, Sigur Ros, and filmmaker John Hughes as inspirations, just to name a few, The 1975’s genre might seem hard to pin down, but with upbeat, synth-laden songs like “Girls” and “Robbers,” Pop is a safe label to apply to the band — as long as one takes into account how varied and complex Pop itself can be.

The band entered the stage to frenzied screams akin to those heard on old footage of Beatles appearances. Healy, glammed out in a white fur coat, bottle of wine in hand, swaggered about the stage in full control of the performance. Accompanied by an impressive light show, The 1975 played a nice long set opening with “The City,” “Milk,” and “M.ON.E.Y.”  Showing immense talent as well as stage presence that of veterans twice their age Healy and company lit up the stage in an extraordinary way.  Holding an atmosphere more often associated with arena shows than those that take place at relatively intimate theaters like The Paramount. This is not to say that The Paramount was an inappropriate setting for the show, but rather that fans who were able to see the band in this small venue should be grateful for the opportunity.  As they continued to keep their fans on their toes, they rocked out virtually every song on the LP, as well as a few older tracks, and concluded the set with “Girls.”  As the fans screamed for more, the band returned overwhelmed by the response with spectacular five song encore.  Keeping the adrenaline flowing through the final notes, hits “Chocolate” and “Sex” wrapped up the night as the cherry on top.

The 1975 is a band on the verge of greatness and it is unlikely that any venue with the word Theater in its name will be able to contain this powerhouse group and its growing legions of fans for very long.  Their performance was balanced, lively, entertaining, and will go down as one of the best events held at The Paramount this year.  With that said, 2014 was a big year for the Brits, but 2015 is bound to be even bigger as they are set to hit Japan, Australia, New Zealand, The Philippines, and China as early as January.

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Meghan Ritter
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