A 2022 Tumblr Fever Dream: The 1975 at Moda Center
New fans, Tumblr fans, and Matty Healy fans alike, from Washington, California, Utah, Oregon and everywhere in between, came together on December 1st, shivering in the cold for The 1975’s Portland stop on their At Their Very Best tour. Words and photos by Paige Fulkerson.
Though Portland may have been surprised with 30 degree weather and threats of snowfall, that didn’t stop any of The 1975’s die hard fans from making the most of their Portland return.
The excitement began on November 30th, a full 24 hours before the show, when fans began to line up around 8:00. At around midnight, the line hit about 20 individuals, and by 9:30 the morning of the show, the line was already at 87.
That morning, Tim, The 1975’s crowd manager, came out to reward the first 100 fans in line with wristbands that permitted them to leave and arrive back at the venue at 5:00, an hour before doors were set to open.
With eight hours to spare, fans returned to their homes and hotels to get ready, changing into their most Tumblr inspired outfits, complete with black nail polish, Doc Martens, lacey shirts and black tights. Those that weren’t getting ready were sleuthing Twitter for the location of the band’s hotel.
At 4:00, about 15 fans waited out in the cold at the Hyatt Regency hoping for a chance to meet the band. Some had only been there for a couple hours, but one fan, lips blue, had been waiting outside the tour bus since 9:00 that morning. Although fans waited with bated breath, they were only afforded a small glimpse of lead singer Matty Healy as he entered the tour bus and headed to the Moda Center for the show.
Back at the Moda Center, the stage was set for the band’s arrival. The entire stage was adorned with the makings of a house. Walls, windows, lamps, couches, book shelves, ashtrays, TVs, doors and cabinets were all present, and a roof and classic city lamp post brought it all together.
Coming on stage at 9:30, The 1975 began their two hour set with the opening eponymous track from their latest album, Being Funny In a Foreign Language. Healy wore a yellow satin shirt and a leather jacket, sitting at the piano while smoking a cigarette and drinking from a flask.
For the first half of the show, the mood and lighting was warmer in tones and colors as the band played through songs off their latest record. But for the second half of the show, the tones got colder, as the band changed into their classic black suits to kick off a run of classic songs off their early albums.
Crew members cleared chairs, coffee tables and lamps off the stage, and cool blue tones bounced off the white walls of their simplified set as their classic rectangle logo shone out in white LEDs in the middle of the stage.
Throughout the show, Matty Healy made sure the crowd got their money’s worth with his onstage antics, doing push ups, smoking a pack of cigarettes, drinking from his flask, spitting on the stage and touching himself in a suggestive manner. Though some may find his behavior unprofessional, this is simply all part of Healy’s adored performance.
On “I Like America & America Likes Me”, Healy took to the roof of the band’s set and stood on the edge, pretending to lose his balance and proceeding to lay down on the edge of the platform as he sang: “Will this help me lay down? I’m scared of dying, it’s fine.”
Ending their set with “Give Yourself a Try”, Healy took a bow to the crowd before climbing the light post and turning the power off on their set. Smoke rose as the Moda Center lights came on, and fans retreated to merch stands, back to the band’s hotel in hopes of meeting them again, while others hit the road to Seattle where they would do it all again at the WaMu Theater on December 2nd.
My name is Paige Fulkerson and I am a 35mm concert photographer and writer for Indie/Alt Magazine! At Indie/Alt I get to express my unconditional love for live music and photography while learning and growing as I go, with the help of Bren and my peer photographers. Outside of Indie/Alt Mag, I am a Photojournalism major and Art minor at the University of Oregon and shoot 35mm lifestyle photography! 🎞️