The 1975, Electric Picnic, Main Stage
The conceit that Electric Picnic is a middle-aged, middle class person’s idea of a music festival was knocked on the head as millennial pin-ups The 1975 blazed through their main stage Friday night set.
Led by the charismatic / irritating Matt Healy (delete according to your tolerance of old-school preening frontmen) the Manchester quartet walked a delicate line between fists-in-the air populism and mercurial experimentation.
She’s American and Loving Someone were slices of high-concept cheese, elevated by Healy’s Simon Le Bon-on-a-budget prancing and posturing.
Yet the band know how to challenge their Generation Snapchat audience too, as illustrated by a twinkling, quicksilver Girls and the droning An Encounter.
Adding to the occasion was an impressive visual display that used minimalist lighting to make the stage resemble a discotheque from the year 3000.
What’s most remarkable about The 1975 is that they have ascended to arena headliners without anyone over the age of 30 having heard of them.
So it went at Electric Picnic where those old enough to have first hand knowledge of dial-up internet access made themselves scarce, surrendering the main stage to the young folk.
The few ancients that tarried may have been glad they stuck around – the 1975’s mix of Duran Duran and early 2000s buzz-bands such as The Strokes may not have been especially originally but this was a performance distinguished by verve and real passion.