The 1975 were on the verge of embarking on a North American tour early in 2020 when the pandemic hit, and they wound up up cancelling their 2021 touring as well. They've finally returned to the stage in North America on their At Their Very Best tour, which has a lot of ground to cover, with two new albums -- 2020's Notes on a Conditional Form and this year's Being Funny in a Foreign Language -- having come out in the interim. They pulled it off with aplomb, delivering a two part, nearly two-hour set that was both high-concept and entertaining, with a setlist that hit on lots of fan favorites. The stage was an elaborate multi-floor house, with everything from doors, windows, lights that turned on and off, spiral stairs, and TVs, right down to bookshelves with books in them. It gave the arena a cozy, intimate feeling, especially as Matty Healy opened the show smoking at a piano on the ground floor, looking for all the world like a stereotypical writer at a typewriter. It also felt a little like a '70s sitcom, with band members moving from room to room and Matty flopping in chairs and on the sofa.
The first part of the show was made of largely of the Being Funny in a Foreign Language material, with "Oh Caroline" and "I'm in Love With You" really getting the crowd dancing all the way to the back. Towards the end, darkness fell on the house, finding Matty up on the roof for "I Like America & America Likes Me." That was followed by the tender "About You" and "When We Are Together" -- and then the performance art aspect of the show really kicked up a notch. Stagehands in white coats came out to move the TVs, leaving them clustered in a menacing hive on the ground floor, emitting static and sinister noises. Matty later told the crowd, "I'm sorry if you came with your dad and I was touching my dick," but his next actions -- chowing down on some raw meat on a stick, shirtless -- were really what got people talking. After that, he did some push-ups, and crawled into the TV, which then fizzled off.