It’s a cold and windy Friday night in Maplewood, Minnesota. The venue parking lot was full and overflowed into other nearby businesses. The entrance to The Myth Nightclub was blocked by thousands of teenage fan girls trying to keep warm. I had ditched my jacket in the car before grabbing a spot in line, and quickly began to regret doing so. Doors opened at 7:00 P.M. and it couldn’t come fast enough.
Seven O’ Clock hit and fans immediately rushed the entrance. Screaming girls jamming themselves though one door as the crowd pushed like a wave to the left, which resulted in teens knocking over the barricades with many falling to the ground. Security quickly controlled the situation and the crowd embarrassingly regained composure.
As each person was granted admission, kids walked in with seemingly permanent smiles on their faces, as if they were lucky to attend the show; As they should be. It was a sold out show.
Within The Walls
The room filled quickly. The supporting acts did their best to warm up the crowd. They sounded basic…certainly nothing groundbreaking. It was clear everyone was waiting for the headliner of the night.
The 1975 was up next. I took my place front and center in the photo pit, ready with my camera. White lights and fog spilled from the stage and onto the faces of eager youngsters. One by one, the band members made their appearance to prepare their instruments. Each musician received a cheer as they walked out, but the largest welcome was reserved for front man, Matthew Healy.
What Parents Need To Know
Three quarters into the show, the band ends one of their songs and the lights go out. Enough time goes by to where it seems as if the band is provoking an encore chant. Right on time, their teenage fans began chanting “WE WANT SEX!” The average show go-er might’ve been confused, however “Sex” is a hit song from their self-titled album released in 2013.
At one point, Healy asks the crowd to put their cell phones away. I enjoyed that he was making an attempt to assess the technology overload of peoples everyday lives. But! Just as he finished asking them to put their phones away, he lights up a cigarette, and the crowd goes wild, once again. There goes a good chunk of money that helpful organizations have spent on anti-smoking advertisements.
I know what you’re thinking, “He’s a rock star, what do you expect?” Superstars like Rolling Stones, The Beatles and The Doors have promoted drugs and alcohol for years. Some might even say the rock star lifestyle is as natural as the music itself.
Lets change the perspective. You are a musician. Not just a musician; a pop star. Thousands watching you each night. You see the age of your fan base. You understand your sole ability of affecting a mass amount of young people in whatever way you wish. My question is, why promote addiction?
Why Target The 1975?
If you’re a parent who stumbled across this article and have no idea who The 1975 are, let me put their popularity into perspective for you.
The 1975 were nominated for two Radio 1 Teen awards, in competition with One Direction and Bastille. Now, think of the impact One Direction has on their young fans. How would you feel if One Direction promoted negative habits to your children? They certainly have the ability to, but they (and their label) choose to keep it clean when in the public eye.
It is becoming widely known that their hit song “Chocolate” is written about drugs. Chocolate is a slang word for marijuana. Healy’s lyrics “..guns hidden under our petticoats”, refers to hiding heroin syringes under their coats.
Its clear society isn’t heading in a positive direction, and I do not believe this issue is solely the responsibilty of the parents. Kids are having sex at a young age, and the age is becoming younger as years go by. Lets face it; Most teens associate their parents and teachers as discipline, (which is totally uncool).
FACT: Kids like things that are cool. Bands are cool. The clothing bands wear is cool. Suddenly alcohol is cool, smoking is cool and sex is cool. Now, their superiors (parents, teachers, ect) have gained a level of such uncoolness, that they’re convinced parents just don’t understand, (as noted by The Fresh Prince).
Healy has openly admitted to his many vices, whether it be sex, drugs, alcohol or “listening to the sound of his own voice”. Their song “Girls”, (recently cracked 10 million views) randomly features a still frame of a hydrocodone pill bottle, prescribed to non-other than Matthew Healy.
If its up to anyone to make a serious change in this world, it’s in the hands of the people our children look up to; The artists.
Positive energy-seeking singer/ songwriter, graphic designer, vandweller, writer, photographer and whatever else I can get my hands on.