Ana Maria Cornea / Gavel Media

Matty Healy’s Confusing Live Performances

The 1975 is a popular British indie rock band composed of four members: lead guitarist Adam Hann, bassist Ross MacDonald, drummer George Daniel, and lead singer and rhythm guitarist Matty Healy. They first gained notoriety by releasing numerous EPs and opening for several major acts from their conception in 2002 through the early 2010s. In 2013, they released their immensely successful self-titled album which topped numerous charts in the UK. The band is now on tour promoting their 5th studio album Being Funny in a Foreign Language

There have been numerous videos circulating on TikTok highlighting Matty Healy and his strange, frankly confusing behavior during recent live performances. His antics have been met with praise as well as criticism from both fans and those who are not as familiar with The 1975. 

In many videos taken at these concerts, Matty Healy engages in both odd and reckless behavior on stage. At their Madison Square Garden show, Healy ate a raw steak onstage with videos of infamous misogynist Andrew Tate and other right-wing content being projected on screens behind him. While strange, this could be interpreted as a critique on the perpetuation of toxic masculinity by the media, especially when coupled with the fact that Healy, shirtless, did a set of push-ups after he finished eating the raw meat. There have also been videos from various stops on their tour that depict Healy touching himself in a sexual manner in front of the audience. 

More recently, Matty Healy has brought fans up on stage and kissed them during the song “Robbers,” as he had done once when performing in 2014. Many fans believe that he is trying to pay homage to previous eras, especially with the song “About You” on The 1975’s most recent album being a continuation of “Robbers” itself. 

Healy often drinks and smokes onstage as well. While this behavior would already be cause for concern, Healy’s past struggles with addiction add an extra layer of worry. In the height of his addiction, Healy's struggles were punctuated by his tendency to drink and smoke onstage as he is doing now; this has caused fans to draw parallels between his actions then and now and speculate about what could be influencing that behavior. Furthermore, because some of The 1975's music has been influenced by Healy's experiences with addiction, the line between performing under the influence “as a form of art” or in a much more concerning manner has been blurred.

Many have been wondering what the overall purpose of all these outlandish actions is. Fans of The 1975 claim that this kind of behavior falls in line with the band’s off-putting lyrics and Healy’s personality. To such fans, it would not be surprising if these actions were just a part of The 1975’s artistic mission. 

It has become a trend on TikTok and Twitter to joke about these strange actions; a large number of TikToks and Tweets that make jabs at Healy’s behavior have gone viral. Others are criticizing Healy’s behavior for being inappropriate because his band’s demographic consists mainly of teenage girls. In light of these increasingly viral TikToks, it is important to be conscious of the fact that Healy’s behavior is irresponsible and dangerous, and his actions most definitely should not be praised. Even if it is in fact performance art, his behavior still is extremely concerning, and the band’s safety, many fans argue, should be the top priority.

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