Matty Healy Unhinged?

The 1975 Lead Singer Performs Racy Routine at Recent Show


The 1975 lead singer, Matty Healy

Hanna Grass, Writer

Starting Nov. 3, The 1975, an English indie rock band first gaining fame back in 2013, began their North American tour featuring their newest album, Being Funny in a Foreign Language. After two years of no new music from the group, fans were eager to purchase tickets and attend a famed The 1975 concert. Lead vocalist, guitarist, and pianist, Matthew Timothy Heal, more commonly addressed as Matty Healy, is known for putting on unique, interactive, and oftentimes raunchy routines on stage. He will dramatically drink liquor on stage, wearing full black and white suits paired with a head of moppy dark curls that bounce in rhythm with his dynamic dance moves. Despite the spiffy attire, Healy usually has a disheveled look about him, with his eyes half shut as if he has just got out of bed. He is what one would stereotypically label a “bad boy” with a rockstar perspective on life. This persona has drawn in a young female fanbase who thirst over and worship the 33-year-old like a god. In previous years, he has been seen publicly kissing fans and feeding into their desire, embodying a modern Elvis Presley guise.

However, the behavior exhibited by Healy at the band’s New York show at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 9, took the concept of a captivating and eccentric experience to a whole new level.

Midway through the scheduled performance, Healy bewitched the audience during the “Consumption” interlude by massaging himself, eating raw meat, doing push-ups, and then crawling into a hollowed-out TV set. Aspects of pantomime have been a staple for the band once they have concluded a full play-through of their just-released fifth album. That being said, Healy’s actions that Monday evening had no precedent. There has been question as to what sparked his actions, but no clear answer is determined; Healy must have simply had something special in mind for the Big Apple attendees. 

After first manspreading on a couch that acted as a prop on stage, he clutched his genitals and seductively smoked a cigarette. Healy proceeded to strut across stage, drop to his knees, remove his shirt, and accept a raw tomahawk steak with delight. After taking a few swigs from a flask, he indulged in two generous bites of the meat, completed a set of push-ups, and concluded the routine by crawling into a vacant television set (prop).

For most fans, this outlandishly odd behavior left their mouths agape or guts unsettled. That being said, some individuals in the audience were enthralled and had their eyes glued to the strangely sexual scene. Within a few hours following the show, clips of Healy’s dramatics were circulating across social media and receiving similar mixed reactions. This was especially the case once the fanbase learned that Healy’s mother, Denise Welch, attended the show!

Welch spoke out about her shock and embarrassment of her son’s behavior after many fans speculated how they would have coped if their own parents or relatives had been there.

In response to the Tweet, “RIP to anyone going to this show with their parents,” Welch replied, “What if you ARE the parent!!!”

This widespread uproar led Healy to publicly apologize for making anyone at the venue uncomfortable, although his word choice and attitude could have embodied a more respectable tone.

“I’m sorry if you came with your dad and I was touching my d***,” Healy told concert-goers.

Nonetheless, Healy is still an artist supported and idolized across the globe. Being the sole songwriter of his group with a large following across social media platforms, he receives the bulk of media attention. The star is a strong supporter of the British Humanist Association and is unafraid to speak his mind, no matter how “out-of-pocket” or explicit the comment. His unique style makes him stand out from contemporary artists and has undeniably been the driving force behind the success of the band. In 2016, The 1975 was awarded at UK’s annual music ‘Q’ Awards and the ‘Brit Awards’, and will likely be recognized in future accolades.

Even with Healy’s recent doings, the group is bound to make strides in the music industry. Their talent is undeniable, and with an iconic, yet unpredictable lead like Healy, socially-questionable stunts are bound to happen. Rockstar culture and behavior is something much of the world hasn’t experienced since the late 70s and 90s with bands like Kiss, Metallica, and Queen. Some may argue that Healy’s behavior is simply an entertaining act on stage and completely unrepresentative of his true character. Others think differently, viewing performances like his on Nov. 9 to be wholly inappropriate, unprofessional, and unworthy of the stage.

If you are a fan or listener of The 1975, what are your thoughts on Healy’s actions? Does an arbitrary artist like himself deserve such fame and fortune? If this is just the start of the tour, what is yet to come for the band’s interlude performances? 

The Central Times appreciates any and everyone’s opinions in the comment section below!