Matty Healy, the singer-songwriter who fronts the band the 1975, turned up as a surprise opening act for the second of Phoebe Bridgers’ sold-out two-night stand at the Greek Theatre… and he had his own special guest: Bridgers, of course, who often joins her support acts, both famous and not so, for a cameo.
“I just want to say thank you so much for having me,” Healy told Bridgers on stage. “You’re the most wonderful, beautiful person. And you’re also my favorite artist. I’m sure that goes on behalf of everybody here. Phoebe was kind enough to sing on a song on my band’s last album, so we’re gonna play that,” he announced, leading into a first-time live performance of a duet they released in 2020, “Jesus Christ 2005 God Bless America.” Watch an excerpt from the performance, above.
The duet first appeared on the 1975’s album “Notes on a Conditional Form.” The song has been described as being from the points of view of two young LGBTQ people who are having difficulty reconciling their same-sex attractions with their religious upbringings.
“I’m just gonna play a couple of songs,” Healy announced at the outset of his opening solo-acoustic set. “I haven’t done this in a while.” Healy’s math was a little off — he actually performed five songs over the course of 20 minutes — but the startled and happy crowd of 6,000 didn’t mind. His set consisted of two as-yet unrecorded numbers, followed by two more familiar 1975 tracks before he got to the duet with Bridgers.
Both of the new songs were themed around missing someone, at home or on the road, still together or broken up. Among the lyrics for the first song: “I get out my records when you go away / People are talking, I miss what they say / ‘Cause it all means nothing, my dear, if I can’t be holding you near / So tell me you love me ’cause that’s all I need to hear.”
The second song was introduced as being titled “New York,” with lyrics that include the lines: “When the lights go down on Broadway, a taxi’s hard to find / I’m crying on the Brooklyn Bridge but no one seems to mind / i’m sure that you’ve moved on by now and I shouldn’t have called, I know / But no one here in New York seems to care that I’m alone.”
Digging back into his catalog, he (half-) jokingly introduced the 2013 single “Sex” as “an emo classic.”
Variety‘s full review of Bridgers’ concert, the penultimate on her 2021 tour, is forthcoming.