Arctic Monkeys are one of the last remaining pure rock and roll acts out there. From what I’ve heard from those who have heard the new record, their latest album is going to be far more piano-driven than guitar, but live the new songs stood right next to their older material without a problem.
Cam Avery, who plays on the latest Arctic’s record and helped them on stage throughout the night, started the evening off with a quick set. He switched between guitar and keys and was even joined by his wife for one song. Cam’s songs were all sultry and made the room sway with such little ease. I had seen him perform once before and was not impressed, but he has won me over as a fan after his opening set.
Alex Turner, Matt Helders, Jamie Cook, and Nick O’Malley came to the stage to a rabid crowd after a short break and tore right into AM opener “Do I Wanna Know?” and for about 90 minutes through another AM track “R U Mine” to close the show they showed why tickets to this show were extremely hard to come by. AM of course ruled the night song wise with seven songs played off the album, but right behind it with four was the soon to be released Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino. The four songs each switched the pace of the evening. They sounded great, but the vibe is different from everything else they have released to date.
The best of the four may have been “Four Out of Five.” The song has a swagger to it that Alex hammed up as he walked about the stage crooning the lyrics to the adoring audience. I have to give the audience credit during the show as each of the four new songs didn’t have loads of people leave or talk to each other or be stuck on their phones. Rather everyone was giving the band and the songs their full attention. Yes these were probably all die-hards, but I’ve been to plenty of shows were people give up on the new songs as soon as the first note hits.
Personally I wish there had been more from Whatever People Say… and Favourite Worst Nightmare, but Arctic Monkeys have grown past those albums if we’re being honest. I love those albums dearly, but they aren’t young punks anymore thrashing around with their instruments. The band has grown so much from album to album it’s impressive. Having said that the crowd went absolutely nuts during “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor” and sang their hearts out to “505,” as did I. I will say though having heard the new songs live for the first time, instead of on record, has me very intrigued to hear new material properly.
Arctic Monkeys showed why they headline a number of festivals and play arenas all over the world and the fact they played the 1,800 person Brooklyn Steel was ridiculous. This was their last underplay for probably a few years and everyone in that room knew it. At the end of the night Alex raised his guitar thanking everyone for coming and the crowd showered him and the rest of the band with one of the loudest eruptions I’ve heard in that room yet. Arctic Monkeys are back and ready to take the world by storm once again.
Article: Bryan Lasky