It’s a slightly strange experience seeing a band like the Arctic Monkeys in a place as huge as the LG arena. Not many bands manage to be credible, pop, indie AND mainstream all at the same time.
From my luxury padded review seat high above the throngs I can see 10,000 Arctic Monkey fans packed in below. Without Smith Westerns, support band The Vaccines have the single handed job of ‘warming’ them up, and warm them up they do. Some people must have heard ’em before, as despite not bothering to introduce themselves they get a good reception and they DO play ‘If you wanna come back’, so the front rows are happy.
Tonight though, is mainly about 4 lads from Sheffield, and the band take to the minimally decorated stage to the sound of ‘Wild Thing’ by The Troggs. Behind them is a only a plain white backdrop from which the lights bounce off subtly, Alex Turner, in quiff and 50’s leather jacket looks like the love child of James Dean and Steve McQueen (with maybe a slight affair with Morrissey) somewhere in the middle.
Suck it and See’s first single ‘Don’t sit down cause I’ve moved your chair’ is a lively way to get things going, and fairly soon after the arena descends into chaos. ‘Teddy Picker’ follows and keeps the tempo high, a few bodies towards the front are looking like they are ready to call it a night already.
I have a perfect view of security being hit by cups of beer (and other substances), whilst they drag out unconscious girls who misjudged being at the front for a light bit of fun, and despite being four number one albums into their career the Monkey’s still feel like an exciting new band to see live.
They’re not just a one man band, it’s great to see (and hear) chirpy drummer Matt Helders have his moment in the spotlight, leading the vocals for ‘Brick by Brick’, a song I hadn’t previously connected with on the album. This is followed by ‘Pretty Visitors’ from ‘difficult third album’ Humbug which again sounds monumental in contrast to the studio version.
Recently Turner confessed he’d fell out with ‘I bet you look good on the dance floor’, the song that set the ball rolling. Perhaps understandably, as some people still talk about it like it’s their best song. Tonight they dispatch it fairly early on, and follow it up with a barrage of great music that reminds you of how much they have progressed in the last six years.
‘When the sun goes down’ is a deafening sing-along, as is a stripped bare ‘Mardy bum’. After 18 songs and 2 encores they finish with ‘505’, a song that wasn’t even a single (only the closer to Favourite Worst Nightmare). Judging by the reception it got tonight it’s a favourite for many.
Whilst their recent, newer ‘different’ sound has alienated a few of their early hardcore fans, most of the Monkey’s audience (while still sweaty), are happy growing up with the band and would be back here tomorrow given half the chance.
And if ‘pop’ means popular, that makes Arctic Monkeys a great ‘pop’ band.
Pics courtesy of www.thisisfakediy.co.uk