With locked cell phones due to the band filming the show, the last of three US Arctic Monkey shows for the year felt like a throwback, as the only thing you could see were hands in the air from the minute Alex Turner and company took to the stage until the last notes rang out. The show began over an hour late due to some issues getting everyone inside, but as soon as the band took the stage, all that waiting didn’t matter anymore as they delivered a 22 song show that had something for everyone.
Kicking off with the live debut of “There’d Better Be a Mirrorball” off the soon to be released The Car the night was immediately special. A giant disco ball dropped from the ceiling as the band played the song and it was a mesmerizing spectacle. Including the soon to be released album, the show covered the band’s full catalog with AM getting the most love on the setlist with six songs. “One Point Perspective” and “Snap Out of It” came next, with the later song having Alex go full frontman, as he stalked the stage with just the microphone in his hand. The entire crowd sang every song back to the band all night, with the band definitely feeling the love as glances were given between members at one of the most intimate shows of the year for them.
It’s impressive how much the band can move through their catalog, where every album sounds different, but the live show is wildly cohesive. Their different eras fit perfectly like a puzzle together and it feels great for the heavier rocking “Arabella” going back to back with the 70’s spaceiness of “Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino.” The premiere, live or studio, of “Body Paint” came soon after and it’s a rocker and Alex seemed very happy to play it live and made sure everyone in the theatre knew the name of the song as he repeated it after they finished it.
“Do I Wanna Know?” really got the crowd wild a couple of songs later making the room feeling like an arena with the energy that swept through. Another new one, though not a debut, “I Ain’t Quite Where I Think I Am” sounded great live and goes right along with a bunch of their best material. A little surprise, due to Matt Helders, wanting to play it came next with the not on the setlist “From the Ritz to the Rubble” making an appearance, much to the delight of the crowd and was followed by another song from Whatever People Say I Am… “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor.” The back to back from their debut album was like a lightning bolt in the room and was followed by set closer “R U Mine?” It was a whirlwind end to the show.
Coming back out solo, Alex debuted yet another new song “Mr Schwartz,” a slow ballad that is sure to be loved by fans of the band. “Cornerstone” and a full on sing a long of “505” end the night in style and sent everyone home with smiles on their faces having witnessed one of the biggest bands in the world in such a small setting. Hopefully something comes from the footage they shot, as everyone should at least get to experience witnessing the band firing on all cylinders. It won’t be the same as being there, but it’s the next best thing.
Article/Images: Bryan Lasky