Arctic Monkeys’ recent performance at London’s O2 Arena showcases a band still at the dizzying height of their powers, Amelia Hiller reviews
Alongside the release of their sixth studio album in May, Arctic Monkeys announced a massive world tour which encompassed North America, Europe and the UK, as well as several festival appearances worldwide. On September 12th I travelled to the O2 Arena in London to watch one of my favourite bands perform some old favourites and their top picks from the new album Tranquillity Base Hotel & Casino.
My tickets were for standing and I was lucky enough to get relatively close to the stage. The atmosphere in the arena was incredible, even two hours before the band were due to come out. The anticipation grew heavier as The Lemon Twigs performed their supporting set and, after what seemed like forever, Alex Turner strutted out onto the stage in a snazzy white suit. They commenced with ‘Star Treatment’, the gig opening with the now infamous line amongst Monkeys’ fans: ‘I just wanted to be one of the Strokes.’ To be honest, I didn’t think that ‘Star Treatment’ was a song you could mosh to. I was wrong.
The overall setlist was heavily in favour of the band’s newest two albums and only featured one song from Suck It And See. However, in my opinion, this didn’t have any impact on the quality of the gig, as there were still plenty of old Arctic Monkeys’ classics and I loved watching how these tracks were performed alongside their newer releases. It was a shame not to see Miles Kane come onto the stage to perform ‘505’ alongside the band. He appeared on the first of their London dates (and during their set at TRNSMT festival over summer), but unfortunately didn’t attend last Wednesday. Nevertheless, ‘505’ was still one of my favourite songs of the night, and this sentiment certainly seemed to be shared by the crowd.
The final song of eighteen was ‘Four Out of Five’, complete with an extended outro. This was, of course, followed by an encore which consisted firstly of ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’. Although there’s been a vast change between the band’s style of music, nothing’s changed in terms of how ‘…Dancefloor’ delivers, and I can safely say that the track lived up to its reputation as the ‘quintessential indie-pop banger.’ They chose to end their set with two consecutive AM tracks. To be honest, I probably still would’ve preferred them to belt out ‘Mardy Bum’ and finish there, but ‘Arabella’ followed by ‘R U Mine?’ actually turned out to be just as thrilling. Just as ‘R U Mine?’ was drawing to a close and some of the crowd were beginning to disperse, they launched into an extended outro. It was the perfect way to end the night.
Arctic Monkeys have been one of my favourite bands since I was fourteen but I’d never seen them perform live. Finally having the opportunity to do so was definitely worth waiting in a giant Ticketmaster queue and swapping my remaining bank balance for the coveted tickets. Alex Turner wearing a really cool suit was just an added bonus.
‘Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino’ is available now via Domino.