Much has been made of the transformation of Sheffield’s favourite sons over the years. From fresh faced teens, to LA rockers, they’ve never strayed too far from the public eye since their rise to fame almost a decade ago. Tuesday night saw the quartet return to the Metro Radio Arena, displaying their slick new look and even slicker tracks, since their last appearance in 2011.
Five number one albums, several Mercury Prize nominations, and two Glastonbury headline slots since they first burst onto the scene in 2005, you could have been forgiven for thinking last week’s performance was a greatest hits show. Strolling out to Do I Wanna Know, Alex Turner and Co were greeted by the hysteria of a sold out arena. The set was broken up by heavy hitters of the recently released AM, and anthems ranging across their four previous albums, ensuring fans barely had time to catch their breath. Once the melancholic beats of the intro died out, Brianstorm ensured the crowd were then sparked well into action.
Much to my pleasure, Favourite Worst Nightmare classics; Teddy Picker, Do Me a Favour and Old Yellow Bricks managed to make the cut of the set list. Humbug track, Cornerstone then provided a welcome melodic breather, before an onslaught of Fluorescent Adolescent and Knee Socks leaving fans screaming for more.
Tuesday’s show saw the Arctics kick off their UK tour, and brought with it the possibility of Turner not playing lead guitar on the tour. However, Turner was glued to the strings, at one point struggling to locate his acoustic for a slow rendition of Mardy Bum, as he juggled between guitars. Speaking on BBC 6 Music the morning after gracing Tyneside, the enigmatic front man expressed his delight at how tracks from AM went down, leading them to perform more in the following shows in Manchester and London.
With sparse backdrops, and little talk to the crowd, the Monkeys let their music do the talking. Another number one album brings yet another barrage of fan favourites, meaning anthems such as Brick by Brick and classics which set Glastonbury alight were absent. Such is the calibre of their back-catalogue, former concert closer 505 was also surplus to requirements, showing just how many big hits they’ve got under their belt. With five hugely successful albums, each different from the one before, it would be difficult to create a poor set list.
The universality of Alex Turner’s lyrics, partnered with Matt Helder’s authoritative aurora on drums, Jamie Cook’s flawless riffs, plus Nick O’Malley’s infectious bass lines have not only propelled the Arctic Monkey’s to trans-Atlantic stardom but arguably the best band of the 21st century, both on record and most certainly live. They fittingly left the crowd with One for the Road, before unleashing the monster that is R U Mine?. With another hugely successful year in the bag, their potential currently sees no end. They are the Arctic Monkeys, continue to believe the hype.
Newcastle Set List– Do I Wanna Know?
– Dancing Shoes
– Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair
– Teddy Picker
– Crying Lightening
– Snap Out of It
– Reckless Serenade
– Old Yellow Bricks
– Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?
– Pretty Visitors
– I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor
– Do Me a Favour
– Fluorescent Adolescent
– Knee Socks
– One for the Road
– R U Mine?