Review from the excellent Kul Britania website
Arctics’ debut album, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not (2006) was, as many of you probably know, the fastest-selling debut album in British music history. Since that huge early hit I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor released in October 2005 and the release of their debut album, the band have continued to build on their amazing sound and style and haven’t looked back since then.
The Sheffield band have released a new studio album almost every two years. Their first one (Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not in 2006, its follow-up Favourite Worst Nightmare a year later in 2007, Humbug in 2009, their fourth Suck It and See in 2011, and its critically acclaimed album “AM” released in 2013.
I’ve seen the Arctic Monkeys a few times. Last time I saw the band in Argentina was in 2012 back at RIVER PLATE STADIUM where the 1978 World Cup final between Argentina and The Netherlands was played and it seems the MONKEYS just keep getting better. This time the venue was different as the band was the main headliner at Personal Fest and the festival took place at GEBA a much smaller venue located in the heart of Buenos Aires City the second largest metropolitan area in South America. I must say that by the time the Monkeys got on stage it was really packed. I’d say about 30,000 fans not just from Argentina but also from neighbouring countries like Brazil, Uruguay as well as some from Britain and Europe (as some are probably working or spending their holidays in Buenos Aires) were also there to witness one of the most influential bands of the last ten years.
Alex Turner exudes this confidence and style on stage up there with his predecessors Jagger, Liam Gallagher and the like and has become an inspirational frontman without a shadow of a doubt. Last night (08.11) Alex seemed to have a different kind of approach to the show, he looked even more relaxed than last time, a lot more confident and it seemed they were all having a whale of a time on stage.
The crowd response to the band was as good as I had imagined it to be. People in Argentina love Arctic Monkeys they have loved the band ever since their first release. Of course you ‘d get those accusing them of probably forgetting their roots and all that but …hard to please everyone these days I guess. Probably the easiest thing would be to make your debut album four or five times but who wants to do that? They have evolved and they have crafted five completely different records and some members of them are not even 30 yet.
But going back to their headline slot last night, the band took to the stage at about 10.30 pm, Alex as usual took center stage on vocals and electric guitar. He was wearing a leather jacket and his is a bit longer now, Matt Helders on drums ( Matt has shaven his head but don’t think it has anything to do with TIE 90 being shot in Sheffield I guess), Jamie Cook on guitar and Nick O Malley on bass.
The set kicked off with AM’s powerful “Do I wanna know?” quickly followed by “Snap Out of it” from AM too. It is unbelievable really cos in general when you go to see a band like the Arctic Monkeys with an amazing back catalogue, the old hits are the ones that tend to draw large cheers from the crowd. However, in their case, it is as every tune they play was everyone’s favourite. I guess this just shows how good the band is and how good their work has been since they formed.
The first old Monkeys’ tune of the set was that catchy, heavy gem the band released in 2007 “Brianstorm”.”Dont sit down cos Ive moved your chair and Dancing Shoes” quickly followed. Then a series of old classics “Teddy Picker” and “Crying Lightning”…. before that witty, incandescent and entirely ingenious perspective of adolescence “Fluorescent Adolescent” was heard.
Back to their critically acclaimed album “AM” once again with one of its singles “Why’d you only call me when you are high?”. It ‘s true that the set might be sort of too heavily centred around AM but well this is what the tour is all about, isn’t it? Promoting their new studio album and although for some it is far from Arctic’s best, the record has got really good tunes indeed.
“All my own Stunts” taken from “Suck it and See” followed to precede that track which, since day one, made you sit up and take immediate notice “I bet you look good on the dance floor”. More from their back catalogue after that classic tune with “Library Pictures” from “Suck it and See” before Alex Turner started playing a beautiful acoustic version of “Cornerstone”.
“No. 1 Party Anthem” was beginning to close the first part of the set before the obligatory encore these days. But before leaving the stage there was time for more…Alex said to the crowd: “Thank you very much for having us” and started singing “Well now then Mardy Bum” to continue with “505”. Unfortunately without Miles Kane on stage.
Time for a short 5-minute break and back on stage again.
The reaction from the crowd, the sing-a-long after sing-a-long during every tune was just impressive, and the encore of, IMHO, three of AM’s best tracks (One for the Road, I Wanna be Yours and R U Mine?) was just magical.
There was this Argentine football ground atmosphere at the venue last night. Football and music are two things that people love the most in the capital. We have seen that at gigs every time in and around Buenos Aires. Lots of football chants when the band leave the stage and even when they are on stage. Love that bit of it. No flares ,though or at least I didn’t see any. We were checked for that before entering the show just in case.
Show ended at at about midnight I guess. Can’t really recall the exact time but we left at about 1 am. we were thirsty and hungry with my mate so we headed to the nearest pizza place to have this pizza Margherite and a few pints nearby.
The band clearly reveals maturity and evolution while retaining at the same time those rebellious roots which took the four lads from Sheffield to stardom.
All in all, it was a fantastic concert and one of the best gig crowds I’ve seen so far this year in Buenos Aires. After all these years and all their success one is left wondering what the future holds for some of Sheffield’s finest. What could be next for them?
So if you haven’t seen this tour yet and you still have the chance to check them out before the end of the year, I strongly recommend it, you certainly won’t regret it as they are this kind of band which gives you the impression they were born to play live.
ARCTIC MONKEYS … you absolutely smashed it last night…”My hat’s off to you” one more time!