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Review: Arctic Monkeys gives solid show despite icy audience

British rock band Arctic Monkeys performs live on stage during 38th edition of 'Paleo' music Festival in Nyon, Switzerland, on July 24. Credit: Courtesy of MCT

British rock band Arctic Monkeys performs live on stage during 38th edition of ‘Paleo’ music Festival in Nyon, Switzerland, on July 24.
Credit: Courtesy of MCT

The music of Arctic Monkeys is synonymous with kinetic energy — this Sheffield, England crew tries hard not to relent ever. Even with 2013’s “AM,” a relatively subdued release in its catalogue, the band is still persistent.

Which is why I was stunned and particularly insensitive to a very young woman who asked someone next to her to “please stop” when he, jokingly, tried to start a circle pit. Sure, this occurred by the sound booth and far from the pit area, but this confrontation embodied attendee reaction to Arctic Monkeys’ set at the LC Pavilion Tuesday night. Battling complaints about people who got too rough or folks who purchased enough $10 beers to try and yell out their own set list to the band were literally the only issues with the concert.

It was solely the audience that needed improvement, not the band. The hair of lead singer Alex Turner graced his forehead slowly over the course of the night as his sweat broke down the boundaries of his originally greased-back hairstyle — a detail that denotes a passion in a performer, if not just a desire to put on a good show.

Tunes from “AM” at least garnered clapping at their introduction, particularly set opener “Do I Wanna Know?” and later on, “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?” A notable diverge from Arctic Monkeys arrangement appeared at the end of “Arabella,” when it transitioned to a variation on Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs,” making any day dreamers arise. Not to mention show and encore closer, the long-awaited “R U Mine?”

I’m a tad biased, as I am partial to Arctic Monkeys’ first two records above all else (it was rowdier back then). I don’t think I was alone, though. “Fluorescent Adolescent,” a classic for frigid ape fans, illustrated the band’s established finesse in interlocking melodies. Turner’s voice meshed dashingly with the charmingly abrupt lead guitar lines on this song, provided by guitarist Jamie Cook. While on the topic of old-fashioned Arctic Monkeys, “I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor” was probably as much of an obligation for the band to play as it was a relief to fans that the group was still in touch with the songs it executed well.

With “AM” last year, Arctic Monkeys seemed to be inflecting an aged, almost antiquated tone. The newest record is a bit drippier in comparison to those released earlier, but the band, as shown in Tuesday’s show, is not getting too old for this. Although it could have played more from its mid-2000s era, Arctic Monkeys is slated for the long haul.

If anything, the mere fact that there are teenagers badgering show-goers who are devoted enough to mosh distinguishes Arctic Monkeys as a band that will be relevant for awhile, or at least until said badgerers grow up.


  1. I was amazed at how boring the audience was at this show and also during the opening band. The Orwells were much, much better than I expected(I’d never heard them before last night) and my friends and I were shocked that no one was dancing during their set. Then the Monkeys, who are probably the best rock band in the world at this time, came on and the audience hardly livened up at all.

    I don’t know if it was because there were too many people there who are only fans of AM and not their early stuff or just typical of the Columbus music scene in general, but it was awful. It is not cool to go to a concert like this and just stand there. Artists hate that crap and if you are a 20-something looking down on other people your same age who are dancing and moshing during a show then you do not need to be at a rock concert.

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