Taking a brief break from recording their much anticipated fifth LP, the Arctic Monkeys hit Dallas’ House of Blues last night as part of a mini-tour of the United States. Performing for a sold-out crowd, the Arctic Monkeys delivered a quick 21-song set featuring fan-favorite material and a few tracks the band hasn’t played in quite some time.
The band made their entrance on stage one by one, drenched in red light while thousands of teenage girls shrieked at their arrival. Launching straight into a brand new new track, the slow, riff-heavy Do I Wanna Know?, the band got off to a phenomenal start. The track sounds like a pseudo-sequel to their phenomenal R U Mine? (which would make an appearance later in the show), definitely stirring up some more excitement for their next record.
The band’s last LP Suck It and See was well represented during the show, with nearly half of the album getting the live treatment. The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala is one of the group’s greatest mid-tempo tracks and really shines live, complete with shimmering guitars and the song’s dance-inspiring plucky bass riff. Brick by Brick has become a staple of the Monkeys’ live show, allowing drummer Matt Helders to take over on lead vocals while simultaneously beating the shit out of his drum rig. While I’ve seen this happen more than a few times at this point, it still hasn’t gotten old and really gives Helders some time to shine.
The energy in the venue never really dipped down or faltered, the crowd remaining captivated regardless of what the band was playing. There were at least five songs from each Arctic Monkeys album save for Humbug, which only featured three: Crying Lightning, Pretty Visitors and a gorgeous performance of Cornerstone which found Alex Turner strapping on an acoustic guitar.
While this mini-tour’s setlist isn’t too different from what the band has been playing for the last years, they have dusted off a few older tracks for the first time in ages. Dancing Shoes made an appearance early in the set, inspiring an intense amount of jumping in the pit while Fake Tales of San Fransisco’s chanting segments had everyone screaming their lungs out. Good times.
Arguably the band’s best song, R U Mine? closed out the main set. Featuring perhaps the band’s catchiest guitar riff and the hookiest of vocal hooks, the band’s performance was brutal and the most rocking moment of the gig. The last two times I’ve seen the band they’ve played a sped up version of the track, but the Dallas performance found the song back into it’s original groove, allowing the pummeling guitar and bass work to really sink in. Considering the track was originally released as a Record Store Day one-off single, it’s amazing to see how it has grown into a monster of a song, one of the highlights of the band’s repertoire.
A three-song encore followed, featuring That’s Where You’re Wrong, Fluorescent Adolescent and a beautiful take on 505. Fluorescent Adolescent found the entire crowd (balcony included) bouncing up and down, while 505 brought things back to a slightly more moody point before the band finally walked off stage. This was my first time to hear the band play 505 live, and after hearing the way the song really fills a room up during a performance, it’s a wonder it hasn’t been a staple of the setlist since it originally came out back in 2007.
While the band’s set was short, just under an hour and a half, they managed to touch base with just about everyone song a fan could want. Do I Wanna Know? was definitely a nice taste of their next record and with any luck hopefully you’ll be able to catch them this fall after the LP is out. Fingers crossed.
Do I Wanna Know? Brianstorm, Dancing Shoes, Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair, Brick by Brick, Fake Tales of San Francisco, Evil Twin, Old Yellow Bricks, The Hellcat Spangled Shalala, Crying Lightning, Pretty Visitors, Do Me a Favour, Cornerstone, Suck It and See, The View from the Afternoon, When the Sun Goes Down, I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor, R U Mine?, That’s Where You’re Wrong, Fluorescent Adolescent, 505
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