Arctic Monkeys 2/8/14

(a) setlist

    1. Do I Wanna Know?
    2. Brianstorm
    3. Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I Moved Your Chair
    4. Snap Out of It
    5. Crying Lightning
    6. Old Yellow Bricks
    7. Fireside
    8. Knee Socks
    9. Why Do You Only Call Me When You’re High?
    10. Arabella
    11. Dancing Shoes
    12. Pretty Visitors
    13. I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor
    14. Cornerstone
    15. I Wanna Be Yours
    16. Fluorescent Adolescent
    17. 505 (w/ Miles Kane)

Encore:

  1. All My Loving (w/ Miles Kane) (The Beatles cover)
  2. One For The Road
  3. R U Mine?

(b) highlights

  • dayyyummm that setlist! “Old Yellow Bricks!” “FIRESIDE!” “Cornerstone!” “505!” Miles Kane!! The Beatles cover!!
  • seeing this show from the seats to avoid the excruciating AM fans in the pit and consequently having the best mini concert in our seats ever
  • despite my previous point, I’ve been an AM fan since the band’s first album, so it was a proud moment for me to see the band sell-out Madison Square Garden – that was cool
  • for real though, this setlist was amazing and it was cool seeing Miles Kane join the guys

(c) lowlights

  • Alex Turner’s persona post-Humbug is so painful and contrived and man, some of that in-between song banter is next level bad; don’t do drugs, kids
  • did we really need “Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I Moved Your Chair”? did we? can we even talk about that song title, or is that not even worth our time?
  • AM-era fans
  • why do AM take so long in-between songs? where is there always 20 seconds of dead silence? are they all checking the setlist and reapplying hair gel or something. I feel like I’m the only person who’s ever noticed that this band does this.

(d) overall thoughts

For the past few years, I’ve had to defend being an Arctic Monkeys fan and it was only during the band’s tour for their fifth album AM did I realize why. Through a combination of insufferable Tumblr fans, Alex Turner getting a stupid haircut, buckets of hair gel, and motorcycles, the band became associated with a bunch of garbage that had nothing to do with their music. Putting all that aside, I’ve loved pretty much every Arctic Monkeys album a ton (except for maybe Suck It and See…) and knew I wasn’t gonna miss this show at Madison Square Garden. And I’m so glad I went.

Sitting in the seats was a great decision for many reasons, but it pretty much forced the visuals and audience to fall to the wayside and for the music alone to stand out. There are so many strong AM singles and deep cuts that endless combination of setlists could be compiled, and while I would’ve never thought to put together so many of these songs together, the result was extraordinary. Four out of the first five songs are from four different Arctic Monkeys albums – it’s such a subtle move, but so few bands would actually do something like that. “Do I Wanna Know?” sets an incredible mood, “Brianstorm” always gets everyone going, “Snap Out Of It” is perfect for snap-dance coordinated moves, and “Crying Lightning” is a slick, guitar-heavy banger – what more could you ask for in the first 12 minutes of a show?

I was most excited to hear “Fireside” – my absolute favorite track from AM, and it didn’t disappoint. Old classics like “Old Yellow Bricks” and “Dancing Shoes” reminded me of my favorite days of the band and my high school days. “Cornerstone” is probably one of my favorite Arctic Monkeys songs of all time and it felt so special to hear it that night. Speaking of special, having the band’s old pal and Last Shadow Puppets’ member Miles Kane show up for another one of my favorites “505” was amazingFavourite Worst Nightmare is my favorite AM album and I loved how many songs the band played from it that night.

The Beatles cover was freaking awesome and a great way to celebrate the Beatles’ 50th anniversary of coming to America and unleashing the perfection that led to Beatlesmania. It felt meaningful alongside the band’s selling out of the arena, having come so far as a band and as performers. I tease Alex and complain about fans, but I love them and this night was big for them. I won’t ever forget that.

Bottom line: Arctic Monkeys have gotten particularly silly as a band in the last several years, and while it’s easy as all hell to call them out on their nonsense, their music is still totally killing it; they have huge songs and put on a great show, and this was one of their best.

arcticmonkeysmsgfeb2014

Note: I filmed a video of “All My Loving,” but it’s mostly me being a spazz and I think my computer ate it, so here’s someone else’s:

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