The Last Shadow Puppets 8/2/16

(a) setlist

    1. Ghost Rider (Suicide cover)
    2. The Age of the Understatement
    3. Only the Truth
    4. Aviation
    5. Used to be My Girl
    6. The Element of Surprise
    7. Dracula Teeth
    8. My Mistakes Were Made For You
    9. Bad Habits
    10. Totally Wired (The Fall cover)
    11. Miracle Aligner
    12. Pattern
    13. Standing Next to Me
    14. Sweet Dreams, TN
    15. In My Room

Encore:

  1. The Dream Synopsis
  2. Meeting Place
  3. Moonage Daydream (David Bowie cover)

(b) highlights

  • this was probably the first time I’ve seen Alex Turner perform live in some capacity in which he was only 10% insufferable, good job Alex!
  • the performance overall felt adequately paced and enjoyable – much better than the band’s last performance at Webster Hall in NYC a few months ago
  • there was less hair gel, less stupid outfits, less general nonsense from Alex and Miles Kane than normal; their antics were turned down and a lot of it felt real
  • “The Age of the Understatement” and “My Mistakes are Made For You” are freaking classic tracks that can’t be touched
  • shockingly, the sound in the venue was pretty good (a unique case for Terminal 5) and the lighting and production really set the tone and scene for TLSP’s aesthetic
  • for the beginning of the encore, Alex sang like a lounge act singer from the second floor balcony and it was kinda so stupidly ridiculous that it ended up being great
  • I’ve seen mannnnny David Bowie covers this year and they’re not always good – this one by the Last Shadow Puppets was great

(c) lowlights

  • I freaking hate Terminal 5 – this show wasn’t even supposed to be at that event but we rescheduled and we all had to suffer, ugh
  • I don’t really like the Arctic Monkeys fanbase and they come out in droves when Alex Turner is around

(d) overall thoughts

As I’ve mentioned in the past, my history with Alex Turner and his bands goes back quite a bit. I’ve been finding him particularly insufferable and annoying these last few years and his showmanship and antics with Miles Kane only amplify that. When I saw The Last Shadow Puppets a few months ago at Webster Hall, I enjoyed the music, yes, but found myself distracted by their laughable stage personas and embodiment of performance in every sense of the word.

But this show felt a bit different. Sure, Alex and Miles were still Alex and Miles. Alex crooned like a lounge act singer from the second floor balcony and smooth-talked between songs like Richard Dawson on Family Feud, and Miles strutted around in what I believe was a $3,000 silk bathrobe that I guess was supposed to be sexy (?), but it was all very toned-down in comparison. The songs were a solid mix of emotional string ballads and gritty guitar ditties, and tracks from Everything You’ve Come To Expect flawlessly intermingled with those from The Age of the Understatement; although, I must admit that – in the moment – I found myself more excited to hear the latter.

The arrangement of songs was a bit strange, though. I remember thinking after “Bad Habits” was performed: wait, what else do they have left? What even are they going to play? Despite the hits-heavy first-half, you can’t not love a great David Bowie cover. “Moonage Daydream” is a personal favorite of mine for sentimental reasons and I didn’t even mind that they ended with it nor that it felt a bit over-indulgent at one point. Their Beatles cover at Webster Hall was exceptionally self-indulgent, so this – much like the rest of the show – felt notably understated. Which isn’t what I expected at all. Oh, the double, sweet irony.

 

Bottom line: The Last Shadow Puppets are capable of real musical artistry and performance once they remove their heads from their asses; they have two solid albums’ worth of pristine material and I hate when that’s shattered by a silk robe.

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