ARCTIC MONKEYS LIVE IN MANCHESTER – WHAT HAPPENED?
Arctic Monkeys played to a second sold out crowd as part of their two night stop off at Old Trafford cricket ground. An impressive feat considering that the venue holds up to 50,000 fans, but since their debut album was released back in 2006, it seems that these guys can do no wrong.
‘Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not’ was played on repeat from September and for at least a year in the art studio over fifteen years ago. I remember buying it the week it came out and will always associate it with the smell of turpentine, oil paint and red bull…! I am sure other fans I shared a stadium with last night who hold this album close to their hearts also remember those few years of magnificent releases, this being just one of them.
We were treated to two supports yesterday evening, kicking off nice and early at half past six were Liverpool natives ‘The Mysterines’. The alternative rockers released their debut album ‘Reeling’ last year and were on fine form , with lead singer Lia Metcalfe owning the stage with her calm exterior, however I imagine it was a huge buzz for such a newly formed band being present on such a line-up, but they worked and were the perfect warm up for what was to come next.
Also rising to fame in the early 2000’s, Swedish rockers The Hives were next on the bill, and the main support for this evening. Sporting a nasty gash above his left eye from a microphone mishap the evening before, frontman Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist did not let this deter his onstage antics. The singer leapt from the stage mid song into the audience and made his way across the pit, nearly taking out security with his microphone lead.
The band have been previously crowned ‘The Best Live Band in The World’ for their onstage escapades and it is easy to see why. Scaling the huge speakers and karate kicking his way across the stage was quite a site to behold, excellent for the fans, not quite so easy for a photographer to keep up with his antics.
The band played a number of their greatest hits including songs from their latest album ‘The Death of Randy Fitzsimmons’ which is due for release on the 11th August.
The main event was now upon us and the crowd, somewhat more subdued than expected, started to stir and their presence was felt as a buzz rose around the stadium. Alex Turner sauntered onto the stage, quiff, sunglasses and a suit!
Gone are the days when the band wore their 2005 uniform of classic reeboks and parkas, this get-up was classy and perhaps in keeping with the direction their music has taken over the past few years.
Opening with fan-favourite (and mine) ‘Mardy Bum’ went down a treat, a slightly slower opening as they dragged the intro out somewhat but then that chorus hits and the crowd went berserk, colourful smoke filled the arena as fans let off flares and it started to feel like I was witnessing a really special moment. The band continued their opening tracks with upbeat numbers, including ‘Brianstorm’ and ‘Snap Out of It’.
As the sun set over The Emirates Old Trafford, the band mellowed somewhat and played ‘Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High’ which started with a beautiful piano interlude, then continued to smash out hit after hit, finishing this wonderful evening with a three track encore, featuring perhaps their most famous track ‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor’.
Arctic Monkeys continue their tour of the UK and Ireland with dates all over the UK, including Middlesborough, Norwich, Sheffield, Swansea and London. Due to high demand, extra dates have been added but I have been informed that there are very few tickets left, so act fast! Tickets and further information can be foundHERE.