Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Live Review :: Arctic Monkeys :: Manchester Arena - Sep 7 2018


Arctic Monkeys

Manchester Arena

September 7 2018

Words: Izzy Butler

For the second of their two nights at Manchester Arena, Arctic Monkeys drop the live debut of ‘Science Fiction’. The song, from the band’s most recent album, ‘Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino’, may not have been the band's highpoint, but in a set of 21 songs - made up largely between the new album and 2013's 'AM' - on the Sheffield quartet's first UK tour in nearly five years, no one was complaining.

Opener 'Four Out of Five' scores a possible five as its thudding bass sets fans in the mood for the night, as the newly shaven-headed frontman Alex Turner adds the swagger and poise in front of the big screen projections; looking the part, if not too hot on the audience banter side. Older familiar 'Brianstorm' gets fans moshing at the front, while the big 'Crying Lightning' finds its perfect home in the immense surroundings of the Arena.

As previously mentioned, the inclusion of 'Science Fiction' was something of an anti-climax, out of kilter with the mood of the night - brought in to possibly replace the meandering 'Batphone' which had suffered the night before - whilst 'Cornerstone' and 'Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?' provide more low-key, reflective moments. The set ends with the dynamic 'Pretty Visitors' where Turner shows off his keyboard technique, and perennial Arctics classic, 'I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor'.

To flashing lights and crowd exuberance, a three-song rick 'n' roll encore of 'Star Treatment', 'Arabella' and 'R U Mine?' conclude a night of high energy and performance, seeming to prove that after 16 years and six studio albums, Arctic Monkeys have still got plenty more to give.

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