Following the release of AM, their fifth studio album, the Arctic Monkeys embarked on a 9 show long UK arena tour, beginning in Newcastle and culminating with a hometown gig in Sheffield. After 2 shows at London’s Earls Court, the band travelled to play the Echo Arena in Liverpool to a crowd of 12,000.
Starting with 2013 single Do I Wanna Know, the soulful strength that has been developed in recent times gave an argument very difficult to counteract as to why AM has been given such high acclaim. Despite having a relatively short career, the band manage to revel in the nostalgia of their fans – Dancing Shoes, third in, and I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor, the fourteenth song of the set, still prove among the most popular.
Suck It and See, the fourth album of a already decorated career, featured less than any other, with only Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair and personal favourite Reckless Serenade giving the album recognition. The middle of the set featured two of the most popular songs from AM, the poetical slur of Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High and the inspired Arabella shifted the crowd back to the future, sandwiched by older singles; Old Yellow Bricks and Pretty Visitors.
After the band’s debut single led to no less than mayhem on the arena floor, the crowd were allowed to breathe whilst Alex Turner and his new found hip movements, increasingly popular with the female audience, moved in rhythm with the semi-acoustic versions of Cornerstone, No. 1 Party Anthem and every married man’s favourite; Mardy Bum. Fluorescent Adolescent was potentially the pick of the bunch, a lyrically spotless track that was performed with the eagle-eyed of the crowd seeing glimpses of the old-style band which Sheffield presented to the world. There was reminiscence of the former selves found in a song which is about growing up and moving on.
The encore featured one of the band’s most memorable moments. After the passing of Lou Reed a day previously, the Arctic Monkeys performed an outstanding cover of Walk On The Wild Side. The song needed neither an introduction nor an explanation; the song marked only by the disappearance of the letters ‘AM’ from behind the band, this one wasn’t for them, it was a mark of respect to an icon.
The letters re-illuminated and the set was finalised with Snap Out Of It and R U Mine? Just in case the new album had only won 99% of the crowd over quite yet. In fact, it was impossible not to celebrate the success of a band who have adapted with quality in all five of their magnificent albums.