Arctic Monkeys - Madison Square Garden - 2/8/14
Better Than: Winning a 90-minute shopping spree at Brandy Melville
Photos Robert Menzer Arctic Monkeys
Saturday night English indie rock band Arctic Monkeys lead singer/guitarist Alex Turner walked onstage at a sold-out Madison Square Garden through fog and strobe lights with his usual slightly-Elvis inspired style quiff and faintly sparkly outfit. He and his Monkeys--Jamie Cook on second guitar, Nick O'Malley on bass, and Matt Helders on drums--kicked the show off with the popular single "Do I Wanna Know" under purple lights in front of a massive main structure name-checking their latest album, AM. What followed was a tight, 90-minute set of songs from it and the band's four other albums--Humbug, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, Suck it and See, and Favorite Worst Nightmare--a few requisite New York specific mentions and guitar solos in front of an audience of arm waving, air guitar playing, dance happy partiers.
Turner put down his electric guitar for the spunky "Arabella," and some proper frontman time, throwing down some pretty impressive dance moves that are only hinted at when he's swaying/swirling/thrusting with guitar in hand.
He kept up a brief banter between songs, dedicating "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor" to the ladies in the audience before picking up an acoustic guitar to propose something special for "Cornerstone." "New York ... I thought about you in the shower this morning," he said, before suggesting the audience put away their cellphones to have this song be "just for us." They agreed, holding up lighters instead. Turner later clarified "I wasn't cross with you, New York, I just wanna be yours."
The Arctic Monkeys ended their main set with special guest Miles Kane for "505." He returned in the encore, for a slowed-down rendition of the Beatles' "All My Loving." The cover was to honor the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' debut on the Ed Sullivan Show, February 9. Turner joked "if we're lucky, one or three Americans will watch this performance on YouTube," (video above) in a self-deprecating allusion to the one in three who watched the original performance live. The last song of the night began with Turner saying coyly "You know I'm yours, New York, but are you mine?"
Overheard: "ALEX YOU LOOK DAMN GOOD ON THE DANCEFLOOR"
Critical Bias: I've been listening to AM on repeat since September, and swooning over Alex Turner since forever.
Do I Wanna Know
Don't Sit Down 'Cause I've Moved Your Chair
Snap Out of It
Old Yellow Bricks
Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High?
I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor
I Wanna Be Yours
All My Loving *
One For the Road
R U Mine?
*with Miles Kane
Annabel Finkel is a 16-year-old fan of Arctic Monkeys.