Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney NSW
March 1st, 2019
Supports: Mini Mansions
Generally speaking, unless you’ve got a huge production aka twenty one pilots, arena shows can swallow a band whole. Arctic Monkeys however, cleverly created a set that made a (21,000 cap arena) feel like a club. The low roof, the large band, the VHS style video production completely encapsulated the vintage aesthetic the band are so well known for and as the smooth beginning of ‘Four out of Five’ played the crowd are transported to the little world AM had created.
The band swings into a personal favourite ‘Snap Out Of It’ and the crowd noticeably perks up. Probably not the best idea to put their most well-received album up against the arguably more lacklustre addition to their discography right out of the gate, but it definitely gets people on their feet. The mixed set-list continues with ‘Crying Lightning’ and it becomes clear that regardless of the varying pace of each track, Alex Turner’s voice carries through the crowd like caramel and it’s impossible not to be hypnotised.
‘Brianstorm’ has everyone off their feet in seconds. The entire band is so incredibly tight and it’s really highlighted here. The talent in versatility continues as they run into the heavy sounds of ‘Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair’ (Catchy Title) and ‘Library Pictures’. I’m personally stoked to hear them giving 4th album Suck It And See It some well-deserved love and attention and it seems as though the crowd shares the sentiment as everyone begins to shake themselves around violently in order to match the chaotic sound.
The mood mellows for a moment as Turner entrances the crowd with ‘Science Fiction’. Now the crowd has been warmed up there seems to be more of a willingness to give some love to the new album as a few lighters join the collective sway. But like the well-planned roller coaster that it is, the band pick the pace up again beginning with ‘Arabella’ then swinging into fan favourite ‘Teddy Picker’; Both had the loudest reception in terms of singing back lyrics by that point which was impossible not to smile at. The feeling was palpable.
The boys continue to play through a slew of bangers including; the very northern ‘From The Ritz To The Rubble’, the jazz ballad ‘One Point Perspective’, gloriously seductive ‘Fireside’ and the shockingly mellow ‘Cornerstone’.
The unexpected highlight goes to ‘505′. I had not anticipated the love that song would get from the audience and I don’t think the band did either. It marks the only point where you could sense their ‘too cool for school’ stage presence break for a split second to take in the choir in front of them. It was quite the spectacle.
Turner continues his audience seduction with title track Tranquillity Base Hotel & Casino which gave everyone a moment to breath before it happened…
In the year of 2013, it was pretty much impossible not to have heard ‘Do I Wanna Know’ a thousand times, and my god does it show. The vibe transcends to another planet and I’m pretty sure I felt the entire arena vibrate. The high energy continues with ‘Pretty Visitors’ and the main show finishes with another fan favourite ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor’.
The encore consists of ‘Star Treatment’, ‘No.1 Party Anthem’ and ‘R U Mine’ and the crowd exerted the last of their energy and kills the last of their voices. It ends as intimately as it starts. No confetti, no flashing lights. Just a grateful thank you and a bow. It’s subtly maintains their cool demeanour and honestly comes off as incredibly classy.
I had not expected them to be such an incredible live band but I can guarantee I’m not missing a single show from this moment on.
Words by Bree Vane @Briebrebree