A band like the Arctic Monkeys needs no introduction – formed in 2002, they have seen enormous success and are undoubtedly a favourite of any rock fan.
With dreamy frontman Alex Turner and teenage angst, the band had their first big break in 2006 and reinvented themselves through their music – with the critically acclaimed AM in 2013 and again this year, with Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino.
When an indie rock band release an album like Tranquility, where guitar solos are suddenly nowhere to be found and new jazz and piano-based undertones appear, it’s no surprise that fans will be slightly taken aback. This didn’t stop the Monkeys selling out their two Dublin dates in a matter of minutes, and fans flocked to the 3Arena, desperate to hear the hits, all wondering secretly ‘How much of Tranquility will they actually play?’
With a less than impressive supporting band ‘The Lemon Twigs’, the audience was unsure as to what was to come. The Twigs reflected well the current era of the Monkeys sound; a very much so 80s feel and a frontman that is the centre of attention. After 45 minutes of an unexciting set, the arena began to fill up as fans awaited to see what kind of show this was really going to be – was there any chance of hearing ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’?
There was no chance of band letting down any fan – be it early-days lovers, AM enthusiasts or the fans of the newly-found jazz sound, the lads delivered an incredible set list, divided into three categories- Tranquility, AM and pre-2013 smash hits. Each song was intertwined brilliantly with the one that came before it, carrying a smooth transition from either an energetic hit, to a calmer sound. Kicking off with ‘Star Treatment’, the expertise and professionalism of the band shone – Turner delivered his famous sultry vocals in his leather jacket and blue jeans, hitting each note perfectly. The group knew their audience very well, and this showed – the first quarter of the gig appeasing the long-standing fans with ‘Brianstorm’ and ‘Crying Lightning’. AM favourites like ‘R U Mine’ and ‘Do I Wanna Know’ rocked the audience, as well as Tranquility singles ‘Four Out of Five’ and ‘Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino’.
Whenever a ‘Tranquility’ song was about to be played, a distorted coffin-shaped light fixture would slowly descend from above the stage and situate right over the band lighting up to create an entirely different, slower atmosphere. When the song was over, the fixture then would rise up back to the ceiling.
Turner’s infamous ego reared its head during ‘One Point Perspective’, when he cut the song short after spending a minute or two complaining, out of earshot to the audience. However, at the end of the night himself and the band did an excellent job in entertaining the audience all throughout the gig, finishing off with a spectacular finale with ‘I Bet That You Look Good on the Dancefloor’. There’s little else to be said for a band of such stature – they delivered an outstanding gig, and nothing less is to be expected.
Image credit: Adam Coleman