Arctic Monkeys, Newcastle Metro Radio Arena, November 16th 2009 – A Review

In October 2005, I saw the Monkeys at Manor Quay, part of Sunderland Uni, supported by their mates Milburn. A strange little circular venue, part nightclub, part amphitheatre. I believe from the University blurb it holds about 1200.

They had released Five Minutes With.., a couple of months earlier as a limited pressing, (500cd/1000 vinyl), on their own label and had quite literally given everything else they had recorded away free on the net. They had just signed to Domino and were about to release their first “proper” single. This gig was one of the weirdest I’d ever been to… everyone in that room, knew every word to every track they played that night, and sang them back to the band. The gig was brilliant, I was already hooked, by the way, because I’d been forcing these tracks on mates for a few months, but I wasn’t expecting that audience participation from a band that hadn’t even released a single. You could tell they had something special and different. I’d personally not been as excited about a band since the Smiths … and was also telling anyone with ears that they’d be bigger than U2. (mmmh!)

I’ve seen them a few times since, in ever increasing venue sizes… and as you know they’re massive now, and each step up has taken them slightly further away from me as they’ve headlined festivals and toured the world and relocated to New York etc etc.

So I was a bit apprehensive about last nights, 11,000 capacity Newcastle Arena, (Also it was bleedin’ lashing it down and I’m coming down with a head cold which has made me partially deaf.)… also the new album, Humbug, (The American Album) has only had a few unsure plays, but… I must admit I was really, really impressed (again!)

Too ill to fully take advantage of the mosh, the set was a cracking blast through the phenomenal body of work that Turner et al have produced over the last few years. Opening to a rapturous welcome and the obligatory shower of bell-ends lobbing glasses, they went Straight into Jewellers Hands and then lifted the roof with Brianstorm.

They’re obviously getting used to these spacious stages and looked quite at home. Animated, energetic… genuinely looking like they were enjoying themselves. Older stuff, (but obvious crowd pleasers) like Dancefloor, Still Take You Home and the (still) awesome Sun Goes Down, brought the house down, but it was the way the new stuff slotted right in there, so seamlessly that impressed me most.

Killer tracks live, My Propeller and Cornerstone. They even managed to cut Mardy Bum into Fluorescent Adolescent which was a nice touch. The confetti explosions were unexpected and went down well, (Though I’m glad I’m not cleaning that lot up!)

If  you’re put off by the new album go and see them, if you’re put off by the long hair.. go and see them… if its raining and you’ve got a head cold … still go and see them… on this tour you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

If you’re the sort of helmet that can afford to throw glasses full of £3.70 a pint beer… just stay at home.

Check out more pics of the Arctic Monkeys at Newcastle Metro Radio Arena.

Or view the full set list for the Arctic Monkeys at Newcastle Metro Radio Arena.

By Dave on November 17, 2009

Check out all the pics

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