The scary thing about English rockers Arctic Monkeys is they probably haven't even made their best album yet. I say that, because their first trio of albums (Whatever You Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, Favourite Worst Nightmare, and Humbug) are so polished, and so good, it's as if the band have been recording music for decades. That sentiment rang true at Terminal 5 last week when the band took the city stage following a solid warm up from grungy Jersey rockers Screaming Females.
Arctic Monkeys have already conquered their homeland, and as evidenced last week, they're slowly gaining momentum in the states. A mixed audience of dudes in their 30s and tweens rebelling against the Twilight emo-hipsters, serenaded the group with cheers, moshpitting, and singing their songs verbatim. And why shouldn't they. The indie rockers are the total package - biting lyrics, killer hooks, and crisp vocals. The performance spanned about an hour-and-a-half, which is what you'd expect from the band who churn out under-four-minute infectious indie mood rock.
Frontman Alex Turner, chugging a beer between songs and letting his long hair droop on his face, led the way, performing tunes mostly from their most recent album Humbug, which marked a detour for the band - replacing tight punk rock flavor to a dark, desert-inspired slow burner style courtesy of producer Josh Homme who lends the same style with Queens of the Stone Age. While "Propeller" and "Cornerstone" off their album were especially good that night, I would've liked to see the band perform more tunes off their debut. Terminal 5 - such a good venue for rock - would've played better to those rocking initial songs better than the slow styled "Humbug" tunes - but I understand they've got to sell the new stuff. And, the boys still rocked the show with rousing renditions of "505," "Brianstorm," and signature hit "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor." It was also a trip to see a Wham/Monkeys mash-up in the second song encore. Yes, Wham. In the middle of infectious single "Fluorescent Adolescent" Turner gave way to drummer Matt Helders who led the crowd to a chorus of "Last Christmas." It's cool to see a band poke fun at themselves and at the audience.
Arctic Monkeys aren't quite there yet in terms of rock and roll elite, but they're close. I'd say by the time their next album drops, everyone - and that means those not living in England - will know who - to quote their EP - "the f--k are Arctic Monkeys."
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