Arctic Monkeys at Finsbury Park, 23rd May 2014: From the Rubble to the Ritz

As Arctic Monkeys emerge onto the stage at Finsbury Park, a declaration of love for frontman Alex Turner echoes from the back of the crowd. “Fucking hell”, the 28 year-old replies, “Are you ready for a good time?” and with that the band launch into one of the most talked about concerts of the entire year.

Playing to the 45,000 strong crowd, Arctic Monkeys delighted everyone with hits from their entire career. Kicking off the show with ‘Do I Wanna Know?’, the huge LED replica of the AM album cover flickered behind the band as ‘Snap Out Of It’ and ‘Arabella’ followed in quick succession. They proceeded to play songs from all five albums, including crowd favourites such as ‘Brainstorm’, ‘Crying Lightning’ and ‘Library Pictures’. However, it was arguably the old classics that really got the crowd going, especially when ‘I Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor’, the band’s first number one single, was introduced as “one for the girls”.

While the boys strutted about in smoking jackets, it was hard not to think about the transformation that the band has gone through. Eight years after their 2006 break-out album, Whatever People Say I Am…, it’s hard to believe that the Alex Turner doing his hair in this Danny-Zuko-style is the same guy who sang about putting on a different jumper to try and re-enter a nightclub. But it’s not just their appearance, the maturity in the songwriting and performance is clear. When Alex Turner emerges on his own for the encore, armed with an acoustic guitar and a rolled up cigarette, his stunning rendition of ‘A Certain Romance’ almost epitomises how he has grown as a frontman, and the sell-out crowd who sang every single word highlights how adored this band are.

The entire show was a perfect portrayal of the heights that this band can achieve. As the night came to an end, lighters were raised in the air for the band’s musical adaptation of John-Cooper Clarke’s poem ‘I Wanna Be Yours’ before being tossed aside as the last song was introduced with “I Wanna Be Yours, but the question is R U Mine?”.  And the answer is yes. Yes, Arctic Monkeys, we are yours.

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