Show Review & Photos: The Arctic Monkeys @ the Paramount

The Arctic Monkeys @ the Paramount, 8/11
Show Review & Photos by Dagmar

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Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys

The Arctic Monkeys emerged last decade as one of the most important bands ever. Still a young band, they’ve been working together since 2002. This surprises me, as their newest album, AM, is so fresh and exciting with all the energy of a debut. Instead, it’s album number five from the Sheffield, England band. I’ve loved all their albums, but this new one bookends beautifully their career thus far, as I feel like the music off AM expands a heavier rock side of the Arctic Monkeys, and this side rattles the bones.

I’ve been so lucky and fortunate to cover several Arctic Monkeys shows in Seattle, including their very first in Seattle at the Crocodile in 2006. Seeing their development from the brash (but perfect) music off Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I Am Not to this newer, harder, stoner rock with a bit of funk has been quite the treat. They’ve still got beautiful songs, and several slower pieces, but Arctic Monkeys are a rock band. Don’t ever forget that. A band with a poet lyricist unmatched by his peers, but they’re a rock band. So I never miss this band if at all humanly possible (I think I’ve missed two shows, both times due to illness). Indeed, I saw both of their Seattle shows in August. For night one I received a photo pass, and I have to admit I was actually shaking a bit before this show.

There were some girls, who, overcome by everything up in front, had to be removed even before the band came out. Several girls had their underwear ready to throw at the band. Some had signs with messages for the band. Everybody there was excited and happy to be there. And was their enthusiasm repaid? Yes, it was. Within an inch of its life. The sound was exquisite, with singer/guitarist Alex Turner’s voice rumbling and clear. I was again impressed with guitarist Jamie Cook’s playing; he has great attack to his style.

The setlist, made up nearly half of songs off AM, mixed with samplings from their other releases. Interestingly they place their best known song, “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor,” right in the middle of the show. Maybe they’re tired of playing it, but still I’m guessing this was not so much a way for them to get it out of the way, more as a way to give their new material its due – even to the very end of the show. I loved every single song of the show, and they could have even played much longer and we’d still be digging deep into the group’s excellent catalog. The sexy “My Propeller,” the romantic “I Wanna Be Yours,”(accompanied by a beautiful little light show) and cheeky songs “Dancing Shoes,” “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor,” and “Fluorescent Adolescent” were some of my favorites of the night.

But it was possibly with the newer songs where the Arctic Monkeys continued to prove their dominance in the current musical landscape. “Fireside” and “No. 1 Party Anthem” were softer standout tunes. And the cheekiness and brashness is still there in “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?,” “One for the Road” and “R U Mine?”. But then there’s the rock, such as in “Arabella,” “I Want It All,” and “Knee Socks.” The Arctic Monkeys are victorious.

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the Arctic Monkeys

Setlist:

Do I Wanna Know?
Snap Out of It
Arabella
Brianstorm
Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair
Dancing Shoes
Crying Lightning
Knee Socks
My Propeller
I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor
Library Pictures
Old Yellow Bricks
Fireside
No. 1 Party Anthem
Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?
Fluorescent Adolescent
505

Encore:
One for the Road
I Wanna Be Yours
R U Mine?

Setlist by Album:

Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not:
I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor
Dancing Shoes

My Favourite Worst Nightmare:
Fluorescent Adolescent
505
Old Yellow Bricks
Brianstorm

Humbug:
My Propeller
Crying Lightning

Suck It and See:
Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair
Library Pictures

AM:
Do I Wanna Know?
Snap Out of It
Arabella
Fireside
No. 1 Party Anthem
Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?
One for the Road
I Wanna Be Yours
R U Mine?

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