Fillmore Miami Beach
Thursday, January 30, 2014
British post-punk foursome Arctic Monkeys completed its first performance of 2014 last night for a sold-out crowd at the Fillmore Miami Beach.
In support of the outfit's fifth studio album, AM, the current tour has been ping-ponging across the Atlantic since late spring 2013, going back and forth between venues in North America and Europe.
It can be challenging to put into words what an Arctic Monkeys performance is like. You're either feeling the vibe or you're not. There's no middle ground, but it's rare to find oneself on the latter end of that dichotomy.
Just about everyone who braced the rain last night was there because, somewhere along the way, they were charmed by the band's stylishly chronicled lyrics or, more so, by their galloping dance-punk instrumentals.
Regardless of one's perspective on the show, it can probably be agreed that Arctic Monkeys' talents and success have secured the outfit a place in the upper echelons of 2000s rock 'n' roll.
The quartet's style is pure poetic nihilism at its best. And while the group's been criticized in the past for its lack of live consistency when delivering that signature sound, the Monkeys' ability to mature and evolve while still hanging onto a core identity has allowed the band to continue to prosper.
Last night, silhouetted amid a thick fog at the Fillmore, the foursome began the night with "Do I Wanna Know," AM's opening track. And while the song's hollowed-out lyrics may tell the story of an unrequited love story, it was clear that the fans were knee deep in their love affair with the British gem before them.
Yes, Arctic Monkeys, those warm feelings actually go both ways.
As the night went on, the quartet's lyrical dexterity and tenacious instrumental attacks continued to fuel the crowd's verve. Each track gave life to screams and a surging riot of enthusiasm that would rise from the animated mass, pouring into the aisles as it pressed itself against the lip of stage.
The spectrum of colors on the stage always paralleled the given mood of each track, from the soft-rock blues of "505" and "Suck It and See" to the guitar odysseys of "Evil Twin" and "This House Is A Circus."
Other tracks that anchored the night were "Dancing Shoes," "Don't Sit Down 'Cause I've Moved Your Chair," "Snap Out of It," "Reckless Serenade," "Arabella," "Fluorescent Adolescence," "Knee Socks," and "Why'd You Call Me When Your High."
But perhaps the most striking detail of the night was lead singer Alex Turner's uncanny shadowing of Elvis Presley, both in his guise and charming stage presence.
Turner would occasionally comb his slicked black hair back in between songs, like a true greaser.
The most striking Elvis resemblance came just before the band's tribute track to the ladies of the crowd with "I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor," when Turner uttered the words, "Thank you, thank you very much."
For the encore, Arctic Monkeys gave an acoustic performance of "Cornerstone," as well as two hit singles off of AM, "One for the Road" and "R U Mine."
Then, as the band exited the stage, two of their most valiant fans made their way onto the stage to sneak a hug from Turner.
Arctic Monkeys' Setlist
-"Do I Wanna Know"
-"Don't Sit Down 'Cause I've Moved Your Chair"
-"This House Is A Circus"
-"Snap Out of It"
-"Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High"
-"I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor"
-"Suck It and See"
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-"One For the Road"
-"R U Mine"
Follow Alex Silva on Twitter @Silvasgoldd.