In 2006 the Arctic Monkeys were one of the first bands ever to break onto the scene by means of a fan base generated via social media. Last night their fans once more came through for the lads from Sheffield.
There was a surprising diversity in attendance - from teenage girls in knee socks to grown men who looked as though they became lost on their way to a Metallica concert.
At least there were two things they all agreed upon; the band on stage were kings and beer was the drink of the night. The sound quality was fantastic. The delivery so precise there were times where one pondered if it was even pre-recorded. A round of applause to the professionalism of the musicians and the team on audio that night. It was only later, during the recent hit ‘Do I Wanna Know' that it faltered as volumes hit piercing levels. The backdrop was beautiful and basic, 20 foot tall letters "A.M" in light bulbs. Throughout the show the lighting displays can only be described as precise and polished.
The whole show was a very polished affair. Not exactly what I expected. Like the transformation of their music from the frenetic explosion of ‘Whatever People Say I am, Thats What I am Not' to the latest ‘A.M', of which this tour is promoting, they have grown up and become slicker in style and delivery. The chaos and scruff of early years has evolved to smoother beats, Brylcreem, blazers, suspenders and shoes shone til you could see your own face in them.
Despite the difference between old and new they had no problems at all shifting speeds during the performance. It was probably tracks from the first beloved ‘Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I Am Not' that evoked the biggest crowd reactions. Proof of long term fans in attendance, I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor had every woman in the arena on her feet, attempting to prove the statement.
Reflecting on the set, their first songs were bouncing with pop melody, warming us up gently. Before very long, the heavier tones of Arabella fused with Black Sabbath's ‘War Pigs' reminded us that these guys are not just a nice little indie band that you can take home to to mother, but cut from a tougher cloth. With wild energy now flowing, they moved us through a darker phase before slowing down, offering respite, as we moved to the conclusion.
Alex Turner had the crowd in the palm of his (probably) manicured hands - one flick of his had us waving ours in the air and when he proclaimed "No more fucking about" ahead of Brianstorm we obliged and pumped up our enthusiasm. We were advised that a favourite song from the new A.M was Fireside and so we responded with appreciation as per request.
Perhaps the confidence in their crowd control meant that they worried less about the frequent moments of pause, leaving their breathless fans hanging while they swapped instruments. A rare unpolished part of the gig.
My only other criticism would be that I would not have opened with their first song, One For The Road nor closed with 505. With such a catalogue to choose from, their choices seemed odd. One For The Road did nothing to rally the audience and Snap Out Of It for number two was only just starting to tickle our fancy. It wasn't until third time lucky Why Do You Only Call Me When You're High that we became intrigued.
Likewise leaving on 505 just left everyone a little suspended, convinced there must be one more tune to conclude. The last song before the encore Do I Wanna Know would have, in my opinion, been a far better finale. In its place as last song before the encore it had us all in ecstatic delight. That would have been the way to end. All this is before we even mention When The Sun Goes Down which didn't feature at all. Maybe they are sick of playing it but I certainly wasn't the only one craving its involvement.
However, when all is said and done, I loved it. The crowd loved it, I have yet to talk to a single soul who didn't love it. In that 1.5 hours I relived my teenage years. I'm not even sure I was a teenager the first time round, but youth is what the Arctic Monkeys inspire and I doubt that will ever change.
In the mid to late 90's, when grunge began to wither away and MTV strived to find the next easy to access label to attach to new batch of up and coming rock bands, global attention started to shine on the Alt Rock scene.
The I Love The 90s Tour returns to Auckland next year March 23rd at Auckland’s Spark Arena, with a completely off the chain lineup featuring classic Hip Hop crew Naughty by Nature. Vin Rock from the Grammy Award winning rap group speaks fondly of this country and love of our people.
The Soundsplash Festival is returning to Raglan in January 2018. Local reggae favourites Katchafire are returning to feature on the bill. We sent a few questions over to lead vocalist Logan Bell ahead of the festival.
Following 2015’s Kitty, Daisy & Lewis'The Third', the sibling trio are back stronger than ever, harnessing their ability to create pop-infused soul, blues, rock n roll and a large mix of genres to perfection, in the shape of their fourth studio album, Superscope.
Kylie Price has just released her new album Bones. Last week she appeared on theNZ Entertainment Podcast, where she sang a new song I Dont Want To Go off the album while talking shop about her dream gig to play with Ed Sheeran and her Philipino roots.
Last week I caught up withPeter Hook ahead of returning down under for Australasian leg of the Joy Division and New Order Substance tour. We had a great chat about the spirit of punk, what it takes to write a book and why shows like the X-factor are so unhealthy…
Long established as one of New Zealand’s finest acts, South Pacific reggae-soul legends, The Black Seeds are set to tour the country in September, following the release of their long awaited 6th studio album Fabric, (out today - Friday September 8th).
Jacqueline Nalpant is a Booking Agent for the Paradigm Talent Agency, and is heading to New Zealand early next month where she'll be one of the speakers for the Going Global Music Summit (Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd September at Roundhead Studios, Auckland).
Since making her musical debut with her song Drift early last year, fast attracting a solid fan base and over 1 million plays across Spotify and Soundcloud in just a few months, Madeline North, better known by her musical moniker So Below, has once again blessed us with a moodier, masterful electro-pop banger, titled Ruin.
Since forming in 1998, the Antwerp, Belgium based trio Triggerfinger have long become a mainstay on the rock scene, building a solid reputation across Europe, the US, Canada and beyond, as one of the hardest-driving and sharpest dressing bands around.
Popular metalcore group Northlane are on their way to New Zealand. The Sydney band are touring North America taking in countries like Chile and Mexico as they head our way down-under next month to play Wellington’s San Fran then Auckland at the iconic Kings Arms.
Returning to New Zealand for the first time in three years, Australian metalcore band In Hearts Wake are on their way to our shores next month for a quick run of shows supporting their label cohorts Northlane.
Courtney Marie Andrews has landed in New Zealand, and set to play two concerts this week with Joe Pug - tonight at San Fran in Wellington (Wed July 19) and tomorrow night at The Tuning Fork in Auckland (Thu July 20).
Auckland two-piece Skinny Hobos, Alex Elvis and Texas Holdom, are heading on a 5 date New Zealand tour with headliners Decades, Bakers Eddy and Dead Favours. Kicking off tonight in Hamilton (July 14), the tour will also take them to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and finishes up in Dunedin.
Have you ever considered sharing your most personal experiences with the entire world? Well come this Friday 14th July, that’s what Emma Cameron, the rocking front-woman of kiwi band Decades is about to do, when they release their long-awaited full length debut album, The Truth And Other People, so we sat down with the cheerful front woman to discover just what truth this album reveals..
Whilst Sonny Landreth is a well known slide-guitar master, zydeco enthusiast and phenomenal blues legend, what you may not know about him, is that he is one of the nicest gentlemen in the entire universe.
He was always the boy next door type energy, that type of person you just always wanted to be around. From day one, Shay Taylor has always been one to break the mold and live life in such a vibrant and contagious manner, that no matter who he spoke to, they walked away feeling great!
Anthonie Tonnon is taking his new Extended Player and single to Australia, and to New Zealand towns that missed the first run of dates, or sold out too quickly. He’ll also be appearing at three summer festivals this February.
After a stand of three Auckland concerts that sold out in minutes in January, Connan Mockasin is hitting the road across Aotearoa for the first time in eight years this summer for a select run of headline shows.