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Live Review + Gallery: Arctic Monkeys

Peterson Events Center / Pittsburgh, PA

LIVE REVIEW + GALLERY: ARCTIC MONKEYS (PETERSON EVENTS CENTER / PITTSBURGH, PA)
August 2, 2018 Jackson Fleming

It really is hard to pinpoint what genre the Arctic Monkeys consistently fall into, especially with their latest studio album, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino. When they first got their start back in 2002, the U.K. four-piece were delving deep into the post-punk and garage rock scene. Debuting their first full-length in 2006, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, their breakout hit, “I Bet You Look Good On the Dancefloor”, saw the quartet shoot to mainstream fame seemingly overnight. Topping at the #1 spot on the U.K. Singles Chart and being listed #7 on NME’s list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”, Arctic Monkeys were English-rock heartthrobs almost instantly with frontman Alex Turner manning the helm.

From playing small pubs around the Sheffield area of their respective homeland, to selling out massive stadiums throughout the world, the success of Arctic Monkeys has truly been attributed to their suave demeanor and catchy bangers. Like I stated before, it really is interesting to try and typecast Arctic Monkeys into one sole genre. With each album they churn out, it seems that Turner and company seem to become more and more inventive. Now on their current headlining world tour in support of Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, Arctic Monkeys hit Pittsburgh Tuesday night to a massive crowd at the Peterson Events Center.

Probably their most ambitious and inventive album to date, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino blends an interesting array of contemporary jazz and lounge music which seems to pay homage to Hank Williams and other crooner-era artists. For fans expecting another repeat of 2013’s AM, will have to look elsewhere when listening to Arctic Monkey’s latest LP. Where their previous LP was centered more along the lines of alternative rock and garnered more accessible tracks, Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino is still in no way a forgettable release. Their latest endeavor has shown that the group from Sheffield are able to master a much more ambiguous and artistic sound then any other album they’ve put out.

Opening with their most popular track off of their latest LP, “Four Out of Five”, Turner had the masses swooning early on as he and the rest of his fellows came striding out. With a stage set up that was truly befitting of the overall aesthetic Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino shoots for, the glowing “Monkeys” sign and the color-changing curtain in the background created a mystifying sense of wonder. From this cool and slow opening, the guys kicked shit up with “Arabella”, “Brianstorm”, and “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor” early on. As both guitarists Jamie Cook and Nick O’Malley jammed out, Alex Turner truly embodied all the perfect qualities a front person needs in their arsenal. Whether having hoards of teenage girls looking up in adoring fashion or the rest of ground floor and grandstands rocking out to their infectious sound, Arctic Monkeys had the entire stadium under their control throughout their set.

Their setlist was absolutely full of classics, but nothing was quite as good as watching them close out the night with “R U Mine?”. Their closing was the perfect way to wrap up one of the best live shows I’ve covered to date. Being able to witness modern-day rock legends do what they do best was truly special. For more information on their current tour, hit the link here!