The sky still had a navy glow when piano pings rang out and red lights flashed across the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Arctic Monkey fans were among the celebrity dead on the evening of May 5. And it was promptly at 8:30 p.m. that Alex Turner and company finally graced Los Angeles with their presence.
The Arctic Monkeys are getting ready for their first album release since 2013s AM. Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino will be released May 11, but the British quartet have had a slew of shows building up to then, beginning with two at The Observatory in San Diego. No songs are to be released before then, so those attending the relatively intimate show were lucky enough to be among the first fans to properly hear new songs.
“Good evening Hollywood,” Turner said in his English drawl after opening with “Four Out of Five,” a song from Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino. He stood center, looking like a goth’s dream prom date (until he eventually peeled off his blazer), and led into “Arabella” as instructed by a few drum ticks. With rock n roll pep, they made their way through “Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair” and “The View From the Afternoon.” What followed was a leisurely sprinkle of instrumentals backed by woos of encouragement from the audience until actually beginning “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High.” The song wrapped up with Turner leading the crowd in a resounding acapella “hiiigh.”
The Arctic Monkeys performed a whopping 20 songs, and yet finished just before 10:00 p.m. Turner kept the banter highly minimal. There was a wave or “thank you” here and there. Before “You’re So Dark,” he noted, “You sold out, Hollywood.” After, he remarked there was a “trouser battle” between guitarist Jamie Cook and bassist Nick O’Malley. But Turner didn’t need to say much. It was a night for fans to rejoice the return of the Arctic Monkeys by relishing in the music.
The set wound down for a moment with “Cornerstone,” which Turner introduced as a “song about a search for a lover.” “I love this song,” one girl gushed. With one hand on the microphone and the other on the microphone stand, hip lazily jutted out, Turner crooned: “I wandered up for a closer look and kissed whoever was sitting there.” It was not a big ballad moment, for the melancholy song has quite the dreamy tempo, but Turner still got down on his knees: “Tell me where’s your hiding place. I’m worried I’ll forget your face.” Not to stay down for too long, they played the original fan favorite “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor,” before briefly exiting.
The Arctic Monkeys kicked off the encore with “One Point Perspective,” another new song. They finished the set with two songs from AM. After “One for the Road,” Turner asked, “I have one question to ask you, Hollywood,” before plunging into “R U Mine?” Turner, O’Malley and Cook threw up their arms at the end, cheering to the beginning of a new era.
- Four Out of Five
- Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair
- The View From the Afternoon
- Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?
- The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala
- She Looks Like Fun
- Crying Lightning
- Do I Wanna Know?
- Pretty Visitors
- You’re So Dark
- Snap Out of It
- Knee Socks
- I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor
- One Point Perspective
- One for the Road
- R U Mine?