At the Vogue Theatre on Sunday, December 1
The last time Arctic Monkeys were in town, it was 2011 and they played the Orpheum to a sold-out crowd. Sunday night (December 1) marked the first of two back-to-back performances at the Vogue.
The shows altogether housing about the same amount of people as the British rockers filled two years ago, a little mysterious since all the band has done since then is release its fifth album, the commercially successful and critically acclaimed AM. In other words, Vancouverites had no real business being able to see this band in such a small venue, but they definitely weren’t about to complain.
The show got off to a rousing start with the leadoff single from AM, the bass-heavy, foot-thumping “Do I Wanna Know?” From there, the Monkeys rolled right into another big hitter, “Brianstorm” off 2007’s Favourite Worst Nightmare, a trend that continued as the night was notable for being a blend of the band’s old favourites and new hits.
After those two, lead singer/guitarist Alex Turner, maybe a little intoxicated but definitely ready to party, addressed the crowd with an accent-heavy drawl, belting out “Vancouver! The Arctic Monkeys are here! Do you feel good about that fact?”, before rolling into the catchy “Dancing Shoes”, which was just as rowdy as the title suggests, starting a massive mosh pit on the floor.
With nary a break, Turner and company blasted out tunes, earning crowd sing-alongs for “Crying Lightning”, “One For The Road”, and “Old Yellow Bricks” before launching into two of AM’s stronger efforts, the sensual “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High” and “Arabella”, which featured a sample of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs”.
With the crowd going absolutely nuts at this point, it was hard to imagine things getting any more rambunctious. Then Turner took to the mic and announced that this one was “for the ladiiiiiiiiies” and riffed into the band’s first single “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor”, just completely blowing the top off of the venue.
Taking a decidedly slower tone, Turner traded guitars for a more acoustic feel and crooned through “Cornerstore”, “Piledriver Waltz”, and “Fluorescent Adolescent”. The band then planned a faux exit with the falsetto-laden “Knee Socks”. While that would have been more than enough to warrant an exit, there was no way the boys from Sheffield, England weren’t coming back for an encore.
Things got right back into full swing after their return with the band cranking out the infectious “Snap Out Of It” and the up and down “Do Me A Favour”. Then, with the crowd hanging on his every word, Turner announced that he had one more thing to ask Vancouver before ripping into AM’s second track “R U Mine?” and sending the sweat-soaked mass into the night.
Yes, Alex, they most definitely are.