Sound: The Arctic Monkeys' Live sound at the Arena was very dependable on where you stood. Way up at the back, Alex' voice was drowned out by the bass (mainly on the newer songs), but during the second half of the show, the friend of my mate, who worked behind the bar, took us to some better places, really close to the stage, where the sound was fabulous.
The entire group has really grown from when I first saw them (three years ago), they played a lot tighter. But the progress frontman Alex Turner made is incredible; his vocals are a lot better, and he even interacts with the audience - something he has been notoriously neglecting in the past. // 9
Perfomance: The Arctic Monkeys' newgrown strenght as performers made it an awesome evening for the audience. The older songs immediately kicked me and my mate two years back to our graduation, when we woke up and went to sleep with the Arctic Monkeys first and second album. Those songs will always remind me of that last summmer, that we begun by chanting along with their performance at the Belgian Rock Werchter festival.
The newer material showed another side: more psychedelic and heavy, less up tempo, but equally intense as the other songs.
This is what the set list looked like:
1. Dance Little Liar: a new song as an opener, which worked really well.
2. Brianstorm: they got everybody Who didn't know the newer material with them with this heavy number, the opening track of their second album.
3. This House Is A Circus: after welcoming us, Alex tells us what this night will stand for: This house is a circus!
4. Still Take You Home: a (too) short version of one of my favourite songs, they could have done it a bit more justice
5. I Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor: the band got everybody up and dancing on this one, and rightfully so.
6. Dangerous Animals: another new song, still quite up tempo, with a remarkable Josh Homme (Who produced the new album) influence.
7. The View From The Afternoon: very tightly played, catapulting me and my mate right back into our senior year. We were singing along like madmen!
8. Sketchead: one of their b-sides, a real treat for the fans.
9. My Propeller: they started to take the pace down a little bit on this newer song and the next one;
10. If You Were There, Beware
11. Crying Lightning: during this song we moved to a better place, and we got to see how everyone in the arena was screaming along the lead single of the Humbug album.
12. Pretty Visitors: heavy and psychedelic; "All the pretty visitors came and waved their arms"
13. Cornerstone: Alex played a beautiful sunburst Jazzmaster on what begun as a touching ballad, but became a post-apocalyptic love song when the confetti guns went of and the arena was showered with bright white lights.
14. Do Me A Favour: bringing the speed back up with an older song, leading up to a major highlight:
15. When The Sun Goes Down: Alex played the first verse solo, just a single spot, Alex on guitar with the audience on backing vocals, as the band jumped along for the chorus and drove it home.
16. The Jeweller's Hand: another new song, on wich the drumming of Matt Helders was once again very prominent. One of the very best drummers in today's music, as far as I'm concerned.
17. Secret Door: the Arctic Monkeys closed their set with another ballad, very beautifully played.
18. Fluorescent Adolescent: a new version, with newly written bridge (and played in a lower key), which once again got the roof of.
19. 505: on this closing song, Alex sang without playing his guitar, just center stage with the microphone.
There weren't too spectacular on stage antics during the show. There was very good lighting, growing in intensity according to the show, and videoscreens, but the focus was on five people (during this tour, the Arctic Monkeys have added a fifth man on organ and guitar to their line-up) and their rock 'n roll. // 8
Overall Impression: I saw the Arctic Monkeys on their Humbug Tour in the Lotto Arena in Antwerp, Belgium, on the third of November. Eagles Of Death Metal played as opening act. The ZZ Top of this generation gave a great perfomance, of which a particularly great rendition of Boy's bad news will remain longest in my memory.
The Arctic Monkeys performance was top notch. It was a pity they didn't play A certain romance, and rushed Still take you home a bit, but they have really grown performance-wise, and constructed a great set list. My favourite performances were Brianstorm, The View From The Afternoon, Cornerstone, When The Sun Goes Down and Fluorescent Adolescent. I payed 34 for the show, and will definetely go again if they come back to Belgium! // 9