Quarter to 8pm on Sunday, I got an unexpected text message from a very good friend asking what I was doing at the moment. My response? “Reading a terrible book. Why do you ask?” The reason she was asking, and the reason she is a very good friend, was because she was offering me a free ticket to see the Arctic Monkeys at the Wiltern.
Less than an hour later, I had found street parking and was inside the venue (a huge accomplishment given LA traffic). Our very own Gerry Doot was reviewing the show so I just stood in awe the entire night at the audience’s extreme excitement and dedication, the level of which I have never seen before (and I’ve been to a lot of shows).
Sold out, the Wiltern holds 1,850 very excited people, so when I heard I was confirmed to see the Arctic Monkeys again at KROQ’s Red Bull Sound Space with about 150 others, to say I was excited is a gross understatement. As I’ve learned, KROQ has a solid system with bands that play their Sound Space. A brief interview and a short set, all filmed so that you can experience the event remotely or reminisce over the mind-blowing shows until they’re permanently etched into your memory.
About to play their third sold-out show at the Wiltern, the band talked about Breaking Bad, Ambien, and their new album, AM, before playing six songs off the album.
After just two repetitions of the word “high,” the audience was clearly anticipating the kick-off song of the set, “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High.” “One For The Road” was next, and just because Alex Turner was holding a guitar, that didn’t hide his impressive dance moves. This led right into “Snap Out Of It,” which at the time (and still at the current moment) was the winner in my perpetual internal struggle of “No, this is my favorite song on the album.”
“Arabella” caused for Turner to put the guitar down, which meant even more amazing dancing (see below). The ballad slowed the mood down a bit, though the Alex Turner screensavers were only dimmed by cameras as people made absolute sure to document the experience on Twitter, Instagram, whatever other outlet they might have to show they were there.
What came last was what we heard first to tease AM — “Do I Wanna Know” and “R U Mine” — and though the set was short, boy, was it sweet.
To echo Gerry’s advice, see the Arctic Monkeys any chance you can get. Trust me. They’re a treasure to behold.
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