Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Arctic Monkeys live @ Chicago Metro 3/18/06

Arctic Monkeys

All photos from the Arctic Monkeys gig here. Slideshow here.

Well, the big question was: Will they live up to the hype? The answer: Yes, they certainly did.. they absolutely fucking rocked! What a show... here's a brief recap for you.

I had traveled 400 miles for this gig; Minneapolis to Chicago. Last time I was in the windy city for a great gig, was Oasis in 1998. I had high expectations for the events to come Saturday... My friends and I had done some sight-seeing at Navy Pier in the afternoon. The Ferris Wheel was actually a bit scary. After a brief and early dinner we headed back to our hotel and prepared for the show by having a few drinks in the hotel lounge. Around 6:30pm we took a cab over to the Metro. Upon arriving, we checked out set-times: Spinto Band (the opening band) 7:15pm - 7:45pm, Arctic Monkeys 8:15pm - 9:15pm. Security @ Metro sucked... complete strip-search and absolutely no cameras allowed! Before heading in, I quickly sold me 2 extra tickets to a couple of cute girls, and tucked my camera into my sock (yes, sock!). Luckily they did not detect the camera (but me leg was in pain) and we were ready for the show...

A couple of observations about the Metro. Wow, it's really small! About 1/2 the size of First Avenue... Metro looks and feels like a really small theater (pretty good sight-lines and acoustics). When we walked in, Spinto Band had just started their set. They put on a pretty solid musical performance (I like their album quite a bit). Stage presence was another matter... They also had a couple of technical issues, mainly the bass player breaking a string which took a couple of songs to change. All in all though, a pretty decent warm-up band. Sorry I have no pictures of them, it was too risky, security was super-tight...

Punctually @ 8:15pm the lights went out, the following tune started pumping on the stereo, and the Arctic Monkeys walked out.

mp3: WarrenG - Regulate

Arctic Monkeys

Definitely a very funny and cool way to start the show. The bass was pumpin'! The band launched straight into "View From the Afternoon" and the crowd went absolutely ape-shit. I was getting doused in liquids from the balcony. Yep, that's rock 'n roll for you... Next tune "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor" the energy didn't let up... Needless to say it stayed like that most of the gig. They tore through pretty much their whole album (they didn't play "Riot Van"). Highlights included "From The Ritz To The Rubble", "Perhaps Vampires...", "When The Sun Goes Down", "Mardy Bum", and "A Certain Romance" (which they closed with). The band even played a new non-album track "Leave Before The Lights Go On". This one didn't go as smoothly as they had to re-start the track as Alex's guitar went out of tune mid-song...

Stage presence-wise I had heard some not-so-good things about these guys. I was pleasantly surpised however. I thought they did great in that regard and looked very cool; they were moving all around the stage. Even chatting in between songs (sometimes with the crowd). Some of the small talk was a bit tough to understand though... (think Gallagher boys). And I'm pretty well versed in "Brit Speak"...

As mentioned above the Arctic Monkeys concluded the evening with "A Certain Romance". 60 minutes of pure rock 'n roll joy! No encores; none were needed in my opinion.

Minneapolis and many other cities were well represented at the gig. The lead singer even pointed out (and spoke about) some crazy people dancing from Minneapolis! Yep, of course some people I knew...

To summarize, great show. Well worth traveling 400 miles for.

The band looked and sounded almost exactly like this and this. From SxSW the night before...

Next live gig for me... I'll see you @ Art Brut in the 7th Street Entry 3/28/06!

Related Arctic Monkeys links:

Amazon: Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I Am Not
Arctic Monkeys on SNL 3/11/06
Arctic Monkeys on YouTube

The rest of the Chicago pictures and stories to come tomorrow.

P.S. Meadow is all grown up. (NSFW)


Anonymous said...

Metro holds 1200 First Ave 1600, not too big of difference, but it's wider so it seems smaller (cuz when you're at the back you're much closer than at First Ave)

c said...

awesome write up, man :=)
sounds like you got all james bond with your camera.