July 27, 2018 at TD Garden
It would be ridiculous for me to present this article before addressing what everyone is really thinking about: Alex Turner’s hair (R.I.P. 2006-2018). The infamous decision shocked the masses and brought me back to circa-2007 Britney Spears. His luscious locks bid farewell and the British hunkas we once knew him was gone forever…well, not quite. In fact, you’d be excited to learn that Turner’s hair seems to be growing back fast, as he sported a short buzz cut this past Friday that didn’t look half bad. Fear not ladies, Turner will be back sporting his greasy ‘do in no time.
May 11th, 2018 can be marked as either a tragic or joyous holiday. After a five-year hiatus, the release of Arctic Monkeys’ highly anticipated album Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino polarized fans, as they either drowned in sorrows or rejoiced the band’s ultimate resurgence. But last Friday, all fans put their judgments aside to pack TD Garden for a healthy dose of anything and everything AM. Despite a fiercely debated album, the devotion to the borderline cult-classic status band proved that Arctic Monkeys will stand the test of time and continue to pack venues (and even invoke a few fangirl tears) no matter what new direction they follow.
Surrounding me was a wide scope of fans, ranging from 16 to 60 years old, all congregating to enjoy some rock & roll and let loose for a night. Quite a few seats remained unclaimed despite a passionate and diverse batch of fans, but what the crowd lacked in numbers was made up for in decibels. The moment the band walked out to greet the fans with everyone’s current Tranquility Base favorite ‘Four Out of Five’ was the moment the crowd went absolutely wild. No one in the arena could keep still as America’s favorite British quartet took the stage with their equally charming touring musicians.
Following a dip into Tranquility, the band traveled back in time to deliver their pre-2011 relics, including ‘Brianstorm,’ ‘Teddy Picker,’ and ‘505’ from 2007’s Favourite Worst Nightmare; ‘Crying Lighting’ from 2009’s crowd-favorite Humbug; and ‘Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair’ from 2011’s Suck It and See. After the much-needed throwback, they sporadically yet artfully intermixed songs from their newest release, including title track ‘Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino,’ with a slew of Favourite Worst Nightmare and Humbug jams. Through it all, the crowd maintained a high energy, taking any and all songs with the same level of gratitude and excitement as the next. Though the material covered over ten years of AM’s discography, they were able to seamlessly transition from one song into the next in true 2018 Tranquility Base fashion.
Closing out the first half of their set with ‘The Ultracheese,’ Arctic Monkeys inevitably graced the crowd with 2013’s AM masterpieces (including the obligatory ‘Do I Wanna Know?’) before keeping with the tradition of playing ‘I Bet You Look Good On the Dancefloor’ for the “LADIES!” from their debut full-length that was released 12 (!!!) years ago.
With the final notes of ‘Arabella’ ringing, it was quite obvious they would return for an encore, but not before a mysteriously large, mirrored cube appeared downstage. Its presence seemed to spur interest and excited speculation before AM strutted back to the stage, only to reveal that the cube spun around 360° to reflect stars across the arena as Turner crooned through ‘Star Treatment.’ A bit cliché for my tastes, but I still appreciated the thought that went into it. The (theoretical) curtain closed after ‘R U Mine?,’ and fans, though rabid for the band, dipped out early enough to catch a less crowded train.
The show was exactly what you would expect from Arctic Monkeys, from elaborate drum fills to Turner’s obnoxiously flamboyant movements. If you’re interested to know what I’m talking about, please refer to the informational videos that I’ve linked below.
Photos by: Andrew Goldberg | Edited by: Ingrid Angulo