Photo courtesy of @ArcticMonkeys/Facebook

Better than “Four Out of Five”

A review of Arctic Monkeys at The Observatory North Park

 By Raquel Puerto Social Media Manager

The Sheffield band’s exhilarating comeback after a four-year hiatus didn’t waver through their second night at The Observatory North Park in San Diego. As Arctic Monkeys members Alex Turner, Jamie Cook, Matt Helders and Nick O’Malley had no intention of releasing any single from their upcoming album, “Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino,” the audience was able to hear a couple of the unreleased tracks Thursday evening. Although the mystery around the album continued for fans who weren’t at the concert, since signs at the venue indicated that no one was allowed to record or take pictures during the performance.

The night opened with Tame Impala’s Cameron Avery playing a 30-minute setlist, which included songs from his first album and some new material. Avery’s music style caught a lot of fans off guard, as his jazzy sound was quite the opposite from Arctic Monkeys’ previous guitar-heavy tracks. But later on that night, everyone would soon hear Avery’s groovy melodies in the Arctic Monkeys' new songs.

When the Monkeys finally came on stage, they were met with an anxious excitement. They opened their set, joined by Avery on piano and backing vocals, with their new single “Four Out of Five,” which sounded like a funky twist of “Do I Wanna Know?” from the band’s 2013 album “AM.” Avery also joined in the performances of other new tracks, such as ”She Looks Like Fun” and “One Point Perspective.” The night took a cosmic turn when frontman Alex Turner accompanied the live debut of a new track “Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino” with spacey, Twilight Zone-esque chord progressions on piano.

Photo courtesy of @ArcticMonkeys/Twitter

The rest of the set included a mixture of classic tracks from Arctic Monkeys’ previous guitar-centric albums, such as “The View From The Afternoon” and  “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor,” from their 2006 record “Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not.” Other audience favorites “Brianstorm” and “505” off 2007’s “Favourite Worst Nightmare” were met with a healthy amount of screaming. Also performed were new arrangements of “The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala” and “Fireside.”

Without a doubt, Arctic Monkeys did not disappoint in their second live performance in nearly four years. Turner, clad in a very ‘70s influenced three-piece suit, delivered his typical hip-swinging dance moves throughout the night and added to the groovy vibe of the new tracks. The set’s mixture of the old and the new, the band’s unfaltering energy and a differing setlist from the night before all elevated the audience’s anticipation and kept them on their feet. From what I have heard, “Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino” already sounds completely different from the Monkey’s previous albums. The “loung-ey” ambiance Turner has described the new album of having is very much apparent in the new tracks debuted. Personally, how I would have to describe the album would be a mixture of the band’s third studio album “Humbug” and Alex Turner’s duo group with Miles Kane, The Last Shadow Puppets.

Arctic Monkeys will continue to tour their new album around the United States, Europe and the U.K. in the upcoming months and if we’re lucky, we might get to hear other new tracks before the album’s May 11 release date.

Setlist:

  1. “Four Out of Five”
  2. “Arabella”
  3. “Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair”
  4. “The View from the Afternoon”
  5. “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor”
  6. “505”
  7. “The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala”
  8. “She Looks Like Fun”
  9. “Crying Lightning”
  10. “Do I Wanna Know?”
  11. “Brianstorm”
  12. “Pretty Visitors”
  13. “Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino”
  14. “Fireside’
  15. “Cornerstone”
  16. “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?”

    Encore:

  1. “One Point Perspective”
  2. “One for the Road”
  3. “R U Mine?”