Article and Photos by Andrés Alvarado
The buildup to the Arctic Monkeys‘ 6th LP, Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino, was one of substantial fanfare. Upon release, the boys from Sheffield threw out a massive curve-ball by ditching their leather-jackets-n-strings appeal for a more sophisticated suits-n-whiskey flair. Initial reaction was that of confusion, even some anger, as the Alex Turner-led quartet seemed to have drifted away not only from formula, but from genre as well. Nonetheless, a little over a month has passed and diehards have seemingly dropped the “unhappy fan” shtick and fallen in love and in line with Turner’s vision and the band’s new lounge-pop sound.
Touring in support of these cosmically stylish new set of anthems, the 505 gang journeyed into Atlanta to perform before a sold-out Coca-Cola Roxy Theatre. Inside, the venue’s lengthy and sizeable dais is tricked out of tan and gold hues with one simple word embellishing the background, MONKEYS. Ultimately, come 9 o’clock, the walls packed side to side and front to back, the lights dim, the Sheffield quartet strut out one by one to the stage, all hell erupts, the party begins. Mr. Turner, decked in a caramel throwback suit and matching shades, meekly grins before delving into latest single, “Four Out Of Five,” and forging a lit atmosphere; handsomely aided by the thousands crooning along.
For roughly 90 minutes, these titans of rock navigate through an infested alley of past and present hits. Master shredder Jamie Cook and bassist Nick O’Malley shine brightest during those heavy resonating classics of Favorite Worst Nightmare and Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not fame. Drummer Matt Helders is a joy to witness in his element of hi-hat and tom-tom drums dexterity. Nevertheless, it’s Alex Turner that elevates the festivities. Sex appeal and rock idiosyncrasies by the tons is the name of his game. Suave during the band’s lighter ballads, but not afraid to let loose during the rowdier jams, Alex Turner plays for keeps and keeps it 100.
Overall, the Arctic Monkeys reinforced, once again, the notion of existing as a legitimate top-tier rock outfit. Their pageantry is riotous, yet tamed. Polished, though disorderly. Post punk, through the hints of pop. A show deserving of every penny on that ticket price, and a band worthy of your undivided bloody attention. Cheers!
For more general information on the Arctic Monkeys or to get the inside scoop on their upcoming tour dates, click here.