Last Night: Arctic Monkeys At House Of Blues
See the Arctic Monkeys' chav-y chic in our slideshow.
Five years since their first stateside splash in February 2006 with their debut Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, we've watched the Arctic Monkeys grow into a sturdy, finely tuned rock band. At their sold-out House Of Blues Wednesday night, they went above and beyond into pure metallic bliss.
As our photog Marc Brubaker put it during their "Don't Sit Down 'Cause I've Moved Your Chair" from this year's Suck It And See, they are playing firmly from the crotch now. We heartily agree, as did the teener who was making laps from over the gates at the front of the house and back into the crowd for the first five songs or so.
Openers Young Buffalo (right) from Oxford, Miss., are a great indie trio, mixing the right bits of dance and jangle into their set. The guys don't look a year of 20 a piece, and their bassist and singer looks like beardo Dennis Wilson from his Pacific Ocean Blue days. They actually mixed elements of spacier Beach Boys and the more lively Local Natives stuff.
The Monkeys came out to The Guess Who's "American Woman" and girly shrieks, dressed like the kind of denim-clad rockers and leathery greasers who would pick fights with the Mods in Quadrophenia. Lead singer Alex Turner was sporting a proper ducktail, and from the proper angle he struck a proper Cavern Club-era George Harrison pose.
"Library Pictures" from Suck It And See opened, a whirling dervish of a cut that stirred the crowd's pot (literally too) before launching into the strobes and blinding lights of "Brianstorm" from 2007 sophomore disc, Favourite Worst Nightmare.
Storms and mania figure heavily into the Monkeys' mix, with "Brianstorm," "She's Thunderstorms" and the spy-movie theme-ripping "Crying Lightning", one of only two tracks off 2009's dark and ominous Humbug to make an appearance in the set list. They have beefed up the early stuff from Whatever to fit their new direction, though the pop-culture charm of "I Bet You Look Good On the Dancefloor" remains.