hmv.com reviews... Arctic Monkeys @ London's Finsbury Park
Arctic Monkeys kicked off their two-night stand of huge outdoor shows at London’s Finsbury Park last night (May 23rd) and we were there to review things...
Arctic Monkeys, Britain’s biggest and best rock and roll band.
Finsbury Park, big patch of grass in the top right hand corner of London.
Was it full? And how were the crowd?
Completely and totally sold out, with the people as far as the eye could see. The crowd (lots of whom were very well oiled…) were in fine voice, singing along loudly to pretty much every word of the set.
So what was the set like? What did they play?
The set focused heavily on material from their supreme album AM, kicking off with ‘Do I Wanna Know?’ and ending with a glorious rendition of ‘R U Mine?’, in between times they also played incredible versions of ‘One For The Road’, ‘Knee Socks’ and a slick, smooth ‘Arabella’ as well as a number of others.
There was plenty of older stuff too in the 90-minute set too, including a riotous ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’, a lively ‘Dancing Shoes’ and a bombastic ‘Crying Lightning’. The set had some more tender moments too, Turner played a lovely solo version of ‘A Certain Romance’ alone on acoustic guitar and the whole band contributed very beautiful renditions of Humbug highpoint ‘Cornerstone’ and Favourite Worst Nightmare’s incredible ‘505’.
Any good between song banter?
Frontman Alex Turner, who was dressed in tight black jeans and a very strange smoking jacket, didn’t say too much, he thanked the crowd a few times, told them they looked beautiful, in fact the most he said was to introduce 'A Certain Romance' by saying "I feel like playing an old song on acoustic guitar", not that this took away from anything, less talks means more songs, and that's a very good thing.
Did they put on much of a show? Any fireworks?
Lots, before the set even started the screens showed this very odd animation of contorted body parts transforming in this bizarre psychedelic fashion. All this built up to the unveiling of a huge, lit-up wave, in the style of the cover of AM, which threw out laser lights and looked very very cool indeed.
What was the set highlight?
The whole thing felt like one big highlight, but when they started off with 'Do I Wanna Know?' and the choir instantly turned into one huge choir, that was a proper goosebumps all over your body moment...
Where can I catch them next?
They’re headlining Reading and Leeds as well as T In The Park then the band is for them to make themselves scarce for a little while. They’re on incredible form at the moment so try your hardest to get to one of the festivals...
You can check out Arctic Monkeys’ back catalogue in hmv stores across the UK and in our digital store by clicking here.