Concert review: Arctic Monkeys at Rams Head Live
The Arctic Monkeys made a name for themselves with music that pairs a punk attitude and indie rock sensibilities.
During a sold-out show at Rams Head Live last night, the British five-piece took their studio work and cranked up the dial. The hooks were bigger, the drums beefier and the vocals more careless.
Many of the Arctic Monkeys songs take unexpected twists, veering from thrashing percussion to slower passages with sickly guitar riffs.
Last night, the band took the turns with laser sharp precision ...
The crunchy guitars and choppy beats of "I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor" got the crowd jumping, and later gave way to the ephemeral keyboards and pulsing beats of "505," the closer from their sophomore release, "Favourite Worst Nightmare."
The band didn't play their early hit "Fake Tales of San Francisco" -- odd, considering they only have three albums. But they did offer a gritty cover of Nick Cave's "Red Right Hand."
After a couple songs, lead singer Alex Turner, long-haired and lanky, mumbled a few obligatory words about how great it was to be in Baltimore. Turner and crew didn't waste much breath talking before getting right back to the rock.
The Arctic Monkeys' songs have a habit of pausing halfway through. Live, this lets the crowd cheer, and then the band picks back up where they left off. Last night, it was fun the first couple times, but grew gratuitous -- as though they were holding up the song like a trophy for the crowd to applaud.
The staging was simple: A large silver screen hung behind the band, and lights flashed from behind and in front of them. At times, the band's figures cast big shadows on the backdrop. A few hapless fans even tried crowd surfing (it generally didn't go so well).
The boys in Arctic Monkeys have a sound and attitude that belies their age. Turner is only 23(!). He was in his teens when the band hit the mainstream overseas. They're not quite as big here yet, but if last night's show was any indication, they might be.
(AP photo of Arctic Monkeys performing at last year's All Point West festival)