Monday, March 27, 2006

The Arctic Monkeys

The Arctic Monkeys, "The View From The Afternoon"

The Arctic Monkeys, "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor"

The Arctic Monkeys, "Fake Tales of San Francisco"

The Arctic Monkeys, "Mardy Bum"

The end of the road, the final show on the tour. 5 concerts in 7 days. What better way to end it than with the biggest hype show of them all, the one that sold out the fastest, the Arctic Monkeys at the Starlight Ballroom. Well, actually staying at home with MC and JC-S, watching the Flyers win the Stanley Cup in a world where pastrami on rye is good for you and poverty was eradicated, that would be better. But, you take what you can get.

The openers were The Spinto Band, a local act gaining lots of attention recently. I was very excited to see them playing on a big stage, and hope that this tour opening for The Artic Monkeys will bring them an even bigger audience and national attention. They played an excellent set, a nice, sloppy rock show that reminded me a little bit of the Dr. Dog show at Mercury Lounge. I'm a sucker for harmonies and backup vocals and "Doo doo doo"s being sung, and The Spinto Band give me that in excess. It was a good set, and real nice to see people giving them a listen. Check them out this Thursday at the TLA with The Teeth and The National Eye (two other bands that are ready to take the next leap) in a great Philly rock showcase. Buy their most recent album, Nice and Nicely Done, and show some love.

After a long intermission, the Arctic Monkeys came out and killed it with the first two songs from the album. They were so much louder than anything else I've heard recently, blowing my ear drums out with the attack. Man, it sounded soooo good. From there, they pretty much played the exact same way with the same sound for the next 45 minutes. That's not meant as an insult, as they know their strengths and don't fuck with 'em. They play good-old fashioned rock'n'roll, the kind that middle-aged white guys long for. It's similar on the album, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, as you get 12 tracks at 41 minutes, most with the same tempo and structure, hard and fast with an occasional slow number.

Sound and looks-wise, they still remind me of Oasis. Both are at their best when they write catchy, short rock/pop songs. Both have to live with the ridiculous hype and expectations of the British media and people. I almost feel bad for the Arctic Monkeys, as they are a good band that are being compared to the Clash and Radiohead on the strength of one album. I hope that they can make some money off of this and take some time off, to let the hype die down. The four tracks above should give you a good sense of their sound and their great potential. Everyone probably has it, but if you don't, make sure to d/l "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor", a not-quite 3 minute burst of pop brilliance. Buy the album here and see what you think.

A few random thoughts from the show, as my mind wandered towards the end. The guy who held up the British flag throughout the show was the most annoying person ever at a concert. Monkeys' fans are the tallest in the world, able to field a basketball team if British people weren't such terrible athletes. If I am 45 years-old, still attending shitty concerts, I will kill myself (assuming I haven't died already of a heart attack from years of worrying and self-loathing). The Starlight Ballroom is officially my favorite place to see a concert in the world. TA is an amazing friend, ready to roll to concerts for bands she knows little about, able to handle my mid-show life crises (sadly, no joke there) and one of the kindest, most wonderful people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

That's the end of the concert review week here at Pound for Pound. I think that we are going to return to the Pure Dork stuff, but I may choose to go in a different direction and discuss the future of Philadelphia and what the city lacks. We'll see. I hope that everyone enjoyed a look at the Philly concert week, as it might be the last ones I ever attend.


theresa said...

a) thanks for getting me off my ass to go to some great shows;
b) i'd have mid-show crises too if my heart wasn't dead; and
c) you need to meet more people... i'm mediocre, at best.

Blackmail Is My Life said...

When I went to a show every night during the third week of October (starting Sunday night with Devendra, ending Thursday with Boris), walking to the venue every night (roundtrip from my apartment to F.U. Church - 6.2 miles), I thought I was gonna die...of shin splints.

Congratulations on your endurance and stamina!