Arctic Monkeys/The Strypes Live At The Manchester Arena 23rd October 2013
Live review by Jon Bird
The recent release of the critically acclaimed album 'AM', Arctic Monkeys fifth album in 7 years, meant a wealth of material to choose from for their set on the current tour. And a bold move to include The Strypes as the support act shows the band are in confident mood. This young band took to the stage in front of thousands at the Manchester Arena and played a terrific set at 100 mph with barely a breath between songs, culminating in an electric 'Blue Collar Jane' and finishing with 'Rollin & Tumblin' they are a band of 16-year-olds with the presence of a well-tuned machine. "I reek of sweat and teenage innocence..." sings Ross Farrelly, impressive in familiar shades and zoot suit.
Once upon a time, Alex Turner had the same young innocence with an array of strong tracks to back him up. Now sporting an Elvis quiff and swagger he owns the writhing crowd the moment the Arctics take to the stage with 'Do I Wanna Know?', the grand opening track from 'AM'. There is no relief for the moshing, slam-dancing Mancunian crowd for the next 1 hour 40 minutes set. 'Brianstorm' follows, then a set of all too familiar songs including 'Teddy Picker', 'Fluorescent Adolescent' and a predictably exuberant 'I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor' leaving the exhausted crowd screaming with adulation. An acoustic version of 'Mardy Bum' is sung word-for-word by almost the whole arena during the three song encore before the finale 'R U Mine'. Two sell-out shows at Earls Court follow before playing the rest of the country's arenas and shows a confident band still riding the crest of a wave... a truly wonderful evening.