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Arctic Monkeys - Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff - October 29 2013 (Live Review)

Wednesday, 30 October 2013 Written by Dave Ball

It's fair to say that it's been a pretty good year for Arctic Monkeys. Having followed up a triumphant headlining performance at Glastonbury with ‘AM’, their fifth consecutive #1 album, the Sheffield giants rolled into the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff and thrilled a sold out crowd.

Opening for them were current media darlings the Strypes, who offered up 45 exhilarating minutes of spiky, Clash/Ramones-influenced rock. Performing with a confidence and swagger that belied their teenage years, their upcoming single What A Shame came off as a sure fire hit while the mighty Blue Collar Jane sounded huge. There's little doubt these guys are going to be big and they left the stage to a huge ovation from the floor, which was packed out early doors. 

These days, though, there's no way you're upstaging Arctic Monkeys. Strutting on stage in a sparkling gold jacket, with his now trademark slicked back hair, Alex Turner led the band straight into Do I Wanna Know? before the double punch of Brianstorm and Dancing Shoes. The crowd sang every word.

It's becoming increasingly rare for arena acts to not have a specific sound, but it's a credit to the superb musicianship of the band and the songwriting talents of Turner that Arctic Monkeys have been able to make sharp changes in their style throughout their career.

Their early, jangly tracks sat happily alongside the Josh Homme-inspired stoner rock of 'Humbug', with the hip-hop influenced sounds of ‘AM’ and the odd acoustic number also chiming in harmoniously. Despite the band’s recently-acquired reputation for leaning on newer material, their set took in songs from across their powerful back catalogue, including standards like Teddy Picker, the doom-laden Don't Sit Down 'Cause I've Moved Your Chair and a lively Pretty Visitors.

As is to be expected, the biggest reaction was reserved for a rattling I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor, with the main set closing on ‘AM’ track I Wanna Be Yours. A short encore found the classic Mardy Bum sandwiched by newer tracks Snap Out Of It and closer R U Mine?.

On this evidence, despite their already stellar success, Arctic Monkeys are still firmly on the rise and their next album, whatever style it takes, will see them move on to headlining stadiums. A fabulous performance from a consistently interesting band.

Photographs courtesy of Craig Thomas (oppositeimages.co.uk) for Stereoboard.com (c) 2013. 

Arctic Monkeys UK & Ireland Tour Dates are as follows

Thu October 31st 2013 - BIRMINGHAM LG Arena
Fri November 1st 2013 - GLASGOW Hydro
Sat November 2nd 2013 - SHEFFIELD Motorpoint Arena

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