Arctic Monkeys | Live at Rod Laver Arena

May 9th, 2014 | Rod Laver Arena

It’s that feeling. That all-over body tingling, butterflies-in-the-stomach feeling that one would usually experience before a first date or, dare I say, even their wedding day. For me, it’s the same feeling I experience prior to a gig. Seldom do I experience this anymore, however.

As someone who has attended many varied live music performances – “too many”, as my mother would insist – I have almost become desensitised to that feeling of pure and utter excitement. So much excitement that it’s painful to sleep. You just want to it right now. You can’t wait. You have trouble concentrating. You don’t want to talk to anyone – unless talking about the gig itself – and even then, talking about it can hurt. And then when you’re there, that anticipation before the band comes on.

Arctic Monkeys was one of those rare moments. Those rare moments that I so long for.

The recipe for the night was hard to beat. The Monkeys have been a band that I’ve been infatuated with for many years but never ended up seeing. Call it ill fate or a lack of money, the build-up to this gig was unparalleled. Then adding Pond as the opening act? Well, the organisers of the event tumbled into my wet dreams and handed this one out on a platter.

I won’t lie, however. The last time I saw Pond was at my home-away-from-home, The Corner, and they smashed that venue. Actually, it was almost like that venue was built for them. But how would they go on the Rod Laver stage? I won’t lie, I missed most of their set. But the few songs I did see of theirs, well, they smashed it – just like they know how to. Albeit it, watching them live on this occasion, I was unable to perfectly see the manipulated face of Nick Allbrook, and that was pretty fucking upsetting.

Then the Monkeys hit the stage and there was that feeling… That gut-churning, excited, ‘I’m about to throw up but in the best way possible’ feeling. Opening with Do I Wanna Know?, I was hooked already. Everything that I’d envisioned this performance to be, it was…and it had only been a mere couple of minutes into the set. Gyrating along to the beat, my neck turned into a slinky and my hair ended up all over my face. This gig was exactly what I thought it was going to be.

              arcticmonkeyslive

The setlist encompassed something for every Arctics fan; some of the new, some of the old, some of the even-older. A nice little surprise for some (definitely including myself), was the band’s snippet of Sabbath’s War Pigs during my personal favourite track off the band’s latest album, AM, Arabella. Just when I thought that it would be impossible for them to get any better, they went and did it.

Having heard and read about other people’s experiences watching the band live, I knew that I was going to expect something special. But never in my wildest dreams did I think just how good this performance was going to be. Whatever you hear on record is only the tip of the iceberg; this Sheffield clan were born to be entertainers. And Mr Turner, with that voice dripping in pure sex appeal. Who needs porn when you can reach climax listening to Alex Turner sing out his heart and soul.

Another outstanding moment had to come during the second song of the band’s encore performance, I Wanna Be Yours. A sea of light from the crowd’s mobile phone flashlights and lighters flooded over the otherwise dark arena as a sing-along ensued. No matter of relationship status, everyone felt warm and fuzzy in that moment.

Inviting the audience to be his, Turner insisted that we all unite as one in a big ol’ love-fest. R U Mine? closed the band’s setlist and turned on every female (and probably male) in the room. It’s not easy for people to feel close to a band that’s playing at a 14,820-seated arena, but somehow they managed to make each person in the crowd feel as though they were singing straight to them; as though it were just them and the band in a small room together.

Everything that I thought the gig would be was what it was and then some. Thank you, Arctic Monkeys, for reminding me that in a world filled with pure shit, auto-tune and lip-syncing, that there is actually real talent still alive and prominent.

The Arctic Monkeys setlist for Melbourne, Rod Laver on May 9 is as follows:

  1. Do I Wanna Know?
  2. Snap Out Of It
  3. Arabella
  4. Brianstorm
  5. Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair
  6. Dancing Shoes
  7. Library Pictures
  8. Crying Lightning
  9. Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High
  10. Fireside
  11. I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor
  12. She’s Thunderstorms
  13. No. 1 Party Anthem
  14. Cornerstone
  15. Knee Socks
  16. Fluorescent Adolescent
  17. 505

Encore

  1. One for the Road
  2. I Wanna Be Yours
  3. R U Mine?

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