The 28th of October 2011 saw the return of the Arctic Monkeys for the launch of the 'Suck it and See' tour, in the United Kingdom. A chance for fans to see how the band has developed and get a first hand taste of the latest album live.
First up were The Vaccines. A band riding high on the back of a stunning breakthrough year. Their debut album 'What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?' was released in March and the singles have all garnered high rotation on Radio 1's play-list resulting in them being the biggest selling new band of the year. Singer Justin Young has been dogged by throat problems in the later half of 2011 and over recent months has undergone multiple surgeries to help with his throat issues. However, Justin's singing is on top form tonight-
With a sound similar to bands with a greater pedigree, such as 'Ramones' and 'The Strokes' The Vaccines provided a more than worthy support act. This new band's following was obvious as people turned up in droves to watch them. The drummer of the band (Pete Robertson) was wearing a t-shirt with the name of the band on it; in a bit of shameless promotion to the hoards of Arctic Monkeys fans.
It's fair to say that they have definitely caught people's attention and it's clear to the audience that they're all great performers who had no problem getting the crowd going when playing their first single ''Wreckin' Bar''. The crowd seemed to be familiar with all of their songs, not always the case with support acts, but that says a lot about the West London act who could easily be holding their own explosive tour.
After a long wait all the venue lights went out, this was greeted by a monstrous roar from the crowd, anticipating the great return of the Arctic Monkeys. The roar intensified as the band emerged with blinding stage lights. The whole arena burst into life as the band dived into the first single off their latest album, the notorious 'Don't Sit Down 'Cause I've Moved Your Chair'. This was followed up with the classic 'Crying Lightning' with Matt Helders drumming a sparkling display of technical expertise and creative expression.
By this time the audience were in the starting blocks ready for the pistol to be fired, which it well and truly was as Alex Turner triggered the first riff of the iconic, pacy anthem 'I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor'.
The gig featured many of their new songs tempered with classics from their previous three albums. After the Monkeys blitzed the Arena with 'When The Sun Goes Down' they left the stage for what seemed an eternity. On their return Alex Turner began to sing the first line of 'Mardy Bum' leading the crowd to pick up their cue and echo the words to complete the song. The band then followed on from this with 'Suck It and See' before rounding off the night with '505' providing one final mesmerising melody!
Arctic Monkeys have become excellent musicians over time, having been thrusted into the 'festival headline' slot when barely out of their teenage years. The band 'lock in' as one unit to make an amazingly powerful and intricate sound but when it boils down to it their songs and words are what touch fans hearts and elevate them to 'classic guitar band' status. Alex Turner's frank lyrics and beautiful melodies are what have set Arctic Monkeys apart from other bands and continue to do so.
All in all, an exceptional night with two talented bands - one at the beginning of a promising career and the other, masters of their art.
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