Photography by Jacob Cutler
Written By Regan Harvey
Anticipation hung in the air on Friday night as concertgoers filtered into the TD Garden arena by the thousands. Despite escaping from the sticky July heat, the crowd was restless. Fans had been waiting five years since the Arctic Monkeys’ last tour. The opening act, L.A. trio Mini Mansions, held the audience over with catchy rock tracks and guitar riffs played with a cymbal.
Just when it seemed the crowd wouldn’t be able to wait another minute,
the lights went out and the stage was illuminated with rhythmic flashes of red. Finally, the Arctic Monkeys made their appearance. Frontman Alex Turner took the stage sporting a new buzz cut. While it was sad to see the Elvis style quiff go, Turner’s new look still channeled a rock legend. With his shaved head, three piece suit, and translucent brown shades, the young singer radiated Bono vibes.
As much as he is compared to other musicians, Turner is a powerhouse in his own right. He kicked off the night with the lunar residence themed track, “Four Out Of Five.” The song is a single off the Arctic Monkeys’ latest narrative sci-fi inspired release, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino. We've been playing it on WERS basically nonstop!
Turner swapped between guitar and keyboard
(the centerpiece sound of Tranquility Base) throughout the set. When he wasn’t picking up an instrument, the musician showed off his unique dance style which mainly consisted of complicated hand gestures and gyrating. The set featured equal parts Tranquility Base and tracks from the band’s break out 2013 album AM, as well as older hits from the 2000’s such as, “I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor.” The aforementioned song nearly incited a mosh pit of enthusiastic, head-banging fans.
Turner owned the stage with his sardonic lyrics and charming swagger. As AM favorite “Arabella” began, the singer whipped off his suit jacket and spun it around his head as the crowd cheered. It was possibly Boston’s most attended strip tease.
Before the band came out for their encore, stagehands set up a giant, rotating, mirrored cube.
As the prop threw light beams across the audience, cheers of “We want Monkeys!” and stomping echoed throughout the arena. To the excitement of the crowd, the British group returned for three more songs. They ended the night on an extended version of “R U Mine?” Turner cast an intense gaze over the crowd before diving into the chorus a final time and leaving the stage without another word. The only thing that could have made the night a more iconic Monkeys performance would have been a mic drop.
Regan is a writer for WERS and a Media Arts Production major at Emerson College. She has a passion for music, comedy, and podcasting.