The crowd roared, the music swayed…No, wait…The music soared and…Ok, I was admittedly very distracted by Arctic Monkeys’ lead singer Alex Turner at their concert last weekend at the Kool Haus when they rocked the night away playing a great medley of old and new. Recently dropping their fifth studio album, AM, earlier this month to rave reviews and record highs, the quartet took over Toronto with a lively performance and a sinfully hot show.
Looking very dapper with slicked hair and sharp style, the Sheffield lads were very prompt when they hit the stage at 9pm. Having just entered Kool Haus, I was very surprised to see any main act on so early – especially one with such a rebellious, anarchistic sound…for the most part. I envisioned the foursome backstage chugging Jack Daniels with ashtrays filled to the brim and cocaine lined out on the tables as fans wait impatiently for hours in front of an empty stage. Alas, these boys seem to be some of the good ones out there. I had the chance to catch the band at Coachella last year, so I was curious to see what the atmosphere would be like in much smaller quarters; and the band did not disappoint. Manning the front of the stage like the mast leading a ship into powerful waves with such force, Alex Turner’s presence cut through the crowd like a knife with his intensity and provocative lyrics.
The set ranged from the always lively “I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor”, to 2011’s Suck It And See hit “Brick By Brick”, 2009’s Hamburg track “Cornerstone”, and “Fluorescent Adolescent” from their earlier days in 2007 that showed as much talent and potential then as it does today. The boys also shuffled in some of their new tracks from the latest album, with “RU Mine” reverberating off the walls with the sultry lyrics that Turner has said draws on a bit of a Drake influence. Taking over the crowd with “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?”, many fans rocked the merch tees with the track title on the front – including drummer Matt Helders sporting the shirt on stage.
Hot and sweaty in the best of ways, that was one concert you could feel the Arctic Monkeys’ presence no matter where you were in the venue. Impressed and wanting more, I await the next chance I get to see these lads from across the pond as their professional sound, engaging performance, and wildly entertaining songs truly brought down the “Haus”.