Note: I’m going to do my best not to jizz all over myself when writing this review. Before reading this you should know that I am completely retarded for the Arctic Monkeys.
The Venue & Whatnot--------------------
First, a rant on The Ogden. The tickets said doors at 8:00pm. The website said 8:00pm. Yet, when I went to the box office to buy tickets for The Bravery, I asked what time the Monkeys went on and the uppity young lady behind the glass said “7:45.”
“I thought doors were at eight,” I said.
“The doors are open right now.” It was just after 7:00. Lucky for me I took the initiative to ask because I wasn’t planning on getting there until almost 9:00 and I would have missed the set, like many (understandably upset) Monkeys fans did. Boo on whoever had the brilliant idea of moving the time slot UP from what it said on the tickets. Ogden Theater FAIL.
Despite the early start, the Arctic Monkeys played to a nearly full house at the Ogden. It was obvious that most of the people at the show were there for them rather than Airborne Toxic, which led most people we met to wonder why they weren’t headlining. This is a band whose first two records have gone platinum six times combined in the UK. They clearly have an avid fan base, which was evident on Wednesday night in Denver.
The entire show was a roller coaster ride of energy. They started with “Dance Little Liar,” a slow starter off of their latest release Humbug. The audience was primed to go crazy, and when the Monkeys launched into the climax of the song, the dimly lit dark blue stage gave way to a frenetic strobe light, sending the fans into a frenzy. From there they went right into “Brianstorm,” the first track off of 2007’s Favourite Worst Nightmare, which was so tightly performed it literally sent chills down my spine. The set list meandered through the band’s three albums, with the bulk of the songs coming from Nightmare and Humbug. The predictable fan-favorite was "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor,” which they played about halfway through the set.
At one point, I thought the band might be going through the motions. Although the music was about as high energy as can be, the personas on stage were subdued and low-key save for front man Alex Turner’s occasional strobe-light illuminated, shaggy haired guitar rock-outs. I came to the conclusion that they were not merely going through the motions, this is how these guys perform. They provided the rock and the audience fed off it, throwing the energy they got from the music back on stage, urging the band members to jump around with them. I will say that I was worried for the health of Matt Helders, the Monkeys drummer. He looked like he was in pain from about the second song and I have no idea how he played the entire set without passing out. Listen to a few Monkeys songs and imagine playing drums for 70 minutes straight at altitude in a hot venue. Not desirable.
I was thoroughly impressed by the band’s musicianship. From Helder’s frantic drumming, to Turner’s spitfire vocals, to his guitar back-and-forths with guitarist Jamie Cook, they impressed with every song to the point where there were not any standouts because each one seemed better than the next. But I will admit, the fan boy in me was bouncing with glee and cheering until my voice hurt after “Brianstorm,” “Pretty Visitors,” and “This House Is A Circus.”
I kept thinking to myself, “you can’t call these guys the best band in the world. You can’t call these guys the best band in the world.” And I won’t make such a hyperbole-laden statement. However, I will say it’s the best performance of its kind I’ve ever seen. They came, they rocked, they left, and if you got there late, you missed out on one hell of a show.
The Airborne Toxic Event? Yeah, they also played.