Arctic Monkeys headlined T in the Park this weekend. As the closing act on the Sunday Night, the expectations were incredibly high. Fresh from a massive show at Marlay park in Dublin on the night before, playing to big crowds has become second nature to the Sheffield lads who started in a tiny pub in high green nearly 10 years ago. But sadly this set was not their best.. Where to begin? The fact alex Turner now has more grease in his hair than a waste facility at McDonalds, or maybe about the crowd who knew the words to about four songs? Probably the simple fact that AM was an incredibly mediocre album was enough to get me ranting.
The set opened with the classic Do I Wanna Know which is one of the only decent songs on the album. It is a brilliant set opener and ((usually)) gets the crowd excited enough to set the tone for the rest of the gig. However, as it moved on into the bloody brilliant Brianstorm, it became apparent that this crowd were not going to be overly animated. When I saw this band live at Finsbury Park in May, Brianstorm was one of the greatest experiences ever. Sure, I got kicked in the neck and thought I was going to die on more than one occasion,, but the atmosphere that the mental crowd created, tied together with the enthusiasm of the band was simply unmatchable. I strongly believe that Arctic Monkeys are a band that will always play the songs fantastically, I would never doubt them as musicians, but the gig itself will only be amazing if the crowd are. It's an incredibly crowd dependent gig and if the audience never get going, then you certainly won't have experienced Arctic Monkeys to their full potential.
As the ever-so-greasy Alex Turner led the audience through a setlist of primarily 'AM' tracks (yawn) it's no shock that the twitter audience twitter started to get pissed off. The 'critical reception' was anything but encouraging, with tweets filling my timeline all complaining about the setlist being repetitive and tedious, and this was certainly not helped by an unenthusiastic crowd who didn't jump, didn't dance, just took pictures the whole gig and barely sang along. No wonder Alex and the rest of the band looked bored and disappointed, I was too.
Highlights of this messy set included Florescent Adolescent, Arabella, My Propeller & R U Mine? which are utter classics. Now that Arctic Monkeys have chosen to start playing My Propeller again, it does give fans a glimmer of hope that they may start playing some older tracks again. The setlist seems overcrowded with new album tracks, and it is missing some of their greatest songs like Teddy Picker and Pretty Visitors which (might I add) are phenomenal live. Before anyone says 'oh, you weren't there, you don't know, it could have been a lot better,' I have actually spoken to people who went, and although there were mosh pits and crowd surfing and surges etc, it's more about the fact that the band are not creating the atmosphere by themselves anymore and they seem to have lost the charming showmanship that they always had. You only have to look back at Glastonbury last year to see what I mean. Maybe it's because they've constantly been touring this album and they're sick of it? I know I am..
As I mentioned in my last post about Arctic Monkeys reviewing their Snap Out Of It Video, (check it out here) this band are pretty much on the verge of selling out. It's become a fashion statement to call yourself 'indie' and to 'like' bands like AM, the 1975, Bastille or Imagine Dragons. A lot of people know Do I Wanna Know? and Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High and think Alex Turner is some sort of sex-god and they decided that this makes them Arctic Monkeys 'biggest fan.' I have nothing against with people liking these bands, sure, each to their own, but do NOT pretend to like them to try and make yourself look different. By calling yourself 'indie' and pretending to like music like this, you are creating a rather foolish persona for yourself, because those four artists I mentioned are now all massively mainstream artists, so really you are the same as everybody else. We are now seeing new generation of 'fake fans' forming, which propel an artist into the public eye when they are not necessarily ready for it which usually results in a album being put out as fast as possible to keep the consumers attention, thus the band sell out. I am no way calling myself a 'real indie kid' because I'm not and I know I'm not, but I listen to music that I actually like and I don't pretend to like bands I don't, simply to fit in.
Who cares what music you listen to, just make sure you are listening to it because you actually like it.
Sorry this post was a bit of a rant, I just had a lot to say about the set and it sort of snowballed into something I had been wanting to write about for a while.
Written by Poppy Marriott