Music Reviews

“Was This My Favourite Worst Nightmare?”- Live Review: Arctic Monkeys @ Manchester Emirates Old Trafford

Olivia Hughes

Impact were lucky enough to secure tickets to see the Arctic Monkeys in Manchester on Friday 2nd June. Olivia Hughes reviews.

The buzz in the air as thousands walked towards Old Trafford was electric, the fishnets and bucket hats were out in force. Many had buckets of lager for what promised to be the gig of a lifetime for anyone who thought they were into ‘indie music’ and dark fruits in Year Nine.

The Mysterines, an alternative rock band from Liverpool opened for Arctic Monkeys, setting a glamourous tone for the performance to come. This was quickly contrasted with the chaos and pure classic rock and roll feeling of The Hives, a Swedish rock band, who were the next openers for Arctic Monkeys. The crowd knew they were in for a good performance when lead singer, Pelle Almqvist, hit his head with his microphone and started bleeding throughout the rest of the band’s performance, but the show must go on for The Hives, and go on it did.

Arctic Monkeys hit the stage at 8:45pm and quickly got started with perhaps one of their most famous songs, Fluorescent Adolescent. Beer was instantly in the air. Alex Turner hit the crowd with perhaps the longest sentence he said all evening with “Good Evening Manchester”, immediately after the song was over.

An instant crowd pleaser

One thing was certain, this crowd was treated to perhaps one of the best setlists possible. All the classics were played, Arabella was an instant crowd pleaser, 505 drew people who were wondering off to the toilet running straight back to hear the breakdown of the century. Even Turner changing the tempo of a song at any given opportunity didn’t deter the crowd from a hearty sing along.

Old Trafford was packed out, and in all honesty, the audience perhaps deserved a better performance from the band. The music was classic Arctic Monkeys- there was nothing wrong with it, but the extent of the crowd interaction was limited to Turner announcing the upcoming song by just stating the title in a thick Sheffield accent.

The band just trundled one song to the next as if they were trying to get through the setlist as quick as possible. It was clear they were there for the cheque and that was all. For the price of around £75 for general admission, you would expect at least a performance similar to artists of a similar level, or at least an attempt to engage the audience.

For people at the back, it was incredibly hard to see the band

You can’t help but feel nostalgic at an Arctic Monkeys gig, maybe everyone is not in fact paying to see the band, but instead paying to feel exactly how they felt at 13. For people at the back, it was incredibly hard to see the band, and so the gig probably didn’t feel dissimilar to the house parties they went to at that age, with battered teenage boys falling into them, and the music faintly in the background.

The performance ended with the band just walking off the stage after playing R U Mine?, not a single ‘goodbye’ or ‘thank you’ in sight, as the crowd quickly filed out of the stadium and into the streets of Manchester.

A national treasure to a generation of Brits

The gig overall was fine, it is worth going to say you have been to an Arctic Monkeys gig in your lifetime, as they are undoubtedly a national treasure to a generation of Brits. However, I wouldn’t go to another gig of theirs anytime soon.

Olivia Hughes

Featured image courtesy of Alex Watkin. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.

In-article images courtesy of @arcticmonkeys via No changes were made to these images.

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