Arctic Monkeys - Wembley Arena (17/11/2009)

David Spencer | Sunday, 22 November 2009

Arctic Monkeys - Wembley Arena (17/11/2009)

Wembley Arena is alive to the rhythm of over excited late-teens and the sweaty air has been mixed up by the raucous Eagles of Death Metal, who seem to have caught just the right mood for a support band. Give it 100 percent and hope for the best. But there's no doubt who the audience is here for.

Arctic Monkeys are the Oasis of the Noughties, generating excitement and admiration in equal measure. Many of those here were transfixed by that record selling debut album of 2006 and are now moving into their early adulthood. But amongst the younger audience are sprinkled the musically cultured adults, who are aware what a talent this band contains in Alex Turner. They won't throw themselves around and body surf like the next generation, but they'll wish they could.

After a build up of water and beer throwing the band arrives with 'Dance Little Liar', smoothly segueing into 'Brianstorm'. It's just what was needed. No wasting around with too many new songs. And when 'I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor' arrives just five songs in, the place erupts; in fact band and crowd become one for three pulsating minutes.

But that unity is perhaps missing from other parts of the show. Alex Turner is still only 23 and perhaps his younger years are to blame for a slight detachment. He very rarely speaks to the crowd, and then only stretching to as little as "now a b-side" (for 'Sketchead'). Whether this is arrogance or naivity is hard to tell. Turner's admitted that by end of the previous tour they'd lost a bit of the spark and some fans complained they were just going through the motions.

The same can't be said tonight, although a bit more appreciation of the thousands of devotees wouldn't go amiss. No one seems too bothered though. Perhaps they're content with the reward of classics such as 'The View From The Afternoon', 'Do Me A Favour' and the delicious 'Crying Lightning'.

In a final phase 'Pretty Visitors' proves to be much better live than recorded and is greeted more warmly than other newer tracks. It's a slight shame that the exploding confetti that greets 'Secret Door's climax appears to blow the speakers, causing the encore of 'Mardy Bum' mixed with 'Flourescent Adolescent' followed by '505' to be lost in a haze of distortion.

Rating: 4/5

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