What Arctic Monkeys’ comeback show tells us about their festival sets this summer

Last night (May 2), Arctic Monkeys played their first live show in three and a half years at San Diego’s Observatory North Park venue. They debuted several new tracks from upcoming album ‘Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino’ in the set, much to the delight of fans inside and out of the venue. But this is just the start. Over the summer, the band will be headlining festivals all across the globe before a UK tour hits these shores in September, and last night gave a pretty good peek into what these shows could look like. Here’s what we can deduce from the performance.

There will be new ones, obvs

At their San Diego show the band debuted four new songs for the first time, including ‘Four Out Of Five’, ‘One Point Perspective’, ‘American Sports’ and ‘She Looks Like Fun’. This was inevitable, but these choices from the new record certainly seem like the right ones for festival appearances. ‘Four Out Of Five’ is the closest to a headliner-sized anthem from the album, and the remainder are similarly upbeat. The ballads, like ‘The Ultracheese’ and ‘The Star Treatment’ may be trickier to play live, or to keep the attention of casual fans at festivals with, so the current picks are a good start to easing them into ‘TBH+C’s world.

Extra musicians will likely appear

Last night, Tame Impala’s Cam Avery appeared on stage to help bulk out the sound of the band on a handful of new ones, picking up the piano and guitar where necessary. This was, of course, a super intimate show, so when the boys occupy bigger stages, there’s a good chance that a bigger crew could be waiting in the wings. Want proof? The Last Shadow Puppets’ festival shows last time round featured an orchestra at several sets, and the sounds of ‘TBH+C’ lends itself to a similar arrangement.

A few deep cuts may appear

They played the big ones, like ‘Brianstorm’, ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor’, ‘505’ and the like, but a couple of curveballs were thrown in. ‘One For The Road’s B-Side, ‘You’re So Dark’ got it’s first live performance ever and ‘The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala’ got a shiny makeover. Remains to be seen if they throw in a wildcard every show, however we doubt they’ll be dusting off ‘Cigarette Smoker Fiona’ anytime soon.

AM onwards will be the focus

Eight songs of last night’s set came from the ‘AM’-era, including main set closer ‘One For The Road’ and encore finale ‘R U Mine?’, and a further four from the new record. The remainder of the set was made of two songs from each of their previous four albums.