Alex Turner and co get ready for Glasto with Irish show
Arctic Monkeys began their pre-Glastonbury warm-up with their first major outdoor headliner last night (June 16) in Dublin.
Amid the scenic surroundings of Malahide Castle on the Irish capital’s coastline, mud, rain and over-flowing toilets constantly threatened, but could not dampen the spirits as the band put in a stonker of a set which included fan’s favourite ‘Mardy Bum’.
Arriving onstage to a typically understated backdrop of a few lights resembling the sperm heads on the ‘Favourite Worst Nightmare’ artwork, Alex Turner was in a charitable mood as he tossed out chocolate bars into the audience.
Opening with ‘The View From The Afternoon’ followed by ‘Brainstorm’, Arctic Monkeys‘ set proved unrelenting with early highlight ‘Dancing Shoes’ finding Turner besieged with flying footwear.
“I’m enjoying this,” he said before a boot was tossed from the audience landing beside him, “Oops I think I’ve spoke too soon.”
More relaxed than usual, the frontman seemed at ease on the night of his band’s first major outdoor headliner in Britain and Ireland as he warmed himself up for the kind-of crowd interaction such huge gigs demand.
Constantly engaging the audience, he berated a fan for wearing Sheffield United’s away shirt (“Why choose to buy the luminous one, even within all United shirts? You look like the Old Bill,” he asked), while urging the “lovely looking” audience to “come on ladies and gentlemen. You can’t get tired on us. Get in there! This is one of our favourites so come on!”
If nerves were shown at any stage, then it was the usually dependable drummer Matt Helders who briefly fluffed his rhythms on ‘Still Take You Home’, to which his singer turned and nodded “good recovery”.
A slew of inflated condoms, blown up as balloons filtered through the crowd during expectant highlight ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’, but it was the bands closing salvo which proved the real highlight.
New single ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’ drew mass dancing from loved-up couples before ‘Mardy Bum’ was greeted with the sort of thunderous cheer that would have rattled everyhing within a six-mile radius to the venue.
‘Do Me A Favour’ saw Turner and guitarist Jamie Cook trying to out-power each other with a thumping outro before a rousing ‘Leave Before The Lights Come On’ confirmed that the Arctic Monkeys are as comfortable headlining in a field as they are at hometown sweatbox the Sheffield Leadmill.
Just as they led with the opening tracks from their two albums to date, the close was similarly constructed with an encore of ‘505’ and the mass sing-a-long of ‘A Certain Romance’ confirming that – as if they didn’t already know it – Glastonbury is in in for a very special Friday night (June 22).
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Arctic Monkeys played:
‘The View From The Afternoon’
‘Still Take You Home’
‘From The Ritz To The Rubble’
‘This House Is a Circus’
‘Fake Tales Of San Francisco’
‘Old Yellow Bricks’
‘You Probably Couldn’t See For The Lights But You Were Staring Straight At Me’
‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’
‘If You Were There, Beware’
‘Do Me A Favour’
‘When the Sun Goes Down’
‘Leave Before the Lights Come On’
‘A Certain Romance’
Arctic Monkeys play a second night at Malahide Castle tonight (June 17) before playing Cardiff Arena on June 19 and 20. They headline the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury this Friday (June 22), stay tuned to NME.COM for full coverage straight from this year’s festival.
Meanwhile get this week’s issue of NME – on newsstands from June 20 – for our special Glasto preview.