Arctic Monkeys kicked off the first of two nights at Finsbury Park with a set packed with hits from across their career and numerous tracks from the band’s latest album ‘AM.’
Thousands of fans queued for the biggest gig of the Arctic Monkey’s career.
The sense of excitement was palpable has fans rushed to get a good spot before the show opened at 5.30pm.
Royal Blood opened the show at 5:25pm, the two piece filling the stage with big riffs for the few thousand fans who turned up early to Finsbury Park.
“I’d like to introduce you to the rest of my band,” said frontman Mike Kerr, before turning to his drummer and other half of the duo and saying, “this is Ben.”
Recent singles ‘Out Of The Black’ gained a big reception while set closer ‘Little Monster’ drew huge cheers as the sun came out for the first time in the day.
The 45,000 capacity gig was completely sold out. The Arctic Monkeys’ self-titled “party” will run for two nights (May 23 and 24).
Resplendent in a blue and red tartan jacket, Miles Kane and his band followed Royal Blood, opening his set with ‘Inhaler.’
One fan set off a blue flare as the song began before Kane moved on to ‘Taking Over’, ‘Better Than That’ and ‘Rearrange’ in a set filled with tracks from across Kane’s back catalogue. “It’s an honour to be here Finsbury Park,” the frontman said prior to playing ‘Give Up.’
That song was cut with the band covering The Rolling Stone’ ‘Sympathy For The Devil’ as fans began their first chant of the afternoon. The crowd were lifted further when Stoke City footballer Peter Crouch was picked up by the side of stage cameras. He was watching with wife Abbey Clancy. Kane’s brief support slot then came to an end with a performance of ‘Come Closer.’
Tame Impala were the final band on before Arctic Monkeys. The band kept stage chat to a minimum with Kevin Parker and his bandmates playing songs from their two albums in front of psychedelic video backdrops.
Tame Impala played:
‘It Is Not Meant To Be’,
‘Solitude Is Bliss’,
‘Half Full Glass Of Wine’,
‘Feels Like We Only Go Backwards’,
The main attraction arrived on stage at 9pm with Alex Turner wearing a black smoking jacket emblazoned with small white logos and guitarist Jamie Cook sporting an all white suit with a white shirt. The first song of the night was ‘Do I Wanna Know?’ quickly followed by ‘Snap Out Of It’ and ‘Arabella.’
Introducing himself to the sell-out 45,000 capacity audience, Alex Turner said “Fucking hell, are you ready for a good time?” before playing ‘Brianstorm’, ‘Don’t Sit Down Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair’ and ‘Dancing Shoes.’
Drummer Matt Helders, the only member of the band not wearing a suit tonight, kick started ‘Library Pictures’ and ‘Humbug’ single ‘Crying Lightning’ in front of the band’s elaborate backdrop consisting of a LED version of the band’s ‘AM’ cover waveform.
Turner then spoke to the audience, saying that he “wants to do something for the girls” before playing ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor,’ the band’s first Number One single.
After that the frontman slowed the set down and urged the crowd to “hold someone” as he started to play a section comprising of the band’s more sedate material including ‘Cornerstone’ and ‘Number One Party Anthem.’
The main set ended with ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’ and ‘505’ before Turner arrived back on stage for the encore by himself.
Smoking a roll-up cigarette and with an acoustic guitar strapped around his shoulder, he then serenaded the audience with a rare solo version of ‘A Certain Romance’, a song the band rarely play live anymore.
The set ended with a triple-whammy from ‘AM’ in the shape of ‘One For The Road’, ‘I Wanna Be Yours’ and ‘R U Mine?’
Speaking to NME before the show, bass player Nick O’Malley said that one of the band’s pre-show rituals is to get dressed up smartly so as to not look like “scrubbers” for the gig. The band certainly scrubbed up well last night with extra sartorial points to Jamie Cook for sporting an all white suit with a white shirt in a mussy field in north London.
Situated directly behind the main stage and near a merchandise stand selling t-shirts emblazoned with slogans such as ‘Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?’ and the excellent, ‘What Would Miles Do?’ was a bar named The Parrot’s Beak. Super-fans will recognise the reference from ‘Cornerstone’, the ‘Humbug’ era single.
Speaking after the gig, fans crowned the night a triumph with Gary, 27, from Kentish Town saying: “Best gig ever. Best band ever. Seeing Alex Turner up there makes me wanna slick my hair back and start a band.”
Meanwhile, 19-year-old Laura was similarly won over, telling NME: “I came here to hear the newer songs because they’re the ones I’ve listened to the most in the last year but the whole set was amazing. I loved ‘505’ and ‘Dancing Shoes’ in particular’ as well as ‘One For The Road.’