Midway through their own set, following a gorgeous, woozy rendition of ‘Cornerstone’, Alex Turner serenaded the Spanish audience with the line: “I can tell that we are going to be friends”, the chorus of the White Stripes’ 2002 hit ‘We’re Going To Be Friends’.
As the crowd roared their appreciation, Turner quipped: “That would be my reply.”
In general, the Monkeys were on seductive form in the Spanish capital. Their frontman paired a wide-collared white shirt and dark suit jacket with a flamboyant pair of red trousers, and he seemed determined to woo the tens of thousands of people crammed into the arena.
The Monkeys’ set seemed calibrated to prove that despite the polarised critical reaction to most recent album ‘Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino‘, their new songs can easily match up to the greatest hits of their back catalogue. In total they played five tracks from the new album, more than from any of their previous records bar ‘AM’, opening the show with ‘Four Out Of Five’ and opening the encore with ‘Star Treatment’.
Many critics had argued that the new album lacked the riffs or obvious singles of their previous work, and if the plan for tonight’s set was to rebuff those critics it worked perfectly. Songs like ‘One Point Perspective’ and ‘Star Treatment’, with its “Martini Police” refrain, got just as positive a reaction from fans as established set highlights like ‘Crying Lightning’, ‘Arabella’ and ‘I Bet You Good On The Dancefloor’.
By the time Turner told the crowd: “Come here a minute I want to ask you something…” and launched into ‘R U Mine?’ the seduction was already a fait accompli. As far as Arctic Monkeys and Mad Cool are concerned, we could tell that they’re going to be more than just friends.
Arctic Monkeys played:
- Four Out Of Five
- Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair
- Crying Lightning
- Teddy Picker
- Knee Socks
- One Point Perspective
- Do Me A Favour
- Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?
- Do I Wanna Know?
- From The Ritz To The Rubble
- Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino
- Pretty Visitors
- Star Treatment
- I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor
- R U Mine?