Arctic Monkeys turned tonight’s (August 24) headline Leeds Festival show into a celebration of their home region as they wrapped up the UK leg of their extensive touring in support of smash hit 2013 album ‘AM’.
Arriving on stage to a muzak version of Elvis Presley’s ‘Are You Lonesome Tonight’, the Sheffield band launched into ‘Do I Wanna Know’ with a thudding drumbeat and a stage bathed in yellow light. As the song kicked in, a red flare fired high into the sky from the crowd, and another burned in the moshpit. Alex Turner had adapted his outfit especially for the occasion, wearing a white Yorkshire rose on each lapel of his immaculate suit. “Yorkshire!” he shouted, to a roar of approval from the expansive crowd – the biggest of the weekend by a long way. “We’ll have a right laugh with you today.”
‘Brianstorm’ saw Turner and guitarist Jamie Cook striking rock star poses, Turner at one point throwing both hands in the air. ‘Dancing Shoes’ followed, preceded by a snippet of the distinctive riff from Black Keys’ ‘Money Maker’ – as happened at Reading last night.
Before ‘Arabella’, Turner said, in a conspicuously thick accent: “Thank you very much. It’s a beautiful night in the north.” In further tribute to the local crowd, Turner included the phrase “if ‘tha’ knows what I mean” during ‘the same song – a nod to the Yorkshire accent – and dedicated ‘Old Yellow Bricks’ to the band’s hometown of Sheffield, a move that divided the crowd somewhat with boos ringing out near the back. Turner sang the lines “Oh Sheffield is wonderful, oh Sheffield is wonderful” over the song’s intro.
The singer previously confirmed that tonight’s performance would mark the last UK live show in support of ‘AM’ and he referenced the record prior to ‘Knee Socks’ when he jokingly asked the audience what they “make of that new Monkeys record”. Other songs from the album to feature in the set included ‘Snap Out Of It’ and ‘Number One Party Anthem’, which saw the frontman use an acoustic guitar for the only time in the set.
The main section of the performance was brought to a close with ‘505’, which was introduced by Turner saying: “We’ll leave you with a love song because we love you. Thank you for having us”.
The band then returned for a four-song encore that started with ‘One For The Road’, then ‘When The Sun Goes Down’ and a single verse of ‘Mardy Bum’. Thanking the audience profusely, Turner whipped the crowd up one last time, saying “I know you’re probably knackered but can you give us a cheer? Come on, don’t be a dick about it.” A final rendition of ‘R U Mine?’ saw Turner telling the audience that he “hates goodbyes” as he finished the song three separate times.
Arctic Monkeys played:
‘Do I Wanna Know?’
‘Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair’
‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’
‘Old Yellow Bricks’
‘Snap Out Of It’
‘Number One Party Anthem’
‘Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?’
‘One For The Road’
‘When The Sun Goes Down’
‘R U Mine?’