Arctic Monkeys play first New York shows

Two shows inside a week in the Big Apple

Arctic Monkeys have played their first North American shows – including two dates in New York this week.

Months before the band’s record comes out in the States, they sold out the first shows they’ve ever played in the city. Both shows were originally scheduled at New York’s Mercury Lounge, but tickets went so quickly that the second show had to be moved to the larger Bowery Ballroom.

While Tuesday night’s crowd (November 15) consisted mainly of music industry staff, Wednesday night’s show was all for the fans. David Bowie was rumoured to be in attendance, but the most noticeable members of the crowd were the throngs of wound up ex-patriots, identifiable by their tracksuit tops and un-New-York-like tendency to smile and clap between songs.

The band played a full 11-song set that included their most recognizable material, ’Fake Tales of San Francisco’ (which singer Alex Turner dedicated to Sheffield) and ’I Bet You Look Good On the Dancefloor’.

AS with their shows in the UK, the majority of the fans in attendance knew the words to many of the band’s songs. Though it was business as usual onstage, Alex chatted with the fans in the front rows, at one point tossing a few bottles of water into the crowd and apologizing to a fan when he ran out, promising to get him next time.

The show was plagued by a few technical problems, however. Drummer Matt Helders needed new sticks one song in. Then Alex’s guitar strap broke midway through ’Dancing Shoes’. Alex seemed a bit annoyed but the crowd cheered so vigorously in support that he gave his fans a wry smile, shook his head, and quickly grabbed the mic to finish the song.

Arctic Monkeys release ’I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’ in the US on November 29. Their American dates visit San Francisco and LA before the end of the month, and then the group head back to the UK via Japan.