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The Dancing Shoes Were On: Arctic Monkeys Concert Review

Updated: Jan 10

Every concert I go to I'm always like, "Oh my gosh! That was totally my favorite concert of all time!", but with this one, I think that statement is actually true. Alex Turner has been one of my celebrity crushes since middle school when I discovered their music and I got to see him with my own two eyes. Not through a screen, not in a picture, WITH MY OWN EYES. So here's how it went: My friend and I waited in line for six and a half hours and ended up about fifth row in the pit which was so incredibly close I couldn't believe it was real. The Moda Center in Portland is pretty big so maybe it just felt closer because of that.

Fontaines D.C. were the best opener they could've chosen in my opinion, they did a wonderful job. I'm sure opening for the Monkeys is a lot to live up to and they knocked it out of the park. My favorite song by them is Big Shot and I almost fell over from how hard I was swooning when they played it. It's a very enigmatic track that holds an air of mystery and nostalgia. To be fair, so does most of their music. Roman Holiday, Jackie Down the Line, and I Love You were my other favorites to hear live. More than anything I enjoyed their unique stage presence, specifically Grian's. From bouncing around on stage so full on pulling the mic stand in circles and sticking it up in the air, it created a very fun experience for their performance. And they very thick accent was rockin' too.

As for the Monkeys... I still feel the energy coursing through my veins every time I watch one of my concert videos. I get just as excited now as I did then. The opening song was Sculptures of Anything Goes, and I will admit that this neither my favorite song nor my favorite opener, it was still good. I kind of hoped they would start the show on something higher energy, but my wishes were kind of granted because they went straight from that into Brianstorm. That was when it really became real. Alex Turner was right in front of me, I could basically see all the hairs on his head he was so close. The guitar riff in Brianstorm is very distinctive so I just immediately knew what was coming. I'd include my video of that song, but it was pretty much just me screaming the whole time. So instead, here's a clip of Don't Sit Down, Cause I've Moved Your Chair because the riff in that song is equally as nasty as Brianstorm.

The kick?! The rockstar coded stance?!? The little dancey dance??!! The BOOTS????! Everything about that video has such a chokehold on me, let me tell you. As I'm writing this I'm beginning to realize that even if the show had absolutely sucked, I'd probably still be here praising it (pretty sure that's because Alex Turner can do no wrong in my mind). They played so many songs I wasn't really expecting, like Knee Socks, Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino, and Pretty Visitors. I knew they'd play songs from those albums but just didn't think those specific songs would make the cut! Not to get all nostalgic, but I remember raking leaves at my grandparent's house listening to Knee Socks on my MP3 player and dollar store headphones. I was maybe 12 or 13? Crazy how fast time flies. That memory hit me so hard when they played it.

The stage setup was very classic looking, just like you would expect for a rock 'n roll show. Soft lights onstage, unique screen in the center, and of course, the mirrorball. But here's the kicker: The mirrorball didnt even come down during There'd Better Be A Mirrorball. Isn't that stupid? That's my complaint about the show, it ended up coming down during Hello You. If I could figure out how to type a crying emoji on a laptop that would be included. Still, the stage concept was very well put together and It all looked very cohesive.

The best songs in my opinion were Brianstorm, Don't Sit Down Cause I've Moved Your Chair, Crying Lightning, Tranquility Base, Pretty Visitors, R U Mine?, and I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor. Not that they weren't all perfect, because they were. This was my favorite show of the year by far and I think it's because of how much nostalgia I hold in their music and also just Alex's face. Hearing those songs I've loved for so long and remembering each phase of my life that they corresponded with was a crazy feeling. I don't think I've ever experienced that level of nostalgia at a concert in my life. Even 505 just felt like reliving a certain year of my life, Crying Lightning another. I'm so grateful for that experience and I can confidently say it was worth the eleven month and six hour wait!


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