Tuesday 28 June 2011

Arctic Monkeys Heat Up Paradiso

The band from Sheffield just released their fourth album Suck It And See. An album that shows a band with a grown up sound and an inspired front man. The last time they were playing in Amsterdam there was quite a bit of criticism about the songs coming off the third album Humbug not being good enough, having a slower and too unwieldy sound. Now they are playing a smaller venue to showcase their new album.

Arctic Monkeys at Paradiso Amsterdam, June 23 (Ronald Says 9 out of 10)

Guitarist Spike (Frans van Soest) from the Dutch band Di-Rect is the one to warm up the crowd with his other band The Deaf. According to the band they were even asked by the Arctic Monkeys themselves. They do a great job with catchy garage punk songs and a very excited Spike who probably had more than just apple juice and M&M's.

When the Arctic Monkeys take the stage the crowd gets really excited. And the boys make sure they don't loose this excitement for the rest of the night. They play songs from every album where maybe 'Humbug' is less present. This may be striking since that's the album fans were most unhappy with. I still don't agree since clearly it's a transitional album that may prove to be very important in the band's development.

But fair is fair to say that the songs of the new album 'Suck It And See' blend in perfectly with the ones from the first more rough and uptempo two albums. Even though the new songs are more intelligent, less rash and show more depth, they go perfect with proven hit songs like 'I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor' and 'Brainstorm'. The crowd seems to know them word by word already. 'Library Pictures' is already becoming a fan's favourite. Even the much criticized 'Brick By Brick', with drummer Matt Helders on vocals, works very well. That same drummer is so important for the band with his solid and creative grooves and hooks.

Alex Turner still is the somewhat distant front man, since he doesn't seek much contact with the crowd. But his poses are convincing and he's showing more charisma than ever before. Bass player Nick O'Malley and guitarist Jamie Cook are kind of performing out of the spot lights but are the much needed basis for the band. Everything shows that this band has come such a long way from their first album that pulled them out of the anonymity all of a sudden and pushed them onto the honor roll of indie rock.

And everything tonight shows they earn that spot. They still are that exciting band with brilliant twists that can light up a place like Paradiso. And that's exactly what happens. The crowd is going crazy and everyone from the front to all the way in the back is dancing and jumping to their music. The four guys suck it all up in their familiar relaxed and cool way. But I'm sure they are stoked themselves as well inside.

And so a great night ends you would think. But that same night had another pleasant surprise up its sleeves.

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