Following the release of their fifth studio album, AM, the Arctic Monkeys made the second stop of their North American tour at a sold-out show in New York on Monday, Sept. 16.
The line from Webster Hall stretched around the corner, up a block and along 12  Street in lower Manhattan. The choice to go for Webster over Terminal 5 was curious—Terminal 5 holds almost double its capacity. But if they were aiming for a more intimate party atmosphere, that is exactly what they got.
Scalpers strolled up and down the line, pitching their product and looking for any extra tickets they could get. While walking in, I saw no less than four people turned away with counterfeits. Bouncers combed the lines for those under 21, marking them with two big “B’s” on their hands, as one said, “B for baby!”
DROWNERS, a local grime act based in New York City, kicked off the night with an opening set made to get the imbibing crowd, already packed to the rafters, moving. They joined the Arctic Monkeys for the first three stops on the tour.
With the audience amped up, suitably lubricated and forgetting their need for personal space, Alex Turner and his crew took the stage to red lights and the first song off their new album. With heavy beats and lovelorn lyrics, “Do I Wanna Know?” seemed tailored to the 20-something crowd.
“Simmer down and pucker up, I’m sorry to interrupt it’s just I’m constantly on the cusp of trying to kiss you,” Turner crooned. “I don’t know if you feel the same as I do, but we could be together if you wanted to.”
From there, they moved into favorites from their first album, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, including “Dancing Shoes” and “Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair.” Mixed in with almost the entirety of AM were shots from Suck It and See, Humbug and Favourite Worst Nightmare. Essentially, they managed to hit on every studio album they’ve made.
The Monday night crowd seemed to be made of entirely hardcore fans; after one particularly enthusiastic uproar, front man Alex Turner commented in his saucy Scottish accent, “I’m glad I wore my sparkly brown jacket for you.”
From what I could see through the sea of upheld iPhones and cameras, Turner was truly entrancing as he curled around the microphone. With his coiffed hair and suave cheekiness, he was the essence of cool. Imagine Tony Iommi reincarnated in a swell of Scottish pop punk.


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