Review: Arctic Monkeys at 170 Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney, March 1st, 2019

Unlike other Crosley-core artists of the 2000s, the Arctic Monkeys have managed to carve out a genre-spanning continual career for themselves and judging by the slew of under 21-year-old fans in the crowd at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena Friday night, their legacy will be living on for many years to come.

Five years on from their last set of Aussie shows touring their fifth studio album, AM, the Monkeys were back to thrill audiences. Playing two nights in Sydney, it was clear that fans were hungry to see them, and the band sure didn’t disappoint.

The Arctic Monkeys Live
Photo: Ash Mar

The night was a delicious feast filled with something on the table for everyone. They managed to fit in songs from every album they had, with the 21-song setlist spread out pretty evenly over their discography.

A few more tracks from their earliest albums wouldn’t have gone astray, but the lack of songs from Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, and Suck It And See may be attributed to the fact that Alex Turner admitted in an interview on BBC 1 that he is embarrassed by his old song lyrics:

“In preparation for going on tour, we flicked through some of our old records,” he said. “There were a few lyrics that went by where I thought [wincing noise], ‘Don’t know what you were thinking there. Probably leave that one out now.’”

The Arctic Monkeys Alex Turner
Photo: Ash Mar

The Arctic Monkeys, a band who were once so raw, have morphed into a polished, clean-cut, eight-piece lineup and live outfit. Every member oozes with confidence, especially Turner, who has ditched the rocker look for their latest record and channels an almost Frank Sinatra-like quality with his rich vocals and effortless cool.

Matching this finely tuned aesthetic was the incredible staging, which looked like something straight out of the Sydney Opera House. There were clear signs of attention to detail in every part of the setup, from the re-done striped stage floor to the matching red cups, to the screens on either side which showcased ’70s style camera effects of the performance.

The highlight of the production was their iconic, hexagonal light structure, which transformed throughout the show and helped to visually capture the ’70s lounge vibe that their newest album, Tranquility Base Hotel + Casio, exudes sonically.

The Arctic Monkeys
Photo: Ash Mar

Finishing their encore on the perfect banger ‘R U Mine?’, the Arctic Monkeys proved that even after five years, they still knew exactly how to entertain their Australian audience.

The Arctic Monkeys
Photo: Ash Mar

Check out the full photo gallery here.

Arctic Monkeys @ Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney 1/3/18 Setlist

‘Four Out Of Five’
‘Snap Out Of It’
‘Crying Lightning’
‘Brianstorm’
‘Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair’
‘Library Pictures’
‘Science Fiction’
‘Arabella’
‘Teddy Picker’
‘From The Ritz To The Rubble’
‘One Point Perspective’
‘Fireside’
‘Cornerstone’
‘505’
‘Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino’
‘Do I Wanna Know?’
‘Pretty Visitors’
‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’

Encore:

‘Star Treatment’
‘No. 1 Party Anthem’
‘R U Mine?’