Review: Arctic Monkeys, Newcastle Arena

Style: "Late 70's"
Style: "Late 70's"
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ARCTIC Monkeys left a sell-out Newcastle Arena in raptures with a spellbinding set.

Support act The Vaccines were the perfect warm-up, rattling through a short set before a half-an-hour break.

Then, taking to the stage sporting his early Elvis Presley era-style quiff, front man Alex Turner was a charismatic presence for the whole evening.

Almost exactly two years ago, the Sheffield four-piece arrived at the same venue after releasing third album Humbug.

Their show that night was satisfactory rather than spectacular.

The contrast between that performance and this one could not have been more stark.

Opening with the menacing Don’t Sit Down Cos I’ve Moved Your Chair, it got the crowd onside from the beginning.

Fittingly for a concert on November 5, it includes the line “find a well-known hard man and start a fight/wear your shell suit on Bonfire Night”.

It helps of course that their new album, Suck It and See, has been much better received than its predecessor.

After the moody tone of Humbug, the album signals a return to form, something which you felt most the audience recognised.

Throughout the night, the Monkeys had the crowd in the palm of their hand, with fans hanging on every note and lyric.

A special mention must go to the frenetic drumming of Matt Helder, who also chipped in with superb vocals for Brick by Brick.

Despite the popularity of their new material, it was fan favourites Teddy Picker, Fluorescent Adolescent and I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor which garnered the loudest cheers.

When Turner announced that they were about to play The View from the Afternoon, the reaction from the crowd was almost hysterical. An encore consisting of new single Suck It and See, Mardy Bum (played solo by Turner) and the epic 505 to round off the night, left members of the audience raving about what they’d seen.

It was simply a stunning performances from a band who looked to be enjoying themselves immensely.

On this evidence, North East fans will no doubt be counting down the days until they return to the region.