Arctic Monkeys at Finsbury Park

Alex Turner and co have, over the last few years, made the transition from great rock band to true artists. With their most recent album, AM, going straight to number 1, their headline Glastonbury set alongside the Rolling Stones last summer, and now their sold-out 45,000 capacity shows at Finsbury Park in London, Arctic Monkeys have made sure they won’t be forgotten about any time soon.

The Finsbury Park shows took place on the 23rd and 24th of May 2014, over the bank holiday weekend, kicking off London’s summer of outdoor gigs. Both shows sold out within days of tickets being released, something which very few bands in the world would be able to boast about nowadays.

On both nights the band had the pleasure of being introduced by heavy-rock duo Royal Blood, old friend of Alex Turner, Miles Kane, and the slightly more unusual Tame Impala. All 3 acts did a fantastic job of warming up the crowd, as if they weren’t already ready enough for Arctic Monkeys to make an appearance.

Kicking off the shows with the recent classic ‘Do I Wanna Know?’, Alex Turner, Jamie Cook, Nick O’Malley and Matt Helders got the whole crowd going crazy from the off. With Alex Turner dressed in a patterned smoking jacket and Jamie Cook in an all-white suit, the band didn’t fail to dress for the occasion.

Though playing shows this size has become almost second-nature to the Sheffield-born boys and they are now world-renowned rock stars, Alex Turner kindly reminded us that he, like us, is ‘only human’, before going into an acoustic performance of ‘A Certain Romance’ to kick off the encore on Friday night. As the only part of the show that was somewhat unplanned, such a rarely-played song performed solely by Turner was a truly special moment, amidst a set that remains unchanged as they tour the world with it. Saturday night’s encore, on the other hand, saw an equally rare performance of the Last Shadow Puppets’ (aka Alex Turner and Miles Kane) classic, ‘Standing Next To Me’. The rest of the encore remained the same, with the surprises being followed by three tracks off the new album: ‘One For The Road’, “I Wanna Be Yours’ and “R U Mine’.

Arctic Monkeys look like they’re at the peak of their career, but who’s to say they won’t keep going up?

The band are due to perform a similar show in Dublin on July 12th with support from Royal Blood, Miles Kane and Jake Bugg, followed by a summer of headline slots at T in the Park, Reading & Leeds and many overseas festivals.

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