The Arctic Monkeys- OSL Night Shows

I remember first hearing the band as a teenager at a small house party in my suburban town. After announcing my affection for We Are Scientists,  a wise friend  insisted I listen to the Arctic Monkeys. While imagining pink-faced snow monkeys relaxing in a hot spring and watching my long-haired friends kick and bob to the beat, “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor” was becoming an indie dance hit around the world. The Arctic Monkeys is one of those bands marvelously blessed with perfect timing. Even before releasing their first album in 2006, the English rock band was becoming one of the first bands to gain massive interest online via MySpace and other fan based music sites, and helped change the way music is now marketed. If that’s not enough for perfect timing, examine the band’s sound evolution. Their first album is what I like to call “neo-punk meets poetics”; impressive musical mechanics and grungy romantic lyrics reflecting a relatable suburban lifestyle is best heard with the volume LOUD in songs like “Riot Van” and “From The Ritz To The Rubble.” Alex Turner’s voice is unmistakably British, youthful and blunt in tone, complementing intelligent lyrics in a way that conjured in my mind the image of an older Holden Caulfield following his Catcher in the Rye breakdown: darker, no longer a virgin and no less of a smart ass.

Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner. Photo Credit: B.Riordan, CC BY 2.0

Quickly earning rookie status and rising in the elevator of worldwide popularity, Arctic Monkeys went full force and released Favourite Worst Nightmares, abandoning their suburban vibe. Listening to “Brainstorm”, I couldn’t help but imagine the band dressed in grungy blacks, riding in the backseat of a streetcar around the most mysterious bars in London, their intoxicating charm gaining more female companions with each cocktail.

In the 2009 album Humbug, the band took a turn of sound in favor of something experimental, collaborating (much to my pleasure) with Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age and echoing the infamous darkness of classic rockers Black Sabbath. The heavy beats complemented by Turner’s sharp voice and increasingly eloquent lyrics create a brew of straight sexiness.  Humbug confirmed the band’s versatility and set a cape of untouchable talent on their shoulders.

Their latest album, Suck it and See, reveals further proof of the Arctic Monkey’s vast range of musical competence. The cadence slows down and displays a beach-y side of the band’s usual dark humor, more like the Velvet Underground than Black Sabbath. This album is like a cross-country road trip where the band meets up with Hunter S. Thompson in Vegas. A work of technical beauty, the sun finally rises revealing yet another chapter of their evolving musical journey.  Even so, I’m hoping to see some of those old “Fake Tales of San Francisco” come true again as they jam the SF Outside Lands Festival stage in August. They will also be playing the one of the festival’s Night Shows in a more intimate setting at the Independent on August 12th.


SF Outside Lands Official Website

Arctic Monkeys Official Website

Arctic Monkeys Official Facebook

Arctic Monkeys Official Twitter

The Independent Official Website

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About Katie Kopacz
Blog Intern. Creative Writing student at San Francisco State University. When she's not busy with one of the aforementioned occupations, Katie can be found geeking out over good music, good food, conspiracy theories, cats, and well-written words.

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