Arctic Monkeys Play United Center on North American Tour [REVIEW]
By: Sofia Wheelock – Photos by Steve Sym
Before you ask, yes there was indeed a mirrorball.
On August 27th, Arctic Monkeys took to the United Center stage on their 2023 tour across the states. This will be the seventh headlining tour that the band has taken and is in support of their latest album, “The Car,” released back in 2022.
Formed in Sheffield in 2002, Arctic Monkeys have become a world-renowned English rock band and continue to grow in popularity with each new release. Consisting of frontman Alex Turner, Bassist Nick O’Malley, Guitarist Jamie Cook, and drummer Matt Helders, the group has maintained steady popularity for over a decade. Their music is known far and wide by multiple generations and has an incredible way of relating to younger and older audiences alike.
Fans lined up outside as early as 5:00 p.m. to make sure that they could be as close to the barricades as possible. When the doors opened at 6:30, guests were greeted with Disney World-esque lines for merchandise. Both Arctic Monkeys and their opening act, Fontaines DC, had shirts, hoodies, CDs, and vinyls up for sale that fans flocked to before they were sold out.
The show started promptly at 8:00 with a thirty-minute performance from Fontaines DC, a post-punk band from Dublin, Ireland. They gave an extremely energetic to an unfortunately less engaged crowd. Though their genre is pretty different from that of Arctic Monkeys, it was refreshing for that very reason. Usually, openers have a similar style to the artist that they are warming the crowd up for. But Fontaines DC has a delightfully post-punk sound that was grossly underappreciated by the crowd.
At 9:00, the crowd boomed as Arctic Monkeys made their way out onto the stage. Frontman Alex Turner greeted the crowd briefly and stepped gracefully into their first song, “Sculptures of Anything Goes” from “The Car.” Their set contained a satisfying mix of recent and older music, from their first EP all the way up to their latest album. Fans of all ages sang along to each song to the best of their ability. Alex Turner has become notorious on social media for singing out of the normal rhythm of their songs. This actually made the concert more enjoyable, as the audience could hear the performers singing instead of just hearing the audience screaming the lyrics.
For their encore, they played three of their most popular songs back to back to back: “I Wanna Be Yours”, “I Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor,” and “R U Mine?” The crowd became more energetic towards the end which was nice to see after they spent the entire show nodding their heads to some of the most head-bang-worthy music in indie rock.
Arctic Monkeys gave the United Center all they’ve got on August 27th with a show that can only be defined by three words: suave, satisfying, and smashing. Alex Turner and his band have a long road across America ahead of them. Hopefully, the next city that they tour has a crowd that will match their unrivaled energy.
Photos © 2023 by: Steve Sym
Photos © 2023 by: Steve Sym
Check out more great live photos here!