The stadium show vs the pub/club gig is a debate as old as time itself, some say even older then chicken vs egg or Adam vs Eve. To be clear, any venue with over 2 tiers of seating and four-quid-plus pints is a stadium by definition. Glasgow’s new SSE Hydro certainly qualifies. Less Jo Whiley stripped back, cliché intimate Live Lounge and more grand slam WWE/NFL big style arena.

Tonight’s visitors Arctic Monkeys who have ironically been criticised for the overly-Yankee image/sound this evening attempt to fill the space. (Wait, you mean they don’t still wear Fred Polo shirts and write songs about bouncers and shitty Sheffield nightclubs like they did seven years ago when they were eighteen? Damn you Josh Homme!)

The set comes hit-laden but not hit-centric, “Do I Wanna Know?” and “Brianstorm” begin proceedings without even a pause for breath between the two. Alex Turner welcomes Glaswegians and non-Glaswegians alike lamenting “I’ve missed you Glasgow, have you missed me?” It’s evident that Glasgow has, but does this feeling flow both ways? “Don’t Sit Down Cause I Moved Your Chair” drops like a bomb and the tempo is originally kept even possibly a touch slower than on record to maintain the real stoner-rock groove with it’s misleadingly simplistic “Ooh, yeah yeah yeah” chorus. Turner sheds his guitar to croon “Fireside” from the new record while a neck-strained Matt Helders “Shoo-wap, shoo-wap”s in support. The back to back of “One For The Road” and “Arabella” is lifted straight from the record with the latter embracing the rip-off accusations with a drum-fill tastic homage to Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” in the bridge, a tip of the hat that whether noticed or not works well.

“Pretty Visitors” is noticeably the heaviest of the set but is then followed by the section of the set dedicated “to the girls.” This includes “I Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor”, “Cornerstone”, “No. 1 Party Anthem”, “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High(dro)” and “Flourescent Adolescent”. This section provides a definite dip in proceedings. “Snap Out of It” also lacks the dynamics of the record but regardless it is overshadowed by the confetti explosion from above.
Notable ommissions from the set include “Fake Tales Of San Francisco”, “When The Sun Goes Down”, “505” and a few from the third and fourth records. However, remembering this is not a greatest hits tour and hoping that is as far away as possible, the support for “AM” is understandable.

A final debate which will undoubtedly live forever is the debut album vs all others or by extension old vs new, a debate however, which our subjects rarely are included in. With the consistency of the five outputs thus far it is not unthinkable that two, possibly three sets of the same quality could be drawn up. If any fans were present only to relive the teenage record it did not show and in the words of Hova;

“Want my old shit, buy my old albums.”

“AM” is available now

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