Thursday, June 18, 2009


Arctic Monkeys at the Apollo-
Arctic Monkeys
Status-Out as of 2009
Rating-2.5 feathers

There comes a time in most bands’ careers where they decide to release an epic film chronicling an epic or special performance well into their respective career. The Beatles did it. Oasis did it. Muse even did it. They are one the most successful English bands right now, and even though their catalogue is a little small (only two albums), Arctic Monkeys decided to hop on the concert release bandwagon, and film the last show of their Favourite Worst Nightmare world tour. Already you can see problems.

They come on stage and plow right through ‘Brianstorm’ and ‘This House is a Circus’, each equipped with noticeable blunders. I’ll let that slide because it was the 1st two songs, and they completely nailed ‘Teddy Picker’. They then promptly glaze over ‘I Bet You Look Good On the Dancefloor’ and ‘From the Ritz to the Rubble’ which were two very blaringly lifeless performances with only the slightly energetic ‘Dancing Shoes’ separating them. After a few more barely memorable performances, they make-up for the others with nearly perfect renditions of ‘Nettles’ and, as Alex Turner put it, ‘D is for Danger’. Later, they do ‘Still Take You Home’, which makes the whole experience worth while because for once they wake up a little and actually seem pumped to play it. They seem to develop a little more spring, and they bounce up and down vigorously throughout. When they cease, and the cheering stops, they introduce their friend Miles (Kane), then still of The Little Flames fame, as a guest to help them out on ‘Plastic Tramp’ and ‘505’. They end the set with ‘A Certain Romance’. It’s so beyond glaring that their hearts are just not into it. It’s almost depressing. The only redeeming quality of it is that during the botched up solo at the end, they play a slide show of random clips of the band, but even that only lasts 30 seconds. For the encore, they play ‘The View from the Afternoon’, which regardless of how dead the performance is, it’s still insanely impressive to watch. As for the extras, the option to watch the concert in four camera view is a joke: the cameras are all stationary at awkward angles, and the band don’t even stay within their camera’s view. The bonus performances of ‘Balaclava’ and ‘Bad Woman’ really should have stayed in the film, they would’ve helped. The bonus CD of Live in Texas is another mistake. The recordings were generally bad and poorly mixed. And live in Texas? Honestly, why live in Texas?

For such a good live band, this was severely disappointing. First off, for a concert DVD, they completely ignore the audience, the lighting sucked, and the camera severely favors Alex Turner, almost completely ignoring Nick O’Malley and Jamie Cook. Also from start to end, they are all very clearly not fully there, uninterested, and very tired. Alex even has these bizarre long moments where he just stares unblinking, and none of them are feeling the music. It doesn’t help that they filmed their last show of a nearly year long tour as their big concert release. It was by no means epic or a spectacle, but at least every performance was played well technically. Perhaps a better idea would’ve been to release a full-length version of their massive set at Glastonbury 2007?

"We'll try a couple more with you and then we'll review"-Alex Turner


Performance of Still Take You Home

Official Website for At the Apollo
Arctic Monkeys Official Website
NOTE: I tried to make this review shorter than my others, but I don't know if I succeeded. I actually bought this the day it came out, but it just took me a month to get to the review. I hope you enjoy! Also, I'm thinking of reviewing Only By the Night by Kings of Leon, so stick around!


Anonymous said...

I agree, this CD was a horrible disappointment; I wanted to see Nick O'Malley and there were about 5 seconds cumulatively of him; if Alex wants to be a solo act let him make his feelings known.

Ooops - he already has!

Double Hawk said...

Anonymous: I did too! I wanted to see Jamie, but the only time they really showed him was when he was in the background of Alex's shots. Now, I don't have a problem with Alex, but we get it: He's the singer. La di dah. Thank you for your comment!