Arctic Monkeys Invade The Pageant in St. Louis 2/15/2014
105.7 The Point has done a great job over the past 21 years bringing some of the biggest names in modern rock to town to celebrate Halloween, Christmas, and their Birthday by playing shows across St. Louis. When this one was announced back in the Fall it was no question that this would sell out. The Arctic Monkeys have played at The Pageant before back in 2011 and most recently stopped in St. Louis when they opened for The Black Keys at Chaifetz Arena. Their most recent album, AM, has garnered a lot of attention from both critics and fans alike and the Arctic Monkeys seem to be destined to rise the ranks from the post-punk under card. I have only recently started paying attention to this great UK band, but have very quickly found myself smothered in their entire catalog. This was a show I was very much looking forward to.
Upon arriving at The Pageant, I proceeded to get my cavity search from the friendly security staff and my ticket scanned before making way to the ID guy. While he was checking mine, there was a young British fellow getting harassed for having what was apparently judged by security to be a fake ID. As he all but begged him to reconsider by telling him that all his friends are in the bar and he swears its real, I pushed forward. The set up for the venue was strange… according to one bartender they expected a 70/30 split favoring 21+ but as the venue filled in it ended up going the other way so they had to change it at the last second. Even with the expanded underage section, it was still noticeably more crowded in the kids section than near the bar.
The Arctic Monkeys took the stage just after 9:15 to ominous music that set the tone for the evening. The lights were consistently reds, blues and purples with heavy strobe effect that kicked in the moment drummer Matt Helders hit the bass drum for the first note of “Do You Wanna Know”, the opening track to 2013’s critically acclaimed AM. Right away the capacity crowd was hooked in and hung on every word that frontman Alex Turner sang. The band were all dressed in button up shirts and sport coats with the exception of Helders who was dressed for comfort on the drum kit. Guitarist Jamie Cook was to Turner’s left while bassist Nick O’Malley was on his right. Halfway through “Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair” Turner took a moment to address the crowd with a simple “Hello St. Louis!”. After the song he went on to say “Have you missed us St. Louis? You probably missed us. We are going to have a good time tonight!”
During “Snap Out of It” I started to notice that Alex Turner had this little hip shimmy thing going on… kind of like Jack Parkman. I hear it drives the women in Cleveland crazy. Turner introduced us to drummer Matt Helders, who’s bass drum is adorned with 0114… the dialing code for their hometown of Sheffield, England. He told us that Helders was going to sing us a song, “Brick by Brick” from 2011’s Suck It and See. After “Crying Lightning” it was four straight songs from AM including two of my favorites, “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High” and “Arabella” which featured teases of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs”… watch that below right now courtesy of YouTube user Ashley K!
Pretty much the only song I heard people scream-requesting was “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor”, the bands first single from their 2006 debut Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not… the band complied, but I have a sneaky suspicion that it was on the set list anyways. The set closed with three of the last four songs taken from the 2007 follow up Favourite Worst Nightmare including set closer “505.” The band flicked their sticks and picks into the crowd and took a short break before coming out for a three song encore that started with “Cornerstone” and finished with two more songs from the heavily featured AM, “One for the Road” and “R U Mine?”
The show clocked in right at 90 minutes and even though a majority of the songs were from the most recent album, they did a great job at mixing in material from throughout their careers. This show is one that I won’t soon forget, the band was incredibly tight and were hitting on all cylinders all night. I regret not getting more interested in the Arctic Monkeys earlier, but I am incredibly happy that I had the opportunity to see them at The Pageant this time around because I won’t be shocked to see them move on to a bigger room next time through.
SETLIST (click links for YouTube videos. Credit to YouTube user Ashley K)
Do I Wanna Know?
Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair
Snap Out of It
Brick by Brick
I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor
Do Me a Favour
I Wanna Be Yours
E: R U Mine?