by Paola Barreto
When I heard that the Arctic Monkeys were playing in San Francisco at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on October 22nd, I jumped at the chance to see the them live. I believe the last time they toured was four years ago in 2014. The Arctic Monkeys were one of the quintessential bands I listened to in my high school years. They are a British rock band who have grown a huge following especially after their AM Album.
I arrived to the concert slightly late. The first song I heard was “Four Out of Five”, one of the hits from their new album Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino (released 11 May 2018). To my surprise the crowd was older, mostly in their 20’s or 30’s. People were dancing along to the music with beers in their hands.
I was afraid that the Arctic Monkeys wouldn’t sound good in concert, as some artists don’t. However, they sounded great, were energetic, and the overall atmosphere was enjoyable. The drummer Matt Helders even did a solo and threw his drumsticks in the air twice. The only song I noticed they messed up on and stumbled words a bit was “One Point Perspective” . They did 18 four counts before the Alex Turner started singing. The original song only has 8 four counts before the vocals.
During the show,, the crowd would shout “AM”. So in the middle of the concert Alex Turner said something along the lines of, alright now for “the smash hit”, then proceeded to play “Do I Wanna Know?”. The stag flashed light beams at intense guitar riffs, smoke streamed into crowds, and a large decorative cube on the ceiling rotated light across the room. I suppose we are in the age of disco cubes now, not disco balls.
The last song they played (before the encore) was “No. 1 Party Anthem”. This was genius because it is a slow song. People pulled out their lighters and phone lights. The crowd huddled close to their loves and swayed gently. When the song ended there was the usual encore cheer. The Arctic Monkeys came back to play three songs. While the second encore song played, a huge sign that said “MONKEYS” rose from the back of the stage. So I believe the encore was planned all along. The very final song was “R U Mine?”. The crowd went wild dancing and enjoying the finale.
What surprised me the most about this show was that they had a diverse setlist. Their last two albums moved away from their rough guitar heavy feedback sound to a more clean vocals clear sound. I thought the concert would play heavily on their new stuff, but they actually played a lot of old songs, which was cool. I leave you lastly with one of my favorite Arctic Monkey songs “Riot Van”.
Four Out of Five (Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino)
Brianstorm (Favourite Worst Nightmare)
Don’t Sit down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair (Suck It and See)
Crying Lightning (Humbug)
I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor (Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not)
Knee Socks (AM)
One Point Perspective (Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino)
The Ultracheese (Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino)
Do Me A Favour (Favourite Worst Nightmare)
Library Pictures (Suck It and See)
505 (Favourite Worst Nightmare)
Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino (Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino)
Dancing Shoes (Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not)
Do I Wanna Know? (AM)
Pretty Visitors (Humbug)
No. 1 Party Anthem (Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino)
Star Treatment (Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino)
Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High? (AM)
R U mine? (AM) (Feedback)
with Kirin J Callinan, Enjoy, & The Jack Moves
by Lily Nauta
The October 13th Beach Goth lineup was an eclectic medley of everything from avant-garde, psychedelic, funk, surf, and indie rock. Despite the wide range of styles covered throughout the show, each artist seemed to work collectively to conjure up an indisputably powerful energy.
First of the lineup– The Jack Moves slid on in with intoxicating guitar licks, lyrics stacked with sexual innuendos, and a vocal style that sent echoes back to the king of pop.
After being lulled by the bluesy rhythm of The Jack Moves, the crowd was sunken further from sobriety with the near hallucinatory obscurity of Enjoy. Enjoy– the solo project of Wyatt Shears of The Garden, provided an incomparable experience, loaded with crab-like, robotic, and mimed gestures. With an inappropriately mellow crowd, the band bumped their tunes in their typical sporadic flurry while the crowd stood– seemingly paralyzed in front of the model-esque figures before them. Even after a personal suggestion of the “wall of death” on behalf of lead singer Wyatt, the crowd nevertheless stood gazing up at the band. I suppose the crowd can’t be blamed for their rigidity, as simply looking at the impeccable fashion, enthralling eccentricity, and haunting lack of facial expression of the band is daunting.
The avant garde holiness of an Enjoy performance is undoubtedly a tough one to follow. The performance of Kirin J. Callinan, however, was far from disappointing. From his 17th Century British attire and diamond studded wig to his hips that teetered along with his proclamation of himself as a “toddler”, I was left with much admiration and even more questions. Was it an initiation into a cult? A resurrection of Cleopatra? Maybe both? We may never know. The one thing I do know for sure is that his gyrating hips took me into another dimension.
After Callinan sent the crowd spinning further into the downward spiral to purgatory, The Growlers met the crowd at the infernal gates of the underworld. The solid surf rock melodies and and rumbling vocals were sobering enough to take the crowd out of the kaleidoscopic performances of the Jack Moves, Enjoy, and Kirin J. Callinan. Instead, the band lifted the crowd and into their subtle haze. With a hefty hour and a half long performance, the band not only maintained energy, but was able to harness the crowd’s energy and sweep them out of their slumber. The low “growls” of lead singer Brooks Nielsen’s vibrato sent not only a once mellow crowd into a moshing frenzy, but simultaneously drenched everyone in a soothing sense of nostalgia.
Dazed, dancing (finally), and dreading the end of the show, The Growlers left the Beach Goth crowd with an incorporeal sense of happiness.
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