Night Two of Artic Monkeys at the Armory

Photo by Ben Allen

Last updated on September 2nd, 2023 at 03:18 pm

Arctic Monkeys spent the second Minneapolis night of ‘The Car Tour’ spreading their infectious energy throughout the sellout crowd.

Photo by Ben Allen

Full disclosure: I didn’t know much about Arctic Monkeys going into the show last night. By the time I left, I realized nearly everything I thought I knew was wrong.

Photo by Ben Allen

For example, back when their debut album Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not was released, I incorrectly assumed it was vocalist Alex Turner on the cover. I also expected the band would be sporting t-shirts and jeans for the show. Instead, they were all the way at the other end of the spectrum, clad in tailored suits and “grown-up” clothing.

I was right about one thing: Turner’s voice is peak rock n roll. It fits in any era, he can go soft as well as heavy, and when he really leans into it, he’ll give you chills. The Armory’s long, cavernous interior hosted it perfectly.

Photo by Ben Allen

I also didn’t realize the four official band members tour with an additional keyboardist, guitar player, and percussionist.

Photo by Ben Allen

This band has evolved. They no longer trudge through songs like a lumbering bear, fast and loud and taking no prisoners. Last night they moseyed, sauntered, and got through the songs in their own time. We’ve all got to grow up eventually, right?

Photo by Ben Allen

I have people in my life that I know only enjoy certain types of music. One such person is Fred, who introduced me to T. Rex one day when I thought I was going to die of a hangover. Fred just talked about music and how Marc Bolan was the standard by which all other rock and roll should be measured.

Photo by Ben Allen

The music I bookmark for Fred is no-nonsense rock and roll. Can’t have too much going on beyond the basic four-piece, nothing too weird, and the vocals have to earn their place, front and center.

This was a show that would make Fred proud and would give him faith that his favorite music was far from dead. Arctic Monkeys are proudly carrying the torch, and they don’t show any signs of stopping any time soon.

Written by Ben Allen

I tell the story of the energy transfer between people who play music and that music's listeners. I photograph and write about festivals and concerts, which I've attended for three decades. I'm also the tall guy you probably got stuck behind at a show. First concert: Nirvana at Roy Wilkins Auditorium, Dec 1993. Yes, I am old. Tall and old.


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