Homecoming shows are usually pretty special things, not just for bands but also for the fans, whether long time ones or new recruits, they feel that little bit closer to the guys onstage through a city wide connection. It may sound cheesy but mainly it is true especially when you don’t have many huge bands coming from your city. This was exactly the case for Arctic Monkeys homecoming show to Sheffield Arena and with the first show cancelled due to illness by the time this rescheduled date rolled around the excitement had built up spectacularly.
Opening with recent single ‘Do I Wanna Know’ set the crowd off cheering and from that first moment they were in the palm of Alex Turner’s hand. Within the first five songs the Sheffield four piece had played some of their biggest hits to date covering most of their back catalogue with ‘Brianstorm’ and ‘Teddy Picker’ from Favourite Worst Nightmare, Suck It And See’s ‘Don’t Sit Down Coz I’ve Moved Your Chair’ and ‘Dancing Shoes’ from Whatever People Say I Am… all getting a look in.
With so many huge songs throughout their career, the band had plenty of material to play with but they mainly stuck to the new and the oldest. Many would argue they were playing it safe and not risking it so much with tracks from third album Humbug sparse but it was a formula that worked and with Humbug being my least favourite of the band’s albums it didn’t bother me so much.
The middle section featured hits such as arguably their biggest single ‘I Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor’, ‘Crying Lightning’ and recent release ‘Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?’ with a few album tracks from latest release AM. ‘Arabella’, ‘Fireside’ and ‘Number 1 Party Anthem’ all got an airing and to a big reception. For 2 month old album tracks to be able to slide into an sell out arena setlist so easily and stand up against their anthemic tunes is quite an achievement showing the standard of the tracks the boys have written.
Over the past few years the band have not only proved they can write great songs, beautiful musical moments and indie classics of today while mixing in their many influences but they have also grown as a band. Not just songwriting-wise but onstage too, going from the small indie band with some tracks that were going to get them far to a band that can own stages wherever in the world from Sheffield Arena to Glastonbury, Benecassim to Coachella.
Ending with an encore that featured an acoustic rendition of ‘Mardy Bum’ which was such a special moment with the dulcet Yorkshire tones of not only Turner but the entire audience singing along to the indie anthem. Turner declared his band were always Sheffield’s and with that they ended on a fitting question and wonderful track in the form of ‘R U Mine?’ bringing them full circle to where they opened with a song from their most recent release. And the answer to Mr Turner and co after such a spectacular show is most definitely yes; this city truly belongs to you four.