REVIEW: Arctic Monkeys barnstorming homecoming show leaves fans wanting more

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Amazing, special, banging – just some of the fan comments after Arctic Monkeys’ triumphant homecoming shows as the Sheffield quartet played two nights in the city.

A blistering set offered something for every fan – although it was no surprise the biggest reaction were reserved for tracks from the band’s 2006 debut album Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, a smash-hit album of a generation which perfectly captured the rawness of four young lads having a good time on a night out in Sheffield.

The sound has expanded and developed over the following six albums – not always to universal praise – culminating in 2022’s excellent The Car and this current world tour, with drummer Matt Helders describing the two nights at Sheffield’s Hillsborough Park as “a victory lap”.

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The second night opened with the barnstorming Brianstorm and set the tone for a band at the very top of their game.

Helders admits the band are “detail-orientated” – indeed they practised for a year before their first gig almost 20 years ago to the day – and “take it seriously”

So much so that frontman Alex Turner can seem aloof from his adoring audience with his minimal crowd interaction – one criticism levelled at the band from their hometown shows was the limited banter with the 40,000-plus crowd. A “hello Sheffield” on arrival on stage and an improvised interlude of Turner at the piano singing ‘I want to sit down in Sheffield’ repeatedly as he took a break from standing front centre standing out among the minimal talking between songs.

It was a complete contrast from the excellent support band Hives, whose frontman Howlin' Pelle was a ball of energy for their near-hour set, bounding up and down the stage – even crowd-surfing at one time – and never shutting up between tracks as he built up an expectant crowd even further and no doubt won over a huge number of new fans for the Swedish rockers.

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But he was very aware they were just the warm-up as repeatedly namechecked the band everyone had come to see.

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Pictures capture Arctic Monkeys' spectacular homecoming show at Hillsborough Par...

Arctic Monkeys delivered a greatest hits set, without some of their greatest hits – chart-topper When the Sun Goes Down and number-four hit Leave Before the Lights Come On among the singles sadly missing – which shows the depth of treasures the quartet can choose from when drawing up a setlist.

Snap Out of It, Don’t Sit Down ’Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair, Crying Lightning and Teddy Picker reinforced the strong start, before From the Ritz to the Rubble – sadly missing from the previous night’s show, but which had opened with a tour debut for A Certain Romance – lifted the proverbial roof off the outdoor venue.

Fluorescent Adolescent, Do I Wanna Know?, fan favourite Mardy Bum and There’d Better Be a Mirrorball – the opening single from the latest album – came and went as Turner, Helders, guitarist Jamie Cook and bassist Nick O’Malley rattled through the tracks before finishing with Body Paint, another single from The Car.

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Alex Turner on stage at Hillsborough Park.Alex Turner on stage at Hillsborough Park.
Alex Turner on stage at Hillsborough Park.

A quick break and it was back for the expected encore – a cover of John Cooper Clarke’s I Wanna Be Yours before the song everyone had been waiting for. I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor had the entire park bouncing before R U Mine? a quick wave and exit stage left, leaving the adoring crowd happy, smiling, but wanting so much more.

The UK leg of the band’s world tour continues this week:

June 14 – Ageas Bowl, Southampton;

June 16 – Emirates Stadium, London;

June 17– Emirates Stadium, London;

June 18 – Emirates Stadium, London;

June 23 – Glastonbury Festival;

June 25 – Bellahouston Park, Glasgow.

For tickets, see

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