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Live: Arctic Monkeys at Revolution, October 8

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The Arctic Monkeys "Suck It and See Tour," with Smith Westerns
Revolution, Fort Lauderdale
Saturday, October 8, 2011

Check out a slide show from the concert here.

Better than:
A Lord of the Rings marathon, for those unwilling to brave Saturday evening's wind and wetness, preferring the company of fictional characters from the Shire as opposed to real ones, from Yorkshire.

Among the range of English accents, the one from Yorkshire, in the north of the U.K., may be the most charming. Doubly so in the case of Alex Turner, the frontman for the Arctic Monkeys, who is in the habit of twisting his tongue across every contour of a lyric's last syllable.

So effective is this trick, singing is almost beside the point. Indeed, the most deafening shrieks from a female-dominated audience came during the intervals between songs, when Turner addressed the crowd.

His band had never been to Fort Lauderdale, and Turner pronounced the name like it was a moon recently discovered to be orbiting Neptune. Having played Orlando the night before and with a Sunday show near Tampa, Turner can be forgiven if he had to scribble the name of our fair city on his palm.

"He is so sexy, right?" said a 20-something lass who found herself in Turner's throes. Well, sure. If you're into guys who can rock a leather jacket and pompadour without a trace of self-consciousness while singing lead for one of the most adored bands across the Atlantic, the rest of us men will have to concede that.

Still, these breathless utterances seemed like an ideal occasion to observe this band from a new vantage point; specifically from over the heads of the band and in the company of Brits. "We've come to see them here because we can't get tickets in the U.K.," said a bloke from West London. In Great Britain, the Arctic Monkeys sell out arenas. And so to see the band in such intimate environs was a rare treat -- a little like watching them during their early days playing in grungy European clubs.

The set was mostly from Suck It and See, released in June. The Revolution crowd sang along with gusto to "The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala" and "Don't Sit Down Because I've Moved Your Chair." But the biggest bursts of energy came from the opening notes of songs that have become Arctic Monkey standards, like "Fluorescent Adolescent" and "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor."

Of course, the band's appearance in Fort Lauderdale was a consolation prize for those who were devastated when Langerado was canceled. After all, for modern indie-rock fans, the Arctic Monkeys were the primary draw for that event.

Smith Westerns, who were also slated to appear at Langerado, made an excellent impression as an opener, although vocalist Cullen Omori seemed to struggle a tad with the Revolution soundboard. Omori, who sang from behind a floppy set of bangs, still managed to hit the high notes that are highlights of the band's much buzzed-about album, Dye It Blond. Are those skinny jeans the key to his falsetto?

Personal bias: Your correspondent was prepared to take hostages until he heard "Crying Lightning," which finally arrived via encore.

The crowd: A soggy bunch, thanks to waiting in line with feet in puddles and rain that came in sideways. Specifically, composed of British ex-pats, libidinous 20-something females, and a bunch of guys who froze in Alex Turner's ultracool shadow.

Overheard in the crowd: "I just peed myself," said a fellow named James, in a tone that contained an unsettling lack of irony or exaggeration.

Setlist:

  1. Pretty Visitors
  2. Don't Sit Down Because I Moved Your Chair
  3. Black Treacle
  4. Fluorescent Adolescent
  5. The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala
  6. Brainstorm
  7. View From the Afternoon
  8. I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor
  9. This House Is a Circus
  10. Still Take You Home
  11. Evil Twin
  12. Brick by Brick
  13. She's Thunderstorms
  14. Do Me a Favor
  15. Suck It and See
  16. When the Sun Goes Down

  17. Encore

  18. Teddy Picker
  19. Crying Lightning
  20. 505

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